Moving can be an exciting milestone for any business owner, especially if the move is designed to support or encourage growth. However, it can also be a disruptive time that’s filled with chaos and stress.
If you’re about to engage in an office move, the right amount of preparation can help smooth the transition and help you and your staff get back to business as usual. Here are there are eight things you can do to make it easier on your staff and less disruptive to operations.
1. Make a plan
Once you find out you’re moving, it’s time to start planning.
A good plan takes into account personnel needs, client/customer needs, and vendor/supplier relations as well as the logistical needs associated with clearing out of one location and setting up shop in the new one.
Though the “right” plan may vary from business to business, it’s helpful to list all major tasks — e.g., alerting staff, communicating with outside parties, furnishing the office, setting up utilities, etc. — as well as what day the efforts will begin and end and who will be in charge of overseeing each task.
2. Communicate with your employees
Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to communicate with your employees. Doing so can drastically reduce the amount of chaos that is commonly associated with any type of move, especially office moves.
Your communication efforts should include a timeline for the move, information about the new location, including address and directions, parking and transit information, and the name of a point person(s) who will be overseeing the move or answer any specific questions.
Further, it’s helpful to let employees know what, if any, role they will play in the move. For example, will they just be responsible for moving the content of their desk.
3. Update customers and suppliers
A move doesn’t just impact your employees; it also will affect your vendors, suppliers, customers/clients, and any other individual or group that must visit or send information, products, or services to your office.
For that reason, it’s important to provide all concerned parties with the new address, phone number, and the date on which the move will be complete as well as information about disruptions of service, changes in product offerings, etc., that may occur due to the move.
This will help maintain strong and healthy relationships with vendors and customers alike while eliminating unnecessary gaps in communication or services.
4. Inventory & audit
Moving is the prime time to take a look through your existing information, equipment, etc. especially as you pack or prepare it for transport.
For one, doing so can act as a cleanup, allowing you to part with things you no longer need and therefore shouldn’t be included in the move.
However, an audit can also help you account for both intellectual and physical property and mitigate the risk of having it lost or stolen during the move.
5. Have a vision for your new space
One of the worst things you can do is show up at the new spot without planning and envisioning how it will look or what the workflow will be like.
Chances are you may have to make some small changes once you get everything and everyone settled in, but making major design or layout changes can further derail productivity and make it harder to get back to business as usual.
Evaluate the space, determine the best layout based on usability and departmental needs, take proper measurements, and make sure you have all the required office equipment, furniture, etc. to meet business demands in the new space.
6. Hire professional movers
Relying solely on your staff to complete the move may seem like a great way to minimize expenses, but it can end up costing more, in both time and money, in the long run.
Professional movers, unlike your employees, have both the skills and equipment required to make moving a quick and efficient process. That means you can be out of your old location and into the new spot faster and with far less stress.
In addition, using a moving company also will protect your staff from potential moving related injuries, the likes of which can cost you even more. The same is true when it comes to office equipment, furniture, etc.
7. Contact utility companies
Don’t wait until the last minute to contact the gas, electric, water, telephone, etc. service providers. Once you have your moving date pinned down, let them know the dates on which to end the old service and begin the new. Not only will this help you eliminate any costly disruptions, but it will also allow you to plan for any on-site visits, if necessary.
8. Schedule an employee meeting at the new office
Once you’re all moved in and employees report for work at the new office, schedule an employee meeting as soon as possible.
During this time, you can help employees become acclimated with the new building, make them aware of security and safety protocol, and address any other issues or concerns as they relate to the move, the new location, and any new equipment or devices, like phone systems.
Moving is often a long and tedious process that can take can take several weeks to prepare for and complete. However, with some attention to details and a lot of planning, you can make it easier on all parties.
This article was originally written on April 16, 2019 and updated on January 27, 2021.