A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning a Successful Office Move
The challenges of moving to a new office sometimes feel the same as adjusting to a new job setting. Moving bulky office furniture, fragile electronic equipment that needs to be packed with extreme care, and a variety of other goods dispersed throughout several rooms is a challenging process.
Additionally, the busy schedule frequently provides little time for rest and relaxation, so you can only afford to suspend your activities for a short time. No matter the size of your business, moving your office requires a lot of work, whether it is moving to a different level of the same building or across the country.
Step one: hire professionals
The people who will take responsibility for your move will define how smoothly it will go. This is why you should approach the choice of a moving company with attention.
First, get recommendations. It’s entirely possible that some of your colleagues or business partners already have a positive relocation experience with a certain moving company. Create a list of recommended companies and do a quick research on each of them. Look for an experienced company with a website and a few ways to contact them.
Then, make a few calls — ask these important questions to determine if the company fits your requirements for an office move:
- can they accommodate your business schedule?
- how their prices are structured?
- what services are additional, and what are covered by the final price?
- will any additional fees be already included in the final price?
- do they have insurance?
- are their trucks licensed?
Gathering answers is highly important — this way, you’ll gain more confidence and control over the relocation.
Step two: meet the movers to discuss your plans
When you choose a particular moving company, set a meeting with your movers. A perfect case scenario includes a meeting at your soon-to-be-former office, but if there’s no opportunity for that, no worries.
What you have to achieve during this step is to create a timeline for your relocation. Make sure it won’t disrupt your business processes as much. Plan the schedule, the packing order, and every other nuance you want to discuss.
Step three: get the place ready
Cleaning up your old office is just as important as packing everything correctly. In some office buildings, a building manager can facilitate the cleaning by bringing someone to do it.
In some cases, this task is completely on you and your team. You can either hire a cleaning service or assign cleaning responsibilities to your staff.
Your new place should also be ready for the relocation. Specify the availability of cleaning services with a building manager or a landlord. If they can provide them, it’s great. If they can’t — you can hire cleaners for this location as well. Make sure to add this detail to your relocation budget.
Step four: inform everyone about the upcoming move
When the first steps are behind, and the move is definitely in the works, it’s time to inform everyone about it. First, you have to let your employees and colleagues know. This information must reach everyone, so ensure picking the right communication channel.
Remember that your employees should have sufficient time to collect their personal belongings from the office.
Apart from that, everyone who works in the office should know:
- new location;
- moving schedule;
- any special features of the new office;
- the reason for the move.
You can also ask your colleagues if anyone wants to volunteer for packing and cleaning — this way, your relocation will be more productive and informed.
Your customers also should know about this major change. Mass-email customers from your base to let them know your new address and contact information. If the move will disrupt your business processes, don’t forget to mention it to your clients — this way, they won’t find themselves looking for you and your services in the middle of your transfer.
Step five: prepare a detailed inventory list
Creating an inventory is the first crucial step of the relocation. This list should have definitive categories, either by room or by item’s purpose. For example, you can create lists for each room or separately for electronics, appliances, furniture, etc.
An inventory will help you pack more efficiently and decrease the risk of forgetting anything at the old place. Cooperate with your colleagues to make sure everything is remembered. You can assign an area of responsibility for each volunteer.
Step six: sign a contract with movers
It will be easier if you choose a moving company that will include all the services you need. If not, you have to additionally find packers or a truck driver.
However, if you choose an all-in-one company like 24/7 Affordable Moving & Delivery, you can cover all these services with a single contract. This way, you won’t have to spend time and money creating and signing contracts with other vendors.
Step seven: label every box
There are many ways to label boxes for packing, and each of them is great. You don’t have to opt for a single one, though — find a system that will be easy to handle both for you and your employees.
You can use a system based on colors and shapes or a combination of letters and numbers. The choice is yours. The important thing is to check that the labels on the boxes correspond to the labels you will use in your new workplace space. Also, it’s a great way to help your movers determine which boxes should be loaded first and which require special handling.
If you’ve already assigned some of your employees to help your company with relocation, you can assign certain categories of boxes to them to make it easier to unpack. For example, green-labeled “appliances K” can stand for kitchen appliances assigned to a certain team member.
Step eight: check the new location once again
Even people known for their rigorous attention to detail can unintentionally neglect some details when moving. We advise you to take notes as you move gently about the office, especially when you come across anything that could:
- provide logistical difficulties while moving;
- call for extensive preparation — this can be a case for heavy machinery;
- slip from your memory.
It can be a USB drive someone asked you to take, but you forgot to do it at some point. It can be a folder with certificates or other papers stacked somewhere on the top of the shelf. Take a few strides across the office to notice these small things.
It’s also a great idea to check out the new location before you move there. Take some notes on the parking situation, elevator number, floor plans, and other nuances that might challenge your relocation.
After this thorough preparation, you can rest assured that your office move will go smoothly. If you have a relatively small office or moving not so far away, it’s also possible that the relocation won’t even disrupt your business operations.