Is it time for a new office? The last few years have been…crazy. But now it seems things are settling back down, which means the need for new office space might be bubbling up to the top of your list of priorities.
Moving is always complicated and harder than it seems it ought to be, especially when what’s moving is an entire office of people and equipment. Nothing is going to make a move easy; no amount of planning and preparation will make an office move painless. That said, there are things you can do to help things run smoothly and mitigate the impact of the disruption.
Phase 1: First Things
Before you do anything, it’s important to start at the beginning.
- Your Current Situation. Do you own or lease your current office? What will you need to do to satisfy any requirements on your current property? These costs will need to be included in your moving budget and may affect your timeline.
- Assemble a Team. Moving your office is a group project. Assemble a cross-department team to manage the move and ensure no question goes unasked.
- A Blueprint. Create a detailed blueprint of the new space and plan where everything will go. Developing a map for break rooms, work areas, conference rooms, IT departments, storage, common areas, and other spaces will help you get a feel for your new office and give you and your team a clear, consistent vision of what you’re trying to accomplish. Effective commercial interior planning greatly impacts productivity, so take the time to get this right. Work with a commercial interior partner at Indoff to design your space for maximum benefit to your staff and business.
- Tech. Don’t make a single change until you’ve planned how you’re going to transition your phones, IT, computers, and all the rest without missing a beat and confirming that the new space can accommodate what you need.
- A Schedule. You cannot “wing” an office move; there are simply too many moving parts to leave a corporate move to chance. A detailed timeline is essential. Your schedule needs to factor in your current workload. You can’t afford to let things slide because of a move; your customers won’t cut you any slack if you don’t deliver because you’re moving. Your timeline needs to accommodate critical work deadlines, and you may want to avoid taking on new, time-sensitive projects until the move is complete.
- A Budget. Just like everything else, a move requires a budget. How much money you allot for the transition will determine if you can hire a moving company or whether you can afford new furniture or will be taking along what you already own.
Phase Two: Communication
Lots of folks need to be kept in the loop about your move.
- Give notice to your current landlord.
- Notify your employees about their moving date.
- Schedule movers.
- Make plans to inform all interested parties about your move date and new contact information. This list will include banks, clients, professional organizations, insurance companies, service providers, vendors, etc.
Phase Three: Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Now it’s time to really get cracking on the nitty-gritty details.
- Furnishings. What furniture do you own, and what will you be taking with you? Indoff’s commercial interiors team can help you assess your needs and purchase new furnishings and fixtures.
- Moving plan. Which departments are moving on what day? Your employees need to know when they need to be ready.
- Distribute Access Codes and Keys. Get everyone the access info they need to get into the new workspace.
- Tech. Your tech needs to be up and running before moving day. Internet, phones, and other connectivity services need to be active and operational before you occupy the space.
- Mark what’s Going. You need to clearly label every item that needs to be moved, from desks to cubicle walls and chairs to filing cabinets. Your moving team can determine a system to communicate to movers what needs to be moved and where it needs to go in the new space.
- Create a Moving Map. Your map will communicate to employees where their workstations are located in the new location and to movers where everything needs to go.
- Declutter. If it’s not moving, it needs to go. Now is the time to clear out the garbage, get rid of stuff you don’t use, and ask employees to take personal belongings home until they’re settled in the new office. Now is not the time for stocking up on office products; let your supplies dwindle a bit to keep moving to a minimum, and plan to restock once you’re settled.
- Pack. Assign every employee a packing day and provide them with boxes, tape, labels, and other essentials.
Phase Four: Moving Day!
You’ve prepared; now it’s time to move.
- IT usually needs to go first so that these employees can get up and running quickly once in their new spaces. Once your IT department is situated, these folks can get busy setting up everyone else as they arrive.
- Assign moving teams to be on site to direct movers.
- Welcome employees to the new space with maps, location information, and other thoughtful items designed to ease the transition.
- Remove packing supplies and other moving detritus out of the way quickly.
- Be flexible. Stuff is going to go wrong, and you will encounter unexpected challenges. Go with the flow. Assigning a point person in each department to deal with questions will help problems get addressed effectively and in a timely manner.
- Celebrate. A new office is always a cause for celebration.
If this moving checklist feels overwhelming, you’re not alone. But Indoff is here to help. We’re ready to assist with everything you need to make your office move successful. Our commercial interiors team will help you assess your needs and get the furnishing and fixtures needed to make your new office attractive and productive. Our office supply team can help you get fully restocked with everything from cleaning supplies to your crew’s favorite pens. We can even help you set up break rooms with microwaves, dishwashers, and refrigerators. If you need it, we can help you get it. Call us today to get your move off to the right start.