An expanding business often results in relocation. Of course, it isn’t a bad thing. However, when a business begins to grow, more office space is usually needed. Choosing an office space for your business isn’t easy whether you are moving from a small office to a bigger new workspace or from one commercial building to another.
But relocating is one of the most stressful situations for a company and can distract day-to-day business operations. It’s not just a task for your facilities team but a task that also requires input and communication from all areas of your company for it to be successful.
To make your move a success, here are the best practices to remember throughout the process:
Develop a Checklist
Once the phases are determined, develop a comprehensive checklist showing all the details to be tracked and settled. Confirm that the checklist for each phase is coordinated with your schedule and ask your team members to contribute to making the checklists comprehensive as well. Review the checklists frequently to confirm tasks are being completed as planned at each phase and add new items as they arise.
Assign a project leader to manage the entire process and ensure the project manager has authority to make decisions. The quality of your office move depends on the organization and communication skills of your project leader and the team’s cooperation.
Prepare a Timeline
A lot of companies underestimate the time needed in planning and coordinating the office move. Keep in mind, you may also have to balance your current workload and commitments with moving responsibilities. Make sure your management sees the worth in planning and the required time of commitment.
Involve your IT Team Early on
IT services are critical to productivity and keeping all systems and processes running smoothly in addition to providing the connection to your customers. Make sure the phone lines and Internet connections are ordered well in advance and tested prior to move-in. Transitioning these services to a new site requires thorough planning.
Make sure all your clients and associates are informed that your availability may be a bit limited especially on the day of the move. This can also be a great opportunity for some companies to have some face time with clients.
Work on weekends
Although moving on a weekend means losing days off, it will likewise give the IT department a cushion should there be unforeseen setbacks.
Make Use of Additional Resources
In case you use movers or other service companies to assist in specific phases, make sure everyone on your team is aware of who they are, who the internal contact is and when they will be involved to assure a smooth integration of needed help.
Pack and Label
There is less downtime if the move is quicker. It’s important to label all computers, printers, and other IT equipment indicating who it is assigned to or what room it should go in so movers won’t waste time asking on the day of the move.
Set a Realistic Budget
Cost savings is usually the objective of an office move. Review your initial budget carefully and add items that require additional funding. Don’t try to cut corners by not hiring professional expertise because they can help avoid mistakes and is less costly than hiring them after you run into problems.
Thoroughly map out in advance where your IT equipment needs to be set up. Determine security, HVAC and electrical requirements, permits and work with your future landlord to ensure that your needs are met. Don’t wait until you’ve moved in to decide what goes where.
Include a Back Up Plan
Get your employees to backup of all their files, either via a cloud service, flash or other external hard drives. The IT department should make a list of materials needed to set up the equipment at the new office and make sure to have spares of everything from copier ink to connectors such as RJ45’s.
Regularly communicate the status to management and keep employees in the loop. The progress on checklist items and timelines is critical to keep the project on track and everyone’s tasks coordinated. Provide management full visibility to ensure a quick resolution should problems arise. To encourage enthusiasm and engagement for the move, provide employees with regular status updates.
Moving offices can be a smooth process with some careful planning. Your move to a new office will be a success when you and your team invest in planning and make the most of the opportunity.Furthermore, the new office will improve morale, productivity, collaboration and impacts overall business performance.
Do you have a moving practice in mind? Feel free to share it with us.