By Nancy Zafrani
An office move can be disruptive, but it’s also necessary to accommodate a growing business. It can also help you reduce costs or give you access to a new geographic market.
Make your office move as smooth as possible with these helpful tips.
The first step when planning an office move is to take an inventory of your assets. This inventory will help you get a better idea of the volume of items you need to move and you can identify any items that will be difficult to move, such as servers or machinery.
Choose The Right Moving Company
Now that you have a better idea of what you need to move, you can start comparing quotes from moving companies.
Check online reviews to find a moving company with a positive reputation and look for a mover that has experience with office moves. You need a reliable company that can handle important business documents and hardware with sensitive data.
An Opportunity To Declutter
Once you have taken a comprehensive inventory, you can start decluttering:
• Consider replacing old office furniture to embrace new trends like streamlined furniture, greenery, and open spaces.
• Do you still have paper-based files or archives? Scanning these documents will make them easier to access and help you save space.
• Do you have some outdated tech items? Moving is the perfect opportunity to take inventory of your technology and replace obsolete items.
• Moving is also an opportunity to list what you have in stock in your warehouse, if applicable. Consider having a sale or even donating some of the items that don’t sell well to make some room.
Instead of discarding the furniture and other items you no longer need, donate them to local nonprofits.
Moving Can Affect Different Processes
Moving your office is disruptive. Employees might not have access to the resources they need for a few days.
It’s important to ask yourself how moving will affect your different processes. Some processes like accounting, HR, marketing, or R&D can take a break for a couple of days.
However, moving will also disrupt key processes like sales, customer service, and IT. Look into having your customer service representatives and salespeople work from home during the move, or consider shutting down operations for a few days.
There are some special considerations regarding IT since you will need to move all your tech equipment and set it up before you can resume operations. Moving can be even more complex if you have in-house servers. Now might be a good time to join the 94% of businesses that use the cloud to make moving easier.
Prioritize What To Move
During your inventory, assign a level of importance to each item. Start packing the least important items first since employees are less likely to need them. You can even get a head start by moving these items to the new location in advance.
However, don’t pack the essentials you’ll need when you settle in your new office building. Keep these items accessible, and don’t move them until the last minute.
Delegate And Communicate
You need to communicate with employees and customers during your move. Let your customers know that some services might not be available for a few days and apologize for the disruption.
Keep employees in the loop by sharing regular updates. Make sure everyone is onboard with the move and delegate responsibilities such as taking inventory, decluttering, and even packing. Putting individuals in charge of different aspects of the move will ensure that everyone knows what their responsibility is.
Create A New Floor Plan
It’s best to know in advance how you will organize your new office space. Once you have a detailed floor plan, you can color-code your boxes to facilitate the unpacking process.
With more businesses embracing remote work, the current trend is to adopt open-space plans with shared desks rather than individual workstations. Get everyone involved in designing a new floor plan to create a space that meets your unique needs.
Prepare New Office Space
There are a few things you should do before the move to ensure you can resume operations as quickly as possible in your new space.
You might have to deep clean the new space. You’ll also have to transfer the utilities and ensure that employees have access to the internet and phone system.
You will likely have to send your IT team or get some outside help to set up the tech you need to start working in your new space before you can start moving office furniture and the other items you need to resume operations.
You should also consider how the new office space might impact different processes and ask yourself if you need to make changes to your current practices and workflows to adapt to the new space.
Establish A Budget And Timeline
Compare quotes from different moving companies to better understand what the move will cost. You should also consider additional costs, such as replacing old hardware and office furniture.
It’s also important to establish a timeframe for the move. Moving an entire office takes time and requires some organization. Ideally, you should have a series of milestones to achieve within specific deadlines, starting with taking inventory of everything you have in your office.
The timing of your move is also crucial. Nancy Zafrani, General Manager of Oz Moving & Storage, recommends moving in the middle of the month to save money.
Moving can be stressful and disruptive, especially when moving an entire office. You can make a move as stress-free as possible by planning everything ahead of time. Start by taking an inventory and decluttering your office as much as possible before reaching out to moving companies, so you can compare quotes and establish a budget for the move.
Zafrani is the General Manager of Oz Moving & Storage. A day-one employee of Oz, she has 30 years of experience in the moving industry. As a lifetime New Yorker, Nancy also has lots of experience dealing with small apartments and organizing. Nancy has many interests. Her hobbies include painting, hiking, and baking.
Read the full article "How To Make Your Office Move Go As Smoothly as Possible" on Facility Executive Magazine.