There comes a point when you start to outgrow your current office space as you expand your company and business. When this happens, the next step is to relocate to a bigger and more modern office space. Just like moving into a new home, moving into a new office space is a process that you need to carefully plan for. Lack of planning may lead to avoidable problems such as damage to your equipment and disruption of your business operations. Here are some tips on how to plan a business move when you’ve outgrown your office space.
1) Assess the Needs of your Employees
Office relocation is a big and perfect opportunity to right your wrongs. Starting by taking the opinions and suggestions of your employees, you can build a better office space that’ll optimize your employees’ productivity levels. Be in tune and hear your employees out before you make any plans to move your office. Their inputs will be invaluable.
So, involve your employees before making any big decisions. Get inputs on office layout, meeting spaces, privacy levels, noise levels, mobility, and other aspects. By having a deeper understanding of the problems and needs of your employees, you’ll be able to manage their expectations better and boost their morale. You may also discover some important aspects that were neglected in the existing office setup.
2) Plan Early
In life, there are lots of things that you can wing. Moving office spaces is not one of them. You need to start the process of planning early by making a detailed timeline, setting up the logistics, and drafting roles for the move.
Failing to plan early, you may find yourself scrambling and missing a ton of things that you need to move. If you do careful planning, everything will be ready on the day of the move.
Planning early also includes having a blueprint of where things will go in your new office space. When planning the blueprint or office layout, you need to be careful and make sure that everything fits. So, before doing this, you need to measure your equipment, appliances, and furniture to see where it should be placed in your new office space. If you do so, the move will become a plug and play situation instead of a brainstorming session for where to put things.
On top of that, you also need to plan your budget so that you know how much you’ll be spending. Expenses include the cost of boxes, labeling materials, packing materials, and fees for moving services. Planning and accounting for all these items and steps may be overwhelming, so it’s important that you keep a checklist and a timeline to ensure smooth operations.
3) Appoint People In Charge
As part of your preparations for the business move, you need to appoint people and assign roles. Create a working team for the move. Within this team, you need to have a designated manager who can lead the team on the move. The designated manager should be on top of things and ensure that the move is progressing as planned. The manager should also assign roles to members of the team for the move. Roles for team members include the following:
- Inventory Officer (for office items, supplies, equipment, and furniture)
- Labeling and Packing Officer
- Coordinator for Internal Employees
- Coordinator for External Clients, Service Providers, and Counterparts
- Coordinator for IT
- Logistics Head
- Secretariat Head (for memos, regulations, and permits)
- Office Layout Officer
- Purchasing Officer
- Budget and Finance Officer
4) Make Announcements
This big move will affect not only internal employees but also external clients. Because of this, you need to inform everyone about this move months before it happens. You need to announce your office relocation to important clients or customers. By giving your employees a heads up, you’ll give them the time to clean up their desks and pack their things.
Besides your employees, you also need to inform external clients or counterparts about the big move. They need to know where they can send their documents or attend meetings once you move. Besides, you also need to inform them if the move will disrupt regular business operations to enable them to prepare contingency plans.
Internally, you can call a meeting to announce the office relocation and go into the details regarding the plans and timelines. As far as external clients and counterparts are concerned, you can announce the move by sending emails, posting on social media, or issuing a press release to get the word out. You may call or visit important clients to inform them in person.
5) Sync with Your IT Team
Moving into a new office space means that you need to disconnect and reconnect all your tech infrastructure. So, your plans need to be well-coordinated and in sync with your IT team as they’ll be your partners during the big move. You need to include your IT team during the initial planning and scheduling for your move.
Remember that you’ll be moving lots of technical equipment from one place to another. This means that your servers, internet plans, and computers need connection. This is a job that movers won’t be able to do for you. So, it’s critical that you bring your IT team up to speed and be in sync with all your plans.
6) Research on Moving Companies
As you move to a new space, you’ll be bringing lots of furniture and equipment. With the volume of things, you can’t do this alone, nor can your employees. So, you should do some research and get quotations from professional moving companies.
Every moving company will offer different rates and services. That’s why you need to strike the right balance between rates and services. Look for a professional moving service that’s within your budget without sacrificing quality. Ask around and search the web for recommendations on moving companies that are experienced in office relocations. Check out their track record and reviews from their past clients.
Also, when short-listing professional moving companies, you need to make sure that these office movers are licensed and insured. In the case of an accident, your furniture and equipment should be covered by insurance. On the other hand, the license will give you the comfort that the moving company is legitimate and won’t run away with your furniture and equipment.
7) Know the Building Rules
When moving large furniture and equipment, each building will have its own regulations about those things. So, make sure you know about the rules of the building you’re moving out from as well as the building you’re moving into.
Some buildings only allow movement of furniture and equipment during non-business hours. If this is so, you need to make special arrangements with your mover and employees to transfer your things during the weekend.
On the other hand, some buildings also require a formal letter to use the service elevator for transporting your equipment. Since your professional mover will use trucks, you may need to get a permit for the truck to enter the building premises on the day of the move.
8) Organization and Labeling
With so many things getting moved around, confusion and disarray are common. To prevent losing things, it’s important to label all your boxes and keep things organized. For instance, group all the things related to printers in one box. This means that toner, paper, printer, and staplers should all be together. The same goes for other types of items that can be clubbed together.
If you’ve got time and want to be more specific and organized, you can also label boxes with numbers and descriptions. Then, proceed on taking inventory of what’s in the box and put it into an Excel spreadsheet. This way, it’ll be easier for you to look for things at a click of a button. Sure, this requires a little more effort. However, it’ll truly save you a lot of time looking for things when you get to your new office space.
9) Make Sure Addresses Are In Order
As you move, you need to start updating your documents as soon as possible. You should start creating new letterheads, business cards, envelopes, and return labels with your printing press. Sometimes, it takes a while to have those printed. So, it’s better to have it ready before the move.
10) Notify Service Providers
Part of a smooth transition for office relocation is to be able to use the same service providers. To do this, you need to inform your current service providers for the telephone, internet, and utilities regarding your move so that they can connect their services in the new office space. You also need to inform any subscription services you’ve got with magazines or newspapers so that they can deliver to your new address. The government offices that you usually interact with need to be informed as well.
Moving your business from one office space to another can be a lot of work. Thankfully, with a good system in place and careful planning, you can seamlessly accomplish this task. As you navigate through the move, follow the guidelines and tips above to make the move as smooth as possible.