Does the thought of moving office fill you with dread? You are not alone. A survey conducted by E.ON has shown that more than three quarters of small and medium sized businesses find the idea of moving premises so stressful that they delay the process altogether with a staggering 78% of managers choosing to stay in cramped or inefficient buildings as a result.
The key to a successful office move is to approach it like you would any other major project at work – break it down into bite size tasks, set a time-line and get organised from the start. Failing to prepare will prepare you to fail…sensationally and can have a devastating impact on the company’s bottom line.
Follow our 10 tips for planning and executing the perfect office move.
Before you set out on your quest for the perfect office space, it is important to set a clear set of goals and objectives for why you want to move and what you want to achieve from it. Initial questions to consider are where do you want to move to? How much space to you require? When does the lease on your current office end? When do you want to/ need to move? Draft up a list of things you consider essential for a new office and then highlight the ones that you are willing to compromise on.
Half the battle of a successful office move is having a strict focus on budgeting. Be sure to identify your basic costs and allow your budget room to overspend on essentials and ‘hidden’ costs that may arise from changing of leases, rates and utilities. Expecting differences in cost and being prepared for unexpected hikes in pricing will ensure you have control over the one certainty of moving – cost.
3) Negotiate contracts
Ensure that you read, re-read and revise the terms and conditions of your lease so that you are 100% comfortable and familiar with them before you sign. Remember this will bind you to a financial obligation from move-day onwards and it is essential you don’t rush into a decision that you may regret further down the line. Take your time and seek advice on any discrepancies you find or parts of the contract you are unsure about.
- Assign a project manager
Choose a project manager in your team who knows the assets of your business, is familiar with the workings of a removals company, is highly organised, reliable and ultimately someone you wholly trust. Keep in mind that this is a very large project to manage so ensure they have enough time to devote to the task. A small mistake can have catastrophic effects on your business so it is important to get it right.
- Hire a moving company
The expertise and advice of relocation professionals is essential when undertaking a move of this scale. Hiring a trusted moving company is an investment to safeguard you from any critical mistakes in the moving process. Having experienced professionals guiding you through each stage of moving will give you added peace of mind. Do your research and take your time in selecting a respected firm.
- Have a spring clean
Taking some time to sort through all of the drawers and cupboards in your office and disposing of any old paperwork and unwanted junk will ensure that you have a fresh start at the new office. It will also save on space, help you and your team to feel more organised and cut down on unnecessary packing.
- Create a floor plan
Having a plan when you get to the new office will avoid anarchy on moving day. Drafting up a floor plan and assigning each team member a desk in advance will ensure they know where to go so that they can start unpacking their things straight away.
- Rally the troops
It is important to ensure that your staff are on side when you are planning to move office. The thought of moving premises may be unsettling for some of your team, causing a drop in productivity levels, so make sure you have measures in place to support them. Involving staff in the process by keeping them informed of your plans and sharing with them your timescales, can pay dividends. It is essential to clearly communicate your expectations of them around the move and any disruptions you anticipate. Remember to emphasise the benefits to them of moving and be positive and reassuring about the experience. Also, encourage them to ask questions and raise concerns.
- Back up to the cloud
Moving office should not mean losing business. It is essential that you keep all of your files on the cloud and your maintenance backed-up. Do not change your service provider before moving – when you are most at risk of incurring unexpected business losses or costs and vulnerable resource-wise.
- Tell your contacts
It is easy to get so wrapped up in the move that you overlook telling your wider business network about your plans. Make sure you inform stakeholders, investors, relevant clients and suppliers in advance about your moving plans and any anticipated disruptions or delays they can expect to their service. They will appreciate the notice and it will safeguard you from dealing with any angry complaints further down the line.