With people, furniture, electronics and timings to coordinate, taking on an office move can be a very involved process, requiring great coordination and communication skills. Much like in the home, you never really appreciate how much stuff you have where, until you’re packing it up – and if you’ve been in the same place for a while, you may find that your employees have become quite attached to their home-from-home desk (and goodness knows what’s in there!).
An office relocation is a lot of work, but there are many ways to help it to go smoothy:
Create a plan and appoint a manager
Breaking everything down into steps early on will make the whole process a lot smoother, and ensure that you’re not negotiating extra time on moving day – no one wants to find that they have photocopiers unaccounted for in the transport list at the final hour. In terms of when to start planning, it’s best to put something in place as soon as you’ve made the decision to get going.
There may be many people and departments involved in the process of moving, but it’s important to have one person coordinating those people and the process.
Confirm your budget
How much do you have to spend on your move and where will it be focused? Is there anything that may lead to it needing more investment? How do you reduce the likelihood of that being needed?
Speak to the IT department
Your first stop should probably be the IT department, especially if your servers are in the building, as this way you can ensure your business has no downtime – even while you’re on the move. It may be that you need to move the servers and computers outside of office hours. In this case, you need to ensure that the building you are moving to is able to accommodate this, and that you have a good handle on where you would like things to go when they are relocated.
What are the rules of the building you’re moving to?
If you don’t own the building you’re moving to, then you’ll need to find out their processes – are they happy for you to move during work hours? Will it cause too much disruption to others in the building? Can you use the service elevator? Do you need to request use of this in advance?
Find a moving company
As with most big purchases, it’s best to research and find a range of quotes to find the best fit and price for you, and the same goes for your moving company. If you have the budget, a full service moving company is worth the investment, as they will take a lot of the weight off your shoulders – from packing to loading, unloading and unpacking – they will also be more likely to be licensed and insured, but do check with everyone that you enquire with. To ensure that the quotes that you receive are as close to the final cost as possible, ask for a representative from the company to visit your workplace and do a full assessment.
Get a communication plan in place with your staff
Not everyone handles change well and while you may be really excited about your new office space, some people may be anxious about their new commute, where they are going to be sitting, and where the things they feel they need to do their job will be. You will know best how your team works and what they will respond well to so make a plan for them. It will also help if they could pack up their own belongings, so ensure that you factor in time in the work day for them to do this.
Change your stationery
Much the same as moving makes you realise how much stuff you have, it also makes you realise how much stationery you have – from letters to compliment slips, business cards and brochures. Put an order in for these and ensure that they are with you before you move, so as not to wait for couriers and shipping to keep up with you. Your clients will want to know where you are (and you’ll want to keep talking to them too!). Your web and IT team will also need to be ready to update your website and email signatures once you’ve moved.
Help your movers and help yourself
Labels are your friends when moving, both when packing up and unloading. Label each box with a correlating location number for its destination, ensuring that you have a spreadsheet on the go to keep track.
Enjoy your new office
All your preparation has finally paid off and you’re in! Time for a new start and a smooth settling in period – what are you doing with your staff to welcome them in? And have you thanked all the people involved in coordinating the process? It’s a lot of work, even if everyone involved has made it look simple and as stress-free as possible.
If you’d like to talk through your smooth move further, please get in touch.