Office Clearance Guide
Conducting an office clearance can feel like a military operation. Unlike doing a house clearance, there’s usually a lot more people involved, and a much stricter deadline to adhere to, so it can feel a whole lot more stressful than any other kind of rubbish removal project.
As a result, it is super important to plan the project properly. There are a lot of things to think about, other people to consider, timelines to plan, and you need to make sure you minimise any disruption to your business while doing all of this.
So why might you need to do office waste removal in the first place? Well, there are several common reasons: change in location, renovation to current office, damage to office, or setting up a business in a new premises.
Whatever the reason, clearing out an office is usually a signal of change, so can be a really exciting time for a workforce, but when things get stressful, and time is ticking, the pressure can become too much, and may negatively impact the work being done.
Below we outline the things to think about when clearing out an office space, and how to make it a smooth and, relatively, hassle-free process.
Decide what is going and staying
When you are doing waste collection from an office, it is essential to think through exactly what is and is not going to be disposed of. The equipment in your office may contain vital and confidential information, so you absolutely do not want to risk throwing anything out that you actually need, or risk anyone stumbling across sensitive information because you threw the wrong thing away.
Of course, what gets included in the junk clearance will depend on the purpose of the rubbish removal project. If you are just looking to dispose of old IT equipment, for example, then this is quite a simple project to oversee. However, if you are doing a complete renovation of your office, or if you are moving into a new premises and need to do a complete re-fit, then it will be a much bigger operation. In these cases, you will probably be asking for the removal of things like desks, furniture, and possibly even builders waste removal if you’re doing a re-fit.
When it comes to an office waste clearance project it’s even more important, than in a home clearance, to document exactly what is and is not going to be included in the waste disposal. This ensures that if whoever is overseeing the project is absent for any reason, then you still know what is supposed to be happening, so you cannot plan enough in this instance.
Define the timeline
Odds are that when you need to do an office waste disposal, you will be working to a much stricter timeline than home or garden waste clearance. If you are having a re-fit in order to open a new business or want to do a re-branding for an existing business, you need to make sure that you complete the project by the planned opening date. To make sure that this can happen, start with the end in mind, i.e. what date do you plan to open your office back up and is there any wiggle room on this?
Once you have this date set, you can make sure that you plan accordingly to ensure that you hit that deadline. However, do bear in mind that if the date you’ve set just isn’t feasible (for example, you want to complete an entire re-fit in a week) you need to be willing to flex a bit. The best thing to do is to be realistic in the first place. Get advice from people who know about these things; don’t just guess.
Also, schedule in some contingency time where possible so if there are any delays at all, then you won’t be delayed in your overall project.
Sell off what you can
Before spending time and money on any waste removal services, see what you can dispose of yourself. In particular, think about office furniture and equipment that you might be able to sell or give away in order to get rid of it. Perhaps your employees would like to take some of the current office chairs, desks or storage units away with them to set up a home office.
Or maybe there is a local charity or non-profit organisation that would benefit from a donation of what you no longer need. Many charities will come and take the items themselves if you ask them to, which will save you a lot of time and money in dealing with the waste disposal yourself.
You may also choose to auction or sell off any old equipment where appropriate; you could then use the money raised to reward employees for their help during the office clearance project. Or you could donate the funds to a charity. Either way the money raised will go to a good cause.
Choose a service to dispose of your junk
For a home waste removal project, you might decide to carry out the rubbish disposal yourself. However, that’s not usually appropriate in the work setting. You can’t ask your employees to put their health and safety at risk in order to clear your offices, so you will generally need to hire a professional rubbish removal company. This may involve hiring a service to do the office clearance in its entirety, where they just come in and clear out all of the junk by themselves. This is normally the best option if you don’t have that much to get rid of or if it’s electrical equipment to be thrown out.
Alternatively, you might choose to hire a skip and ask them to do the clear out your office on site. This will allow you to oversee the process, and monitor what’s going on. It also means that staff can make use of the skip hire if they do have things to chuck out during the process.
Stick to regulations
In some industries, if you are disposing of hazardous materials, asbestos or other equipment, you will need to advise the Environment Agency of your plan. Your chosen rubbish or skip hire services will be able to offer help and support on this, so if you have any questions, be sure to ask them.
And don’t forget to keep your team abreast of what’s going on so that they don’t put themselves at risk doing any waste disposal themselves.
Health and safety are super important so when you are doing a project like this, make sure that you do a full risk assessment before anything else, and document all parts of the process, so if something should occur you can refer back to the plan and what was agreed.