Office Relocation Tips from the Professionals
An office move can be a great step for the company, once it is complete. You can just envision the new working space with new features and a better organization. But until you get to that, you first need to actually move the whole company or organization to another place! This can be very stressful and tricky to do.
It doesn’t matter if you are expanding the firm or just moving it to another location — you have to think about how you’re going to execute the move.
1. Make a Decision About the New Place
Before you initiate the whole moving process, you need to make a solid decision about where the ideal new office space will be. Think about the following things:
Location: You want to pick a location that is safe, so it may be wise to check the neighbourhood crime rates and criminal activity. Also, keep the size of the new place in mind, and how much it will fit your needs.
Equipment: Don’t forget to check Internet connection, telecommunications, workstations, and anything else you might need.
Space: How many people will work in the office? Who needs his/her own office? How will you distribute the departments?
2. Office Move Project Plan
You can’t just pack up and move — it’s not that simple, especially if your company currently occupies a large space or if you have a lot of employees. Before you start executing the actual move, make sure that you make an Office Move Project Plan. In this plan, you will determine who will be in charge of the move, establish a budget estimation, maybe create a team that will help out with the move, and make an exact plan of finishing up the pre-move and moving activities.
For that purpose, you can use an Office Move Project Plan Template (there are many of them available online for free), or you can make your plan from scratch according to what you need more precisely. The thing that you absolutely cannot forget to include in your plans is the timeline of the moving. This is of great importance, and it will guide the whole firm through the process.
3. Make an Announcement
You should make sure that you announce the move to all the employees in the company as soon as possible. The sooner they know, the sooner you can all get organized and accustomed to the upcoming changes. Send out a detailed email, have a presentation, or send out a video announcing the move. Whatever works for you.
You should include as many details as you possibly can in the announcement so that the employees can accept the change more easily. Be available for questions that the personnel might have, and tell them that there is a detailed plan of which all the employees will take part.
4. Don’t Forget to Communicate
Just announcing the move and answering some questions won’t be enough to get your employees involved in the process of moving or settle their fears. Give some time for the news to sink in — and to reach everybody in the company — and then start the open communication.
The feedback from your employees can be invaluable to the whole moving process and the setup of the new location. They can give you ideas and preferences on work-space needs, equipment for the offices, the style of the workplace, design tips, and any potential issues.
You can do the communication in many ways, such as:
Intranet: Companies that use the Intranet can use it in this instance too. The information will reach everybody in the company in the shortest period.
Meetings: Staff meetings are another idea, but this only applies to companies that are not that large.
Email: You can send out an email to everybody; however, the back-and-forth communication might get complicated if the employees are in bigger numbers and have a lot of questions/suggestions.
Before you open the communication with your employees, you first need to:
Define the timeline: Make sure you include all the key steps that the move will contain and the tasks that are expected of everybody.
Instructions for packing: Provide tips and pointers for your employees as to how they should pack up their stuff. Point out the deadlines!
New Office: Inform your employees about what you’re planning to do with the new office and how things will be set up there.
Parking and commute options: Make this important information available to your employees so they can prepare their new routes for the day-to-day work.
5. Make a Moving Committee
After everybody is informed about the move, and the day of moving is coming closer, you will need some help to make the whole process as fast and easy as possible. You can either ask for employees to volunteer, or you can pick those who you think will be of great help.
You can make a task separation and assign tasks to different people from the team. Don’t forget to do thorough research before you go ahead and hire a moving company. The moving committee can verify whether the prices are within your planned budget, and decide which moving company will provide the best service accordingly to your needs.
Let the committee think very carefully about which things to pack first, and which things to pack last. Usually, the things that you don’t use very often in your day-to-day routine should be packed first as early as possible. The other things that are very necessary for the company to function have to be packed on the day of the move.
6. Inform Your Clients
Announcing the move to your employees is a very important thing, but they are not the only ones that should be informed about this. The people that the company collaborates with have to know that you will have a new address and that you may not be working for a while until you set everything up in the new place.
Appoint one person of the committee to make a list of every client and collaborator of the company that needs to be informed about the move. After that, a few people can notify everybody via email or phone.
The customers have to know about the move as well. You shouldn’t leave your customers in the dark, so they won’t come to your door to find it locked. Announce the move at least one month before it happens, and provide information on where the new location will be and when it will open.
Also, inform banks, insurance companies, service providers, vendors, suppliers, and whoever else may be affected by your move.
In conclusion, although a move of the business can be a pretty stressful and long process, you should put a lot into planning everything out, and a good outcome will be guaranteed.