Office Move Survival Guide
The thought of having to move office can be daunting! Packing everything up and making sure it all gets set up properly on time, in the right place with zero business downtime can certainly be a big task. We have put together this office move survival guide to help make your project go as smoothly as possible!
First of all, having a clear project plan is going to be absolutely vital to make sure you can keep track of everything that’s going on. You can create your own in a spreadsheet or use various programmes and templates available online. Be sure to map out all the different areas you need to consider, and which tasks need to be completed. A great way to do this is to have a planning session with everyone involved such as your IT department and anyone else that is involved in the project. Once you’ve mapped out all the actions be sure to assign names and deadlines to the tasks set. This is particularly important because sometimes things must happen in a certain order, so you’ll need to be able to spot if something is going to be delayed and what knock on effect that will have on the rest of the project.
If you have the budget to do so, outsourcing as much as possible will be of great use and save your precious time allowing you to maintain your other workload on top of this project. Business doesn’t stop just because you’re moving office so it’s important to remain productive in your day to day tasks and maintain business as usual.
Our Top Tips for Office Moves!
Make sure you have a clear idea on what your IT requirements are and ensure that these can be met in your office space. Be sure to consider what internet speeds you need for your business to operate effectively. Make sure that there is enough server space available for any equipment you will need to put there if using your own systems. Check lead times on any new equipment you need to order and allow some contingency time if you can just in case there is a problem with delivery. Double check the number of internet ports and network ports that are in the office and ensure this is adequate for the equipment you will be putting in there!
If using your own furniture this can be one of the trickiest parts to move without effect business operation as these items will be in use right up until close of play that day. If you can, it might be worth planning to complete the move on a Friday evening, so the office can be setup over the weekend with little interruption (providing your business doesn’t operate on weekends!). Some office furniture suppliers can move your furniture for you – this is a great option as the people that are moving it are familiar with the furniture and how to dismantle and rebuild it properly.
The goal is to move everything with no damage to any equipment! Because of this, it’s a good idea to look at moving crates and packing materials that can usually be hired at a relatively low cost. If you’re using a moving company for this, be sure to check what materials they provide and ensure that this will be suitable to getting your equipment to the new location safely.
To avoid a hideous first morning in the new office, it’s a great idea to test out the new office before it officially goes live. You can do this simply by taking a laptop and testing the connections to your main programmes that you use such as CRM systems, finance systems etc. This gives you some time to fix any issues that may come up in advance and avoid all hell breaking loose when people come in and can’t work! Be sure to test the phones and all other critical equipment also.
Make sure you consider how the office is going to be cleaned and who is responsible for that. Some office buildings include this within the lease but others you will need your own contract in place. Make sure you set this up in advance to start as soon as you have people in there to maintain high standards of your working environment. It’s also a good idea to arrange a clean before everyone comes in for their first day to give the best possible impression of the office to your staff.
Communicating to Staff
Make sure that all staff members are clear on the plan of action and understand what is required of them to ensure a smooth transition. It might be nothing at all, but communication is key and staff members will feel valued by being kept in the loop. It’s good to make sure there are multiple reminders and not just instructions via email. Ask Managers to ensure their teams are clear on the plan and make sure everyone is happy with how to get to access the new office so there are no excuses on day 1!
If there’s certain aspects of your brand that you display in the office, try and make sure these are in place before your staff arrive. You want your team to feel comfortable right away when they get to the new office and some great branding can give that wow factor.
Access & Security
Check what the access and security is like for the new location and make sure everyone understands this. That would include building opening times, out of hours access and making sure everyone can access the building when they need to. This may require getting key fobs or passes created in advance, so staff can be given it before day 1 in the new office.
Don’t forget to let customers, suppliers and prospects know about your move! Be sure to notify the relevant people to get your website, letterheads and marketing materials etc updated with the new address. Also make sure your address is updated with all finance associated organisations such as HMRC and Companies House.
Of course, you hope that everything will go perfectly according to plan, and you won’t need a back-up plan but it’s good to prepare in advance what contingencies you can use should the worst happen. One idea for this is to have an overlap of a week or two on the leases for your existing office and your new office. Although this will cost more in rent, it will mean that you can revert back in an emergency or you can remain in your existing location if the move date needs to be pushed back. Having your existing lease finish before your new lease starts can be risky if something does go wrong and could end up being costly if it impacts your business operation.
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