Moving offices is no small task, however. It requires full input from everybody – from the biggest challenges of finding a new office building, to the smaller tasks of clearing out desks. There are plenty of challenges associated with moving entire businesses, as there is a lot to think about. Perhaps the biggest piece of advice we can give is to start planning early! The earlier you plan, the more prepared you are, and the more time you have to rectify any mistakes or problems that arise.
Planning every little detail of the move is essential to ensure everything goes as smooth as possible. Delegate specific duties to trusted individuals who will form a “moving committee”. Giving specific jobs helps everything run smoothly, as everybody knows what they are doing, and when it needs to be done by. For the overseeing of the committee, there needs to be one person that approves/confirms everything and acts as the leader. Having a specific point of contact is helpful for top-level management as they can learn everything they need to know from one person.
As well as having a team in place, there needs to be a set moving date. This date is necessary to know before everything starts, so things can be organised around it and there is minimal disruption with the move. The moving committee will need to appoint a removal company to orchestrate the move. Having the date is essential for this so that everybody can be packed up and ready to go!
Choosing the removal company who will be responsible for the move is also another essential part of the moving process. Everybody within the business will have to do something to help towards the move. Devise and draw up a moving timetable or schedule so that everybody is on track and knows what needs to be done when. Alongside the timetable, you should also record and document all predicted and actual costs.
You may think preparing is similar to planning, but preparing is actually a little different. Once that plan is in place, you need to start preparing in order to orchestrate the full move! This includes aspects of the move such as:
Informing your customers, clients and suppliers. All of these groups or individuals need to be informed of your move. Keep them in the loop with where and when you are moving.
Plan your office space. Make sure your new office is big enough and has the right dimensions to fit in all your furniture. It’s probably best to floor plan before you get there – you don’t want to have a load of desks and chairs and no idea where to put them. Make sure you plan the floor plan around the power points, recreational areas and kitchens.
If you’re going to be moving office, take it as an opportunity to reduce what you currently have! Get rid of excess furniture, or equipment. Reduce what you have to the very essentials and if necessary replace and improve them with something better.
Order anything new that you may need, or, if you’re having a complete redesign of the office, treat the move as an opportunity to refresh the company’s style and branding.
With any move, it’s important to review what you currently have. This includes services or suppliers. Things such as your internet provider, phone lines, networks, servers etc should all be re-assessed to see if better deals or connections could be had from elsewhere. Make sure that the relocation does not affect these things, and ensure you are ready to move straight into the new place – with no time without internet or late arrivals of phones etc.
As well as the digital or electrical side of things – consider your bills and utilities. Gas, water, electricity in your new buildings all need to be arranged. Who will your new suppliers be? In both your old and new buildings you will need to update and renew agreements. For your old building, you will need to shut down accounts or terminate contracts. For your new building, try and shop around to find the best deal!
You may know that you’re moving, but do all your suppliers, clients and customers? Think. If you have any marketing material with your old address on, you’ll need to get new material. Everything from business cards to return envelopes will need to have the new address on. Your website, brochures, individual business cards, google my business listing and any directory listings will need updating.
As well as the address, consider whether your phone number will be changing too. That’s another thing you need to update on all social media, online directories and your website.
As moving day draws closer, your removal company will need to have strict instructions on which boxes and items are going to which room. Refer back to your floorplan so you know each room has the correct belongings in it. Don’t be afraid of sticky labels! Label everything to avoid confusion and to make everything crystal clear for the removal men. Labels indicate where everything should go, so get sticker happy on all items.
Though there should be a moving committee in place with a definite leader, relocating requires effort from everybody in the office. Each department will need a moving guide so that they know exactly what they are required to do, and what their duties are. It is the personal responsibility of each person to pack up their desks and personal belongings. However, for communal areas such as the kitchen or conference rooms, you will have to choose people to pack and box up those specific areas.
Finally, when it comes to moving, you will need to make sure that all employees have the correct security codes, keys, security passes and access that they require. The last thing you want is to move, and find out nobody can get into the office!
Hopefully, all goes to plan with your move. If you’re a facilities manager or operations manager with an upcoming move, we hope this has helped you plan a little. With the Billi move fast approaching, we’re putting all of these tips into place ourselves.