Relocating your business to a new office space can put a lot of stress on employers and employees alike, but ultimately it can benefit your team and the company’s bottom line. The key to successfully relocating your business is to plan ahead, divide tasks, communicate clearly and to get help along the way. In this step by step guide we will run you through everything you need to know to ensure your business can execute a smooth moving process that will allow for a seamless, stress-free transition to your new working environment.
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How to plan office relocation
Preparing for an office relocation should start with clear goals, timelines and a budget. In order to maximise your chance of meeting your goals and to minimise the level of difficulty, it’s important to start planning as early as possible. This way, if anything changes or goes off course from your initial plan you will have time to adapt and overcome without falling short of your overall goals. Setting early priorities with timeline and costs will help to make decisions throughout the moving process in terms of hiring professional removalists, booking dates and deciding on the services you require.
When devising your plan, it is recommended that you seek contribution from members of staff to ensure that their voices are heard throughout the creation of targets and strategies. This will ensure that the plan is created from a participatory model that will enhance efficiency, performance and enthusiasm among the team. Including other members or representatives of the staff from the start will also improve the communication and coordination of the plan and make the following steps easier to execute.
Whether or not the employees have been involved in the planning phase of the move, it’s important to provide clear notification of the plans to all of your employees as soon as possible. Failure to provide adequate warning of an office relocation can be jarring and stressful for employees who may have become attached or comfortable with the current environment. Moving can also add some extra tasks into the daily work day of employees, so it’s crucial that you give them enough heads up so they can account for that in their schedules and adjust accordingly.
Assign project manager
The next step in the moving process is to assign a project manager for the relocation. It’s important to have someone in charge and accountable for the progress of the move. Having someone in this role gives you a central point of command to which anyone can turn to if they are unsure what to do or need clear instructions for how to proceed. Most offices will have a clear candidate for this role. Generally an administrative assistant, team leader or someone with commercial relocation experience would be desirable. However, the key is to have someone who is organised, proactive and has good communication skills so that they can keep everyone updated on the progress and advised on any changes in the plan along the way.
Hire professional removalists
The plan you set at the beginning will help to find the right moving company that meets your specific needs in terms of dates, goals and costs. It’s a good idea to begin researching and booking the removalists as soon as you have locked in your dates to ensure that they are available on the dates that you need and so they can provide you with advice and assistance along the way. Depending on your budget and priorities you may want to hire a moving company that offers full service relocations. This takes the stress off your employees by assisting with the transit of items as well as packing, loading, unloading and unpacking. When hiring professional removalists for your office move it’s always crucial to also get transit insurance. Purchasing insurance is always a good idea when moving, but it’s even more important for an office relocation. Financially protect your business from any unforeseen circumstances by getting insurance for the move.
Backup and protect data
Cyber security and IT management might not be the first thing you think about or your top priority during a business relocation. However, data loss can cause huge problems for businesses undergoing relocation. For this reason it is important that you backup all of your essential data onto the cloud. This will enable a seamless transition for your IT team and ensure that nothing gets lost during the move. It’s also advisable that you protect your business against any breaches during the relocation process by ensuring you have a reliable cyber security system.
Plan to move your tech
In addition to backing up and protecting your data, moving your office’s computers and technical equipment is a big task that can cause some disruption for the productivity and efficiency of the business. To mitigate these issues and ensure that you are able to move without too much disruption to your business, it’s recommended that you create a specific tech relocation plan that you can execute in stages and begin as early as possible. This is particularly important for large businesses and those heavily reliant on technical equipment. Start by informing your IT team as early as possible of your moving date and assigning a project manager specific to the tech relocation to ensure that the plan stays on track.
Strategise your interior design
It’s essential to make sure that everything will fit in your new office ahead of time. A good approach is to get a map of your new office and to strategise exactly how you plan to lay out everything, from desks to technical equipment. If you’re downsizing then it’s important that you donate, sell or discard any excess furniture or equipment before you move. This will save you relocation costs and stress in the unpacking process. It is often a good idea to include the perspectives of employees in the interior design process. This can provide a detailed and unique perspective on how to maximise the efficiency of the space and the comfort of the staff.
Label, label, label
Labelling is one of the most useful and important strategies for ensuring that a business relocation goes smoothly. Searching through every box to find an important piece of office equipment can waste time, hinder productivity and increase the stress and frustration of the team during a period of instability. Labelling is the solution to this. By clearly labelling every box, bag and piece of equipment, and creating an inventory of all the labelled items, you will save yourself a huge amount of time and drastically increase the chance of a seamless business transition. Labelling and itemising everything will add a little bit of extra work upfront during your move, but the downstream benefits far exceed the initial investment. It’s recommended that you put a highly organised and diligent member of staff in charge of your labelling process.
Deep clean office
Once you’re ready to start the move, it’s time to clear out and clean up your old office. You don’t want to take any unnecessary items, documents or equipment to your new site. So it’s time to sell, donate or discard all of the excess, unwanted office items. Shred and discard all unnecessary papers and make sure that no important documents or information is left behind. Keep a record of all the items that you sold or donated for your accountants.
Update your address
The sooner you begin notifying all stakeholders of your address change and updating your business’ details in all necessary systems the better. Don’t forget to get all of your office equipment, such as business cards, envelopes and online directories, changed over with your new details as soon as possible. It’s also important to inform any customers, clients or suppliers so that you don’t upset any important relationships by failing to notify them or respond to them in a timely manner.
Celebrate your new office
After all the effort and time spent with the relocation process, it’s important to enjoy your success, to relish the new location and to celebrate the hard work of your team to get you there.