Moving Office in 22 Steps
During the past few weeks, we here at 247meeting have been in the throes of moving office, an often tedious project but with the right strategy, it really doesn’t have to be that way. We decided to retrospectively compile a guide on what you should consider when making the big move in order to make the transition as seamless as possible.
Prep – an obvious place to start, but a well-coordinated plan will make life much easier down the road.
- Start early by designating someone or even a team to manage the move. Make an inventory of all furniture and their dimensions. Measure your new office layout and plan where each piece of furniture will go. Consider donating any furniture that can’t be accommodated in your new office.
- Inform people of the move – naturally, you aren’t going to forget to tell your staff about the move, but the earlier you can inform them, the better. They can then plan in advance how to alter their commutes to the new location. Create a list of clients and other people you need to send a change of address to.
- Hire your moving company and inform your current landlord of the move – there may be building restrictions on moving during business hours, causing too much disruption etc. By taking care of this during the earlier stages of preparation, you can lay down a concrete plan of the logistics on moving day. It also helps to have the movers visit the office you’re moving from and the office you’re moving to as well as sharing the new layout with them.
- If it’s going to be a big undertaking, consider allowing employees to work from home. You may also consider moving outside of business hours when roads will be less congested and company downtime kept to a minimum.
- Consider the nature of your new location – is there parking? What public transport is nearby? Is there a place to store bicycles? Where are the sockets located? Are there restaurants nearby? Is there a shower? What IT facilities exist in the new location? All this information should be disseminated throughout the office in as much detail as early as possible. This also has the spin-off effect of engaging your staff with the move, perhaps even generating excitement.
- Check how it will affect your insurance – if your new office has additional security measures and features, or is even located on a higher floor you may have less premium to pay. Sadly, the opposite is also true if otherwise.
- Develop a strategy with your IT department – are you going to get a new internet line for your office? What kind of framework is already in place? Are there phone-lines? Are there enough wall and floor sockets?
Moving day and the week prior – from planning thoroughly in advance, you should have a solid foundation to begin the physical process of moving.
- Make sure employees are aware of the impending moving date and the plan of proceedings – you may have hammered this down with employees recently, but another gentle reminder a few days out doesn’t hurt.
- Ask each employee to look after their own items – anything on or surrounding their desks should be packed into boxes by themselves. By assigning each department a colour, and each employee a unique number clearly marked on each box, these boxes should be easily identifiable on arrival. Encourage staff to carry as many smaller items as possible to save space.
- Assign team leaders to each department – these team leads can overwatch smaller details like where full boxes should be stored and in what order. Team leaders may also be responsible for ensuring each area has been completely cleared and that nothing has been left for the landlord to awkwardly remove.
- Label and code everything – number every box, detail what’s inside on each side of the box. Make a list with each box’s number and brief detail on its contents. Needless to say, this will make life while unpacking much easier after moving in to the new office.
- Plan in what order things are to be removed by the movers – this should rely on efficient planning of the layout of your new office i.e. things that are furthest away from the entrance point of the new office should be brought in first. If you’re moving furniture, do this first, followed by IT equipment.
- Stay in touch with removers and team leads during the moving process – without IT on the day, consider using a mobile conference call app. With this service you don’t have to depend on landlines, simply start a conference call from your mobile in seconds.
- Prearrange to have all the necessary paperwork done and dusted before moving day – licenses and permits left last minute can needlessly hamper your chances of a clean move. Don’t leave anything to chance or costs could suddenly start to rise.
- Ensure all the new locks and codes of your new office have been taken care of and shared with the necessary people – taking care of this in advance should save you some effort once you’ve finally moved in, no need to be standing at the door all day letting people in.
- Plan to have furniture in place before staff arrive at the new office – have each desk labelled with their employee’s name. Your staff should have already seen a plan on whereabouts they will be located in the new office. This means that upon arrival, your employees can collect their boxes and immediately begin arranging their desk, leaving plenty of time afterwards to deal with any IT issues that may occur.
- Ensure IT arrangements have been made and are in order – you may be changing your service provider, or simply moving the registered address of your current one. Make sure this switch has been completed before you arrive at the new location so you can begin setting things up as soon as possible.
- Arrange for cleaners – ensure that after you leave your old premises arrange to have the space cleaned. This small courteous act can speak volumes for your company’s reputation.
After the move – sadly you’re not quite out of the woods yet, but the hardest part is over at least. Here’s what to consider after moving office.
- Arrange for each employee to receive a welcome pack – some small gizmos for their desk, a voucher for a nearby restaurant, and even some sweets as a means of saying thank you for their patience, cooperation, and effort.
- Check that everything is in working order – ask your staff to fill out any suggestions or complaints that they may have about the building, parking, IT services, etc. Follow up on these as soon as possible.
- Remind necessary parties of address change – it’s always best to hammer down this point to avoid any miscommunication in the future.
- Plan an office warming party – perhaps take an afternoon off on your first Friday to celebrate your move as a company. This should boost employee morale and provide time for employees to reflect on the move and share stories.
And just like that, you’ve moved office! Now to make yourself at home and feel invigorated by your new surroundings.