An office move is bound to be a scarily difficult task, and one thing they’re not known for being is easy! So many things could go wrong… Picture this, one day after the move you’re looking for your favourite pen and you can’t find it. Documents flying everywhere, fights breaking out in the parking lot, it’s pure chaos! We don’t want this to happen.
In all seriousness, office moves are difficult to get right. They’re gritty and require someone who has great attention to detail. Hopefully our tips below can help you iron out any looming questions about your moving plan.
This is obvious, but it needs to be stated. The general rule of thumb is to start planning far in advance. Around 6-8 months in advance is perfect for a small to medium sized business. Time management is the key element for a successful move. Start by laying the groundwork of your logistical plan.
First things first, set a budget. Understand how much it will take for you to physically move all your equipment from location A to location B. It’s important for you to procure multiple quotes from various professional packers and movers, compare them to see who can provide you the best service for the best price. Moving companies are not in short supply now, you will be able to find multiple companies through a quick search on the internet or through your local yellow pages.
A common misconception is that once a plan has been made, it is an iron clad document that can’t be changed, this is a lie! Allow your plan room to breathe, in doing so, you’ll be letting yourself breathe.
You’re Not Alone
Teamwork makes the dreamwork! Projects that yield the best results are ones that a bunch of individuals equally collaborate on. So, don’t be afraid to delegate. Create a team of people who you can assign tasks to do and then set deadlines. It will limit stress and ensure that you keep to your time constraints, moving the process along nicely.
It’s important to know who needs to be involved and at what capacity. Upper management will need to be involved for the budget approval, but will they need to be involved for sealing boxes? Your IT Department will need to be involved in determining which equipment to move and how long it will take to reinstall it all in the new office, but they do not need to be involved in updating your address listings.
Psst, come in Alpha One, over. It’s important to be in constant communication with your team, the movers, the new buildings landlord, etc. If any person involved is kept in the dark, then this can lead to awkward settings. You do not want to arrive at the new office with a truck full of equipment to find out you don’t have the security clearance to come in and place your boxes.
Similarly, let the concerned people know that you are moving out. Let suppliers/clients know where to redirect their monthly invoices, delivery of paper, or Christmas cards.
An office move is not just about sitting around a table and discussing which tape to use when sealing boxes, no, it is a project rife with opportunity. For example, your IT Department will have been bugging you about getting a new printer for years, but there was never a perfect time to grant their wishes.
You can use your packing time to undertake a definitive hardware audit. Understand what physical equipment you have, what is needed and what is obsolete, and update accordingly.
Pro Tip: The equipment you have deemed obsolete and will not be moving to the new location can be recycled, yes, but you can also save money. Movers will typically calculate their cost based on items and weight they’ll be moving. So, if you can cut down on the number of items you’re moving, and hence decreasing the weight of the overall move, you’re in the green!
While preparing and conducting the move, it would be great to get your team to document a list of all the tasks they have completed. Now you’re standing in your new space, you can refer to that checklist, and make sure everything is perfect. For example, one of your team members documented that 10 chairs belong to the Accounting Department – does accounting have 10 chairs now? Another team member documented every client/supplier they corresponded with regarding your new address – give them a friendly call back to remind them, all in the name of double checking.
In this day and age, IT services are vital to the everyday health of your business. Take care in the early days that all your systems are up and running smoothly. No internet connectivity issues, no phone line issues, servers and databases are working fine.
Office moves are difficult. The whereabouts of your favourite pen is imperative to your work life. Therefore, it’s important to take a second and really plan everything, so your move becomes easier and that you can always keep an eye on your pen.
You’re not alone in this daunting task, create a team to help you and delegate wisely! Make sure to keep a healthy line of communication between all parties involved in the move.
Be proactive and grasp the opportunities in front of you, whether that be an impromptu hardware audit or getting the most out of your team. Keep everyone honest by being due diligent after the move, you’ve come this far, so stick the landing.