If you thought moving house was stressful, try moving an entire office! Whether you’re a large global company or a SME, the simple task of packing up the entire contents of your business and shifting all your staff from one location to another is anything but simple. Essential equipment could be broken, paperwork could be lost, and any number of things could potentially go wrong, much like a house move. However, unlike moving house, if something goes wrong during your office move it can directly hit your bottom-line. The last thing you want when you move into your brand spanking new office is a queue of angry customers, so we’ve provided some of our top tips below to help your move go as smoothly as possible.
1. The early bird catches the worm
The sooner you start planning your office move, the smoother it will go. You’ll have time to make a proper inventory of all your equipment, plus get the best prices for IT installation, removals and other services. As a rule of thumb, an office move can take anywhere from six months to two years to plan.
2. Don’t forget the other side
You’re not only moving out of one building, you’re moving into another, so don’t forget to keep the building you’re moving into in the loop too. That way, you’ll know any specific building requirements beforehand, plus when you can actually move. Most buildings won’t let you move within office hours, so you’re likely to be moving in the evening or over a weekend.
3. Tell your staff
Your staff are the lifeblood of your organisation. Make sure you tell them as soon as possible about the move. This gives them time to sort out their own logistics – a different, potentially longer commute, clearing and tidying their desk space, and, of course, saying goodbye to their old building!
Similarly, give your department heads a heads up about the move well in advance. That will help them make an inventory of all their department’s equipment without needing to rush.
It’s also worth giving your staff a Friday afternoon to tidy and pack their things ahead of the move.
4. Put it on paper
You’d be surprised how many different documents, presentations and printed materials have your address on it. It takes time to hunt out and change all of these. Of course, you also need to budget for new business cards, letterheads, brochures and other materials.
5. Get expert help
Office moves can be complicated, so it’s worth getting in some experts who have the right resources, experience and manpower to help things run smoothly. Make sure they are insured, and keep them informed of your schedules, both buildings’ requirements and of any sudden changes. Also tell them whether you need specialist help with disconnecting or connecting IT equipment (and make sure all equipment is connected before your IT team arrives onto the new site to help speed things along!)