Moving offices is an exciting and transformative step. It shows that your business, no matter the size or industry, is ready for change and growth. Before all that change and growth happens, however, you first need to plan how you’re going to move and then actually make the move.
What you must remember is that there are certain differences between moving into an office for the first time and moving offices from an old space. For example, you already have existing equipment and furniture. Unless you’re throwing away or donating the whole lot, you’re going to have to make adjustments to fit everything in the new space.
To make things a little easier and more seamless, check out these best practices when moving to a new office.
Plan Early and Carefully
This is the most important part of moving offices. Once you’ve found a place for the relocation, the next immediate step should be planning the move. Allocate about three months for this stage, which involves multiple facets. First, you have to plan the layout of the entire space. Are you going to be in an expansive warehouse-type office or will you be occupying multiple floors? You also have to account for important details like the number and location of electrical outlets, windows, and storage areas. There are times when you have to hire contractors like carpenters and electricians so you can truly maximise the space.
Planning also involves proper scheduling. When do you need to have everything ready? More importantly, when is the actual moving date? If you’re scheduling it on a business day, this means you won’t be able to accommodate client requirements, appointments, and the like. Make sure you coordinate this with the parties concerned. You also have to settle if you’re planning to move in phases or do it all in one day. Finally, make sure that you have a detailed budget.
Find a Moving AND a Cleaning Company
Another important part of the planning stage is finding not just a moving company but also a commercial cleaning crew. For the moving company, check their range of services. There are those classified as full service, meaning they will do everything for you. This includes safely boxing or wrapping your equipment and furniture, and then unwrap and unpack them upon delivery. However, do note that full service movers will cost more. A key thing is to check their experience and quality of work, especially with regards to handling sensitive equipment such as computer servers.
Meanwhile, for the cleaning company, make sure you hire a reputable group. You don’t want to move into your new office with dust and dirt still fluttering around, do you? Cleaning crews ensure that the place is organised and spotless; they can also take care of your rubbish and recycling, ensuring that they get disposed of properly. In times of pandemics and other health emergencies, check if the cleaning company also offers deep cleaning services to ensure the safety of your personnel.
Organise and Label Everything
Even if you’re hiring a full service moving company, you still have to be on top of the packing. Make sure that everything is properly inventoried and labeled; this makes the moving-in process so much easier. Sort or group your supplies and equipment, then pack them in accordingly. This way, once you move in, you can easily find everything and set them up. For your staff, give them enough time to sort their desks. Give them each a box and some packaging tapes, then ask them to properly label their stuff as well. Make sure to give them a clear schedule, so they’re not rushing to get their things in order. Most won’t need more than a couple of hours to pack, but it’s still best to allocate ample time to prevent any last-minute rush.
Assign a Moving Team or Coordinator
For a smoother transition from your old office to the new, consider appointing a moving team or coordinator. They will be responsible for ensuring that everyone and everything is ready for the big move. In addition, the moving team or coordinator will be the point-person just in case anyone has questions regarding the schedule and other details. For bigger offices, it’s a good idea to assign a person or two to be the coordinators per department.
Inform ALL Stakeholders
Moving offices also means changing addresses, at the very least. Make sure to inform everyone that needs to be informed, including labour unions, clients and partners, as well as utility companies. Do this in advance, and then again once you’ve moved and settled in to the office. It’s also a good idea to pre-order business cards and other items such as office stationery to bear your new address. This way, you can hit the ground running once you’ve moved.
Moving offices takes a lot of tedious work. However, putting in the effort means everyone in your office will have a smooth transition from the old to the new place. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll have an easy time keeping things in order.