Author Bio: Jessica is the head of content for hireamover.com.au– her fathers moving company. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling around the world to different surf spots and tasting the local cuisine.
How to Plan and Organize an Office Move
Planning an office move can be daunting, to say the least. It is not simply a case of moving furniture and technology; entire departments must be reestablished in an entirely new environment, and the floor plans alone can seem like a complex jigsaw puzzle.
There are many needs to be met, logistical issues to be solved, and business disruptions to consider. Allocating tasks in order to complete the move effectively can be a challenge in itself, so there is a great deal to think about. However, when done with planning and precision, an office move doesn’t have to be problematic.
The below steps will help you understand the necessary process for a seamless office move:
- Create a detailed plan in advance
An office move is going to be a big job, even for smaller companies. That’s why it’s normal to start planning at least six months in advance. Bigger corporates may even need to plan for a couple of years before executing a move. Your plan should include a detailed, ordered task list from start to finish, with clear deadlines for each. It should also include employee allocations for each task, and overall management of the move.
- Choose a move coordinator
It helps to have one person overseeing the entire move. This person will need to be incredibly organized and respected within the company – after all, they need to be perceived as an authority in order to enforce both deadlines and decisions. They’ll also be representing the company in all external communications. Be sure that your move coordinator is a natural decision maker, as many quick decisions will need to be made as the plan rolls out.
- Select a move team
Now that you’ve decided on a move coordinator, work with that person to select a reliable move team. These people will need to be able to work closely with your coordinator, and they’ll need to be very much ‘on the ball’ when it comes to attention to detail. They will help you with the planning phase, including task lists and order, and designation of tasks and creation of targets and deadlines.
They will also be organized and forward thinking, and they won’t be shy about organizing others or dealing with issues that arise. Your move team should have a good understanding of company operations and priorities; lastly, common sense is a vital trait, as they’ll have to predict issues, think in terms of security and realistically consider the new infrastructure and space available.
- Devise a timeline
The first thing to consider when devising your timeline is when the current lease runs out. Ultimately that’s your deadline, but you won’t want to plan the final stages too close to that in case of unforeseen delays. Get together with your move team and work out how long it will take to prepare the new office. Factor in renovations, procurement of new furniture or technology, and getting rid of what you no longer need from your current office.
- Set a realistic budget
Obviously budget is directly related to size. You will need to think about external services you’re going to be paying for, such as a removal company or any space planners you might need to hire. Tired old furniture or equipment might need to go, so factor in the costs of replacements.
Insurance is another consideration – damage or loss is all too common when you have an entire office to relocate. You’ll need to estimate the cost of packing materials, and even allow for staff overtime if applicable.
- Plan the new office space
It’s important to have a customized relocation plan in place for the space you’re moving to. To make this easier, gather information such as total number of employees, and furniture, technology and equipment inventories. This is a good opportunity to decide on what will be replaced.
Construct a clear map of the new office, and plan out where your workspaces will be positioned; the same goes for positioning of all your furniture and equipment, and note down where power outlets are situated. Take into consideration any issues with your current floor space so as to avoid them in the new one.
Pass a copy of the plan to your IT team and any data and wiring contractors you’re using. If you’re using a removal company, make sure they also have a copy of this plan. The same goes for furniture suppliers, electricians and technicians. Your staff should all be given a finalized copy too.
- Compare quotes and services from several providers
Get in touch with various service providers so that you can compare quotes, and don’t be afraid to negotiate. This can save you a lot of money! It is important to make sure you choose a moving company that are accustomed to handling your company’s type of equipment and/or products. Even if you have insurance, it is wise to choose a company that is experienced at expensive equipment (and even sensitive information if necessary).
- Announce your move to current providers and clients
So as not to be billed for services you’re not using, be sure to notify the appropriate service providers in advance of your move. That may include the post office and any courier companies you regularly use or receive deliveries from. If you have subscribed to any magazines or papers, notify them too. The same goes for government departments you communicate with, and telecoms providers.
If you are going to transfer your providers to the new space, arrange to set up and test all lines and connections before your IT team attempts to set up your equipment. Utility providers will need to know about your move. You’re going to need to order new company stationery and marketing materials, so let your printer know in good time too.
- Notify all clients and customers of your move
It’s very important to make sure all of your customers and clients are aware of the new office location and contact numbers. Do this well ahead of the physical move so that they are prepared for any delays in communication or service (as well as alternative options). These issues can be difficult to avoid during such a disruptive and busy time.
It’s easy enough to get the information out there: make sure the information is clear on your website. Attach flyers or postcards to marketing materials, invoices and receipts. Send an email out to your database announcing the move, or send out a press release. Add the information into company newsletters. Make an announcement on social media and pin it to your timeline, or create a banner.