What you need to know before moving the office
Office moving, in essence, isn’t too different from moving a house in the sense that you are moving items and furniture from one setting and into another. However, due to the difference in size, communication methods and nature of items being moved, moving offices can incur some unforeseen obstacles along the way.
Establish an office moving committee
Just like any business activity, it is important to know who is responsible for what task. Knowing who is making what decision ensures accountability and responsibility, this leaves no room for “accidentally overlooked tasks.”
Identify the required tasks and delegate
The task required for each individual business may vary, therefore your committee’s first efforts must be on identifying requirements unique to your business. Once your unique needs are identified, then respective tasks can be drawn and then itemised to be delegated amongst committee members. When forming a moving committee and delegating tasks, ensure delegated tasks are achievable and also measurable.
Set a schedule for the move
State deadlines for each of the itemised tasks. It also helps to have a couple of days as a buffer, in case there is a last-minute change or a key committee member’s absence.
Hire office movers
Be sure to book in early. Booking in advance allows you to look at a greater number of options. Choose your mover based on location, cost, and reviews (btw. check out this article to learn how to identify fake reviews), booking in advance allows you to examine all the factors rather than getting locked into what is left and available. Be sure to read up on our guide on identifying genuine reviews (TBA).
Establish a communication plan (INT/EXT)
Your office is likely to have departments, varying hours for different individuals. Everyone at your office needs to be on the same page and word of mouth isn’t going to cut it. Identify what suits your business and your office environment best to communicate internally. I highly recommend that you use multiple channels. For instance, you may send out an email, a physical note, and also have a department leader may also give heads up (for smaller size offices, a staff meeting would suffice).
- Inform your suppliers about the relocation. Externally, your clients and suppliers must also be informed about your office moving in a timely manner. Depending on the industry you’re in and your suppliers’ geographical location, you may need to inform about your supplier considerably earlier. Once the shipment leaves the warehouse, most often you won’t be able to redirect the shipment, or it will incur additional costs. Make sure that you get a form of reply from your supplier/suppliers acknowledging your office is moving. An email reply would suffice.
- Communicate your move with customers. Clients also need to be informed of the upcoming relocation. Find out what client communication method best suits you and utilise one that is less labour intensive. For instance, if you have a client’s phone number, you may opt to send out automated text messages over calling them individually. However if your client tells requires an individual phone call, do not hesitate to have those phone calls made. Remember that at the end of the day, it is about the requirements of your business.
Employs pack up their own workstations
While you will need to hire a professional move, it would be best for each employee to pack up their own workstations:
- Continuity: if the same person packs and unpacks, it ensures continuity of workflow. It also prevents documents and equipment from being misplaced or going missing.
- Accountability: each employee is aware of what items and what documents they are responsible for. The last thing your business wants is to have a bunch of sensitive information about your client or other sensitive materials to be left behind.
Familiarise with the new office layout
Once settled in, familiarise yourselves with the new layout. Where possible try to carry over similar workflow geographically within the office. Once again, each office is unique, therefore identify what works the best for your business.