Whether you’re a small business operating from home or a big company relocating to a new building, you will want to make sure your office move causes as little disruption to your business as possible.
1. Start Planning as Early as Possible
Once you’ve made the decision to move, it’s time to start planning. The earlier you start, the smoother your relocation will be.
• Draw up a to-do list with everything that needs to get done, down to the smallest task.
• Create an inventory of all your office furniture and take note of any additional equipment you may require in your new space.
• Measure and draw a floor layout of your new office space then use it to plan where everything needs to go. By doing this you will quickly identify and solve potential problems such as areas of congestion or office furniture that won’t fit.
• Keep all your moving notes, to-lists, checklists and other important documents in a central location so that everything can be located quickly and easily
• Get quotes from moving companies and other service providers to set a realistic moving budget.
• Update all your client, employee and supplier lists.
• Determine if you need to take out moving insurance for any important equipment or machinery.
• Once you have the basics in place, tell your employees about your intention to relocate, providing them with as much information as possible. Details to include are the following:
Reason for the move
What future information they can expect to receive
• Continue to communicate regularly with your employees in the months and weeks leading up to the move.
• Get feedback from your employees to determine what their needs may be and get suggestions on practical changes you can adopt at your new premises.
• If you have a larger team, create a voluntary moving committee and assign necessary tasks accordingly. Allowing employees to undertake move related work during office hours will go a long way in motivating volunteers.
• Decide who will be where on moving day.
• Arrange for furniture removal timeously.
• Make sure that your clients, suppliers, service providers and other relevant parties are aware of your intention to move and are given your new address and contact details timeously.
3. Stay Organised
• List priority items that need to get packed last and unpacked first.
• Use a number or colour coding system to mark each department or employee’s equipment and boxes to ensure that everything goes exactly where it needs to on moving day.
• Assign timelines to all important tasks and make sure they are adhered to.
• Don’t forget about common areas such as the reception area, storerooms and kitchen.
• Update your contact list and distribute it to all employees.
• Create and distribute an emergency number list for moving day, listing each contacts role and location on the day.
• Arrange for a cleaning service at both the old and the new premises.
• Develop a work-flow strategy to ensure that deadlines are still being met during the move and that there is minimal disruption to your business.
• Take the time to sort through everything and prevent moving a whole bunch of stuff you no longer need. Start this purge in good time before the move so that you don’t get overwhelmed by the process.
• Order new stationary with your new address and updated contact information.
• Pack your items in three categories:
Rarely Used: These are items you want to keep but that won’t be missed if you don’t have them.
Nice to Have: These are items that are nice to have at hand but that are not critical and that you can do without.
Important: These are items that are needed on a daily basis and that will only be packed the day before the move.
• Get everyone to pack up their own desk. Make sure that everyone is aware by when this needs to be done. If necessary, give your employees a few hours off at the end of the day before the move to get this done.
• If you have the opportunity, move as much of your non-essential items as possible before moving day to streamline the process even further.
5. Getting Settled
• Unpack priority items first.
• Arrange to have your I.T. equipment, telephone lines and printers connected as soon as possible.
• Update your website with your new contact details.
• Ensure that your insurance has been transferred to your new premises.
• Distribute new keys, alarm codes, etc. to those who need them.
• Get feedback from your employees after the move so that you can identify and resolve any issues that may have come up. This will go a long way in maintaining moral.
• Remember to say cheers to a job well done. Order some champagne or non-alcoholic bubbly and a few snacks to celebrate!