Whether your business is relocating to another province, or another part of the city, it pays to be prepared. The same goes for companies who have outgrown their current space, and need a bigger slice of real estate to set up shop, and stake their claim.
Moving the office is a complex affair, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one. By adhering to a specific checklist when preparing for moving day, business owners can vastly reduce employee stress, disruptions in business, and time needed to adjust within new surroundings.
PLANNING OUT THE MOVE
There’s a long road between planning an office move, and making it to the day of departure. This is a good thing, as it gives companies the necessary time to make sure their affairs are in order, while avoiding any nasty pitfalls. Ideally, companies should start planning for an office move a full 12 months from the actual date. Larger entities should extend this window between 16-18 months, just to be safe.
During this period, it’s important to take care of the basics, the first of which is deciding which location to move to. There are a number of factors to consider, from affordability, to average employee commute distance, and even the quality of broadband internet. Take the time to run through your company’s must-haves, and make sure your new spot can accommodate them. Don’t forget to check up on the fine print located in your property lease, as well as insurance costs, and even a floor plan for your new space.
MAKE THE ANNOUNCEMENT
There’s no sense waiting until the last minute to spring an office move on your employees and clients. Let everyone know what’s happening when the details have been ironed out, and the date has been set. Employees should have ample time to figure out things like commute times and travel costs, while landlords will need to be notified so as to avoid any possible conflicts.
Clients should also be made aware of the move. In fact, it’s a prime opportunity to bring your company back into their spotlight, especially if you’re experiencing a healthy growth spurt. Make sure to set up a date for an open house, to take full advantage of the networking opportunities that come with it.
On the business end of the spectrum, make sure to notify everyone from internet service providers and stationery companies, to financial institutions and insurance companies. If even one of these entities doesn’t get the memo, it could create a real headache during the moving process.
PREPPING FOR THE MOVE
When the ink has dried on all the contracts, and you’re ready for the big move, it’s time to prepare full-scale. This is the part where you and your team must identify everything needed for the big day. Figure out which pieces of office furniture are staying behind, and which are coming along for the ride, so as not to pack unnecessary items that aren’t needed. Next, figure out what goes where in terms of furniture and stationery, according to your new floor plan. That goes double for desking and team positioning.
Make sure to check off the fine details before moving day, as well. This can include a list of emergency contact numbers for those involved in the move, as well as things like temporary offsite storage, vehicle or tool rentals, and licenses/permits. The objective is to make the moving process as smooth as possible, not just for the sake of an easy transition, but also to get up to speed in your new location as quickly as possible. Every minute of downtime costs the company.
THE DAY OF THE MOVE
The big day has finally arrived, and it’s time for your company to break out of its shell, and move into new territory. Make sure that your planning has paid off so that things go smoothly. Stick to the itinerary, keep a close eye on checklists, and maintain close communication with the people you’ve assigned to lead the move, as well as third-party contractors.
It is recommended that companies have both internet and phone services activated as soon as humanly possible, either after the move, or (preferably) before it. Sometimes the latter is not possible, but this connectivity is the lifeblood of any modern business. Waiting until the last minute to plan for internet and phone setup can quickly mutate into a costly mistake that prolongs downtime, and leaves your customers and clients in the dark. Plan ahead, and keep tabs on your service providers to make sure everything’s going according to plan.
THE POST-MOVE SETTLING
Once the stress of moving day is over, you and your team can finally look forward to a new beginning. The work isn’t over, however. There’s a lot to do, from setting up desking, to getting everything up and running in terms of connectivity. Have your IT department hunker down and focus on making sure that your network is stable and smooth, and that all employees are properly wired up.
Also, run down a checklist of all the items in your inventory, to make sure they’ve arrived safe and sound. At the same time, check on delivery dates for any outstanding new stationery, office furniture or ancillary purchases that haven’t yet shown up, just to make sure nothing vital is missing.
When it’s all over, be sure to kick off an office-warming party for both your employees, and your clients, and allow them to enjoy the new digs. Change can be stressful, but it can also be exciting, particularly if there’s a promise of a bigger and better future down the road. A new office space can single-handedly revitalize morale, and shake things up in a positive way. As always, make sure to optimize the efficiency of your new workplace from day one, so you can start things off on a high note.