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9 Tips for a Successful Office Relocation
Moving home is one of life’s most demanding and stressful events. Office relocation is at least on a par with this, if not the more stressful of the two.
You have to move IT systems, heavy equipment and furniture, all without annoying your employees too much.
Here are 9 helpful tips to keep the move as smooth as possible.
1. Plan Ahead
First things first – you need a plan of action for your office relocation.
Ideally, you want to know where you’re going at least a few months in advance. Consult the floor plan and make decisions about how to arrange things in the new office.
Planning in advance means you don’t waste time at your destination thinking about what to do with all the stuff you’ve just hauled across town.
2. Take in the Space
Get a good grip on your new space, and think about any obstructions that will get in the way during your office relocation.
Ask the building manager to do a walkthrough with you so you can figure out what’ll work. This’ll help you realize if there’s any furniture that won’t fit. It’s better to get rid of that before, rather than after, the move.
Or if there are health and safety concerns you need to find a solution to before moving.
You should also check out the provision of utilities like air conditioners, to help you plan sensibly. Avoid putting desks right underneath these, for example.
3. Hire Professional Movers
If you’re a small startup which uses laptops and IT systems which are provided by someone else, you might be alright hopping in a taxi.
If you’re any bigger, you need professional movers to help you out.
They’re used to doing this work, and will carry it out far more efficiently than you could yourself. They can even help with unboxing your office equipment at the other end.
Once you’ve hired pros, stay out of their way and let them get on with the job.
4. Give Employees Time to Prepare
Don’t work your employees late the night before the move and expect them to be happy to stay to pack up the office.
Ideally, you’ll move over a weekend. You can then give them a few hours to pack up on a Friday afternoon. This helps to wind down the week, too.
Plan the company’s workload around this so that no one is working to a deadline on the moving date. Business comes first, after all.
Make sure that nothing gets left behind by inspecting the office once this is done. Check places that might be forgotten about, like cupboards or kitchen units.
5. Avoiding Irritation in a Co-Working Space
Moving your business into a new co-working space? Think about how you’re going to deal with your neighbors on the next desks.
Click here to see a good example of what we mean by a co-working space.
If you don’t have your own private office, plan out ‘separators’ between you and them so you can enjoy a little privacy. Don’t make it too obvious – things like bookcases which are open on both sides work as a good compromise.
But don’t start building a wall without saying hello!
Introduce yourselves and make a good first impression, and you’ll make friends straight away. It’ll definitely enhance the co-working experience in the future.
6. Set Up IT First
Unload all your phones and computers first so that the IT team can get to work. You need your new LAN and WAN connections set up as a matter of priority.
Everything else can wait. In fact, if you have a lot of IT equipment it might be a good idea to have your IT team work on that for a day at the new office before bringing the rest of the stuff in.
Perhaps even ask them to work over the weekend in exchange for a long weekend the following week. That way, your business won’t be interrupted on Monday morning by your IT guys putting everything together.
7. Tell Clients Where You’ve Gone
Don’t forget to let clients know that your address has changed.
You don’t want contracts and other important documents mailed to your last address.
You also don’t want to miss out on business because a client has been calling your old phone number and thinks that you’re ignoring them! Always keep them up to date with any changes to your contact details.
Just in case letters do get sent to your old address, use a mail forwarding service for six months or so to make sure they reach the new address.
Don’t forget to tell your firm’s bank and insurers about the change of address too.
8. Decorate Before the Move – Not Afterwards
If you’ve got artwork to hang or decorative needs, make sure this is sorted well before the office relocation takes place.
People aren’t going to be happy with painters milling around their desks, or the office reeking of paint for the first few weeks.
Get all your decoration done before the date of your office relocation. Work with the building manager to arrange access for your contractors.
9. Change Your Printed Materials
If you have letterheaded paper, envelopes, business cards, or other materials with your old address on it, it’s time for an update.
You need to change this before the time you arrive at your new office.
Order all of these in advance so there’s a stack of fresh materials waiting for you and your team.
That’s How to Have a Successful Office Relocation!
Time to celebrate the next stage of your company at your new location. It was stressful, but you made it. Thank your staff for their patience and perhaps even bring in a few beers to mark the event.
We hope it wasn’t as bad as you thought it might be!