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Moving… (cue theme music to Jaws) … makes you cringe and want to grit your teeth. Can’t you just feel the stress of it all? Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could just pick up your office, pack it in a box and go?
At some point, your business needs a change and you just don’t have a choice, a relocation is there staring you in your face. Maybe you have grown past your space or your clientele is in another town (or you moved and the commute is grating on your last nerve) or your rent is doubling forcing you to look for a more economical space.
Moving is nine parts preparation, one part perspiration. How can you prepare for the big day without losing costly productivity?
1. Plan everything, delegate and out source wherever possible.
Have a moving plan and then designate a moving manager in your company to coordinate. Janine Sarna-Jones of Organize Me advises “Prepare a file or binder to contain all move-related paperwork, checklists, receipts, and contact information for vendors e.g. designers, brokers, insurance and moving companies, storage facilities, repairmen, contractors and painters.”
Have a communications plan and designate a communications manager who is responsible for:
- letting employeees know about the timing and their expected role in the move
- informing clients about your new address
- and contacting all existing services of the cut-off date as well as letting services at the future location – electric, phone, IT – know the start-up date.
Ideally, work with a moving company that specializes in offices. Their professional wisdom in planning and efficiency will prove invaluable.
Together with your moving manager and an office designer, visit your new space to determine needs. With a good floor plan and proper pre-planning, a designer can help you answer the following questions amongst others:
- How do you want your space to function and which rooms should be specified for each – department, conference room, pantry, storage etc? Is there more than one entrance? Which should be used for your official entry?
- Who should sit where? Which exigencies do you need to consider?
- Will your existing furnishings fit?
- Where do we need to add IT, phones, electrical etc.?
If possible move over the weekend which will minimize loss of days of productivity. Note that the majority of companies move at the beginning and end of the month. Plan accordingly and be prepared for the unexpected.
2. Make it green. Clean out before you move.
- What can your employees throw away prior to the move?
- Can you sell or donate anything that you are no longer using?
- Is there paperwork that can be scanned prior to the move?
Use bungo boxes instead of cardboard and tape. They drop them off, you pack and they pick them up after you finish unpacking. Easy, durable, clean and green.
3. Label, label, label. Make sure that each office is labeled (A, B, C or 1, 2, 3) on the door at the old and new locations – each box should have the corresponding label on it as well. Your moving manager at your office will not be able to be in 5 offices at once coordinating multiple movers.
Cena Block of Sane Spaces recommends labeling six critical boxes as follows:
- Supplies – these are the back-up materials you use in your daily work. Supplies are things that are ‘used up’ during the course of your work.
- Tools – these are the items that you use to do something else… although it can be like splitting hairs, tools are more obviously different in areas that may
- Books/References – or any hard case Resources
- Electronics – as offices become more tech savvy, this box may just replace the one above! This box would include all of your electronic items and chargers used in your office.
- Current Office Files – in case you don’t already distinguish your files into categories, here are some categories to consider when sorting (and purging) your files: Action, Dailies, Quick Reference, Resource/Information, Vital/Permanent/Legal, Personal and Long Term/Archival (for later retrieval or access some day)
- Open First Box – put everything in here that you MUST have to set up each room: there will be different critical items for each room.
Make it easy for your movers to get the right boxes to the correct offices with minimal assistance and disruption. Finally, make sure that each box is labeled with the contents and have one per office with immediate supply needs labeled open first.
Finally, consider updating your office during the move. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are any of your office furnishings out of date? Are they falling apart and won’t survive the move?
- Does your office still look like something out of the 70s?
- Does your office image need a facelift?
An office move is a great time to update your furnishings, art and accessories. Just make sure the new items are shipped direct to your new office.
Contact us before you move. To set up your complimentary consultation call for your new office, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can help you plan for your new space, so that your new office design will help you:
- retain and attract the best talent
- experience an increase in overall productivity
- increase your bottom line.
Love to hear from you in the comments - which aspect of moving your office would be your biggest concern?