How To Prepare For An Office Move

This year has brought both challenges and opportunities to the door of organizations throughout the world. The ongoing economic impact of Covid 19 on international economies has forced many companies worldwide into rationalization exercises and for many other organizations, the government-mandated lockdowns have ushered in a brand new era of remote working. Even for those groups that were already contemplating such a working model, the coronavirus has hastened the transition to fully remote or blended work from home/office model.

With never seen before pressure on the bottom line, the cost of running large offices is a factor that has come sharply into focus as those offices lie empty. 

So, if your organization no longer needs that large office and the decision to relocate has been made, here’s how best to prepare for the transition to your new office space as highlighted by;

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

In a report commissioned by E., three-quarters of SMEs (small & medium enterprises) reported delaying relocation because of the stress associated with the move.  To minimize this stress a clear move plan must be put in place. This plan should;

  • Have input from each department involved – they know their needs best.
  • Clearly allocate the responsibilities of each department.
  • Define employee roles for both the packing and unpacking phases of the move
  • Set a clear timeframe for each aspect of the move 
  • Investigate any extra needs created by the new location
  • Allocate a budget for the move

Once the move master plan has been agreed and signed off it is essential that all parties involved in the moving process stick to the plan and remain within allocated time frames. To ensure this happens a person should be nominated to project manage the move.  This ‘move manager’ will act as a central point of contact for all participants and along with providing oversight on the masterplan, act as a single point of contact facilitating rapid decision making.

Common Mistakes

If the thought of relocating your office is daunting, take comfort that many organizations have done it before and there are some common mistakes that you can avoid. Make sure to transfer your utility providers in advance as any delay in connecting your internet service provider, for example, could prove to be hugely costly to your organizations’ productivity levels.  Have your post redirected to your new address to ensure you receive any post or packages already in transit.  Make sure that your new location does not have any restrictions pertaining to access between certain times – you don’t want your movers to be refused entry. Enquire with building management in advance about the availability of goods lifts etc as permission to use these often needs to be granted in advance.

Perhaps the most common mistake made however is that many organizations underestimate the time frames involved in a move.  What appears to be simple tasks can take longer than anticipated due to a lack of familiarity with the new surroundings.  It is sensible to factor in delays when agreeing on timeframes.

Beware of false economies

The temptation to cut costs and handle the logistical element of the move in-house is tempting, especially now that budgets are squeezed.  This would be a mistake.  The benefits of engaging the services of a reputable moving company outweigh the costs as, much like your IT department, they are experts in their field.  Their people will do what yours could do but do it faster, while causing less damage and without the risk of injury to your staff.  Choosing the right movers is, of course, essential but so is minimizing the cost, so always get multiple quotes before deciding.  

Make sure to enquire as to any extra services such as packing your moving company can provide as this can save you time and money.  Don’t be slow to check their online reviews as these can give you insight into the service provided to previous customers. Make sure that all quotes received are like for like and finally, confirm that your movers are fully insured.

Don’t Blow The Budget

When moving to a new office you have a clean slate onto which you can apply all the lessons learned from your old office providing a superb opportunity to improve your employees’ working environment.  That said, it is very easy to get carried away and allow the costs associated with the move to spiral out of control.  Yeah, it’s cool and all, but do you really need that pinball machine? Perhaps good modern office furniture is a better use of your resources?   It’s very important that you stick to the agreed budget as cutting your overheads is the reason you are in this new space in the first place.

Moving your office may be daunting but only if you let it be.  Yes, it is challenging but the move provides your organization with the opportunity to make those changes you have been contemplating for years.  Make the most of it.  

Challenges and opportunities.

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