Whatever be the reasons of relocating a business or corporate office - expansion of business, targeting new customers, upgrading facilities, improving work conditions for employees or simply cutting costs - packing and moving an office can prove to be even arduous and demanding than moving your home and family. Comprehensive planning and being prepared in advanced can go a long way in alleviating office moving stress. Perhaps the most significant aspect of making a corporate move successful is to ensure smooth removal as well as fast relocation thereby causing minimum disruption to employees and their productivity. The anxiety and stress levels related to an office move can be tackled by understanding how it differs in priorities from a domestic move. Following our cohesive guidelines and tips will guarantee your smooth transition from old work place to new work place.
Preliminary Steps: The most pivotal part in making successful corporate move involves planning everything in advance, at least 12 weeks prior to the move. How faster the corporation gets moved and is up and running in its new premises usually hinges on how time efficient and cost efficient the move is. To get a head start you may consider undertaking following steps in order to familiarize yourself with preparation for corporate move:
- Get a fair number office moving companies to visit your current and new office premises before generating an estimate. Ask if the move can be fitted on weekend to create least interruption to the employees on workday.
- Ensure that your moving company is adept with professionally moving workstations, equipment, electronic items, furniture, etc. and ascertain the scope & type of services your movers are qualified for.
- Create a move budget. Ask questions and ensure all your concerns are addressed by the moving company prior to setting date.
- Visit the new office location in advance and take all the necessary measurements so that you are familiar with the dimensions of your new premises. Make note of any differences in the shape of rooms or if there is any new furniture.
- This will be effective in creating a more accurate floor plan and avoid space problems when the movers are bringing things inside. You will want to ensure that your old cabinets, chairs, desks, etc. would be able to fit in the new premises as well.
Floor Plan: Before you even begin to relocate, prepare a comprehensive floor plan-
- Create an illustrated floor plan of your new office showing designated place for every desk, furniture item, fixtures, filing cabinet, electronic equipment, etc.
- Floor plan must also identify all different work spaces in your new location, such as, conference room, work stations, printing and other equipment centers, support stations, kitchen area, etc.
- If there are different levels or floors, the plan must enlist clearly, allocated location for each employee, desk, plants, fixtures or whatever else you would be bringing to the new location.
- Make several copies of this plan and distribute them amongst all the employees so as to ensure that every single office member is aware of his/her work space dimensions and is prepared and organized before the move day.
- Show the floor plan and get it approved by all the members of the office. Staying organized will not only avoid confusion and unnecessary stress for office employees, but also for movers
Time is Money: When moving your work premises it is imperative to stay on top of the situation by staying efficient and prepared. The better equipped and ready you are, the more organized your move will be, and the less time it will take, the more money your company will save. For enabling your office move to be cost-effective, it is significant to complete all necessary processes before relocation day.
- Mark up with labels or stickers, all the furniture and boxes using numbers and color coding schematics to facilitate movers to haul everything to its appropriate location.
- Remember to indicate clearly what pieces of furniture you don't want to be moved to the new location
- Labelling is a very important tool in office moving. One simple labelling technique can be to ascribe certain color labels to items belonging to a particular section or room or floor of the office and then get more specific by assigning numbers to each employee
- The labels and color codes must be made accessible and understandable to every office member
- Labels must be easily visible and affixed to all the office equipment and furniture that is to be moved. The easier to grasp you will make your move, the faster it will be executed by the mover. Time is of essence.
- Establish and communicate packing and moving guidelines for the employees, obtain packing supplies and ensure all boxes are properly packed with contents labelled according to their importance
- Lay down packing schedule, assess which items can be packed in advance and which parts must be done last. This will ascertain time saving and ensure that your business continues to run with minimum interruption.
Communicate, Correspond, Coordinate: The fact that communication is key to a successful corporate move remains undisputed. To keep everything running smoothly, communication must be established for both, internal and external correspondence. Make sure that everyone is aware of all the details and plans pertaining to the move before the actual day. The less queries on moving day, the better.
- Employees: All the employees must be informed of the move date, what they can expect on the move day and their respective roles in moving and packing. Take time to remind employees about their responsibilities - whether they are required to pack their own files, oversee moving of their own workstations, remove certain items, clean shelves, remove personal items, etc. Furnish each associate with a comprehensive 'Office Moving Guide' so that they can follow instructions before and after the move. They must also be notified about new office rules, parking policy, revised telephone and fax numbers.
- Customers: Some of the ways to keep your clientele notified about your impending move are to post on social media, send mass emails to the customer base, post details of new address on website, etc.
- Service and utility providers: All the vendors and utility providers (internet, telephone, cleaning, suppliers, advertising, security, janitorial, etc.) that keep your business running must be duly notified of your move. Also set up utilities at your new location before the move.
- Banks and Post Office: Change your address and have you mail forwarded to your new location. Notify about your relocation by simple expedient of indicating 'New Address' for your outgoing mails. You can also keep your correspondents in the loop by noting in your email signatures, voicemail greetings, outgoing messages, etc. You must also inform your bank, credit card companies and other financial institutions about your change of location so that they can incorporate necessary changes.
Items to be moved: Not unlike a home move, your office possessions should be carefully handled, packed into boxes and transported efficiently to new location. Of course, the safest and most hassle free manner to ensure this would be to hire office movers to safely transit each item.
- It is highly recommended that employees must be in charge of packing and moving their personal belongings such as pictures, plants, ornaments, lamps, legal papers, pens, lighters, etc.
- Empty all the desks and pack contents carefully. Employees may be asked to be responsible for sealing their individual desk items including trays, files, books, work papers, paper clips, loose papers, pencils, stationery, and other desk items. Fragile items must be handled with care or bubble wrapped.
- Sensitive documents, confidential papers and security files should be locked prior to moving and suitable arrangements (such as escort) must be made in advance with moving consultant. Arrange for obsolete but sensitive data to be disposed or shredded with extra care.
- All storage cabinets must be emptied and their contents packed. Cabinet doors must be locked and secured.
- Ensure that all electrical appliances are properly disconnected and dismantled, with proper care towards any loose parts that must be securely attached to the equipment before removal. Discard water from water dispensers. Remove all perishable items from the refrigerator, clean properly, defrost and unplug the night before. Fluids from printers and photocopiers should also be emptied. Separate professionals can be hired for these services or your movers may also be qualified to assist in this regard.
Technological Infrastructure: Proper attention must be paid before moving technological machines or computer systems as they must be handled in certain ways.
- If any of such equipment is rental, be sure to inform the concerned rental company prior to your move.
- Carefully assess if it would be worth hiring a computer/IT specialist to dismantle and reconnect/upgrade your computer network as efficiently as possible. Find out if your moving company offers such services or if you would have to hire separately.
- Carefully evaluate your IT infrastructure at the current location and assess your IT needs for the new premises. Consider whether you want to upgrade these services and how much would you have to spend extra.
- Generate detailed and cohesive inventory of existing IT assets
- Evaluate current cabling and network needs and whether any upgrades are pending.
- Establish desktop and other hardware relocation strategy and set up resources for the same.
- Set up power, AC, ventilation, network and equipment positioning needs.
- Arrange for careful removal, disconnecting and reconnecting of servers and data centers.
Simple checklist: To avoid last minute chaos, prevent mishaps and confusion, keep simple task checklists printed and handy. This will make your office move more cost-effective and time-efficient. Here's a simple example of office moving day checklist:
- Employees informed about exact moving details and corresponding roles
- Access to elevators ensured, both origin and destination
- Parking needs and permits availed
- Confidential documents secured
- Boxes and equipment packed, labelled, sealed
- Cabinets, drawers, desks emptied
- 'Do Not Move' items tagged and marked
- Computers and machines disconnected
- Spare keys set aside
- Utilities up and running at new location
- Ensure bathroom and electricity are working at destination
- Do not allow staff to lift heavy items or furniture
- Ensure moving crew gets clear access to the boxes and furniture
- Enlist installation and technical assistance for relocation
- Remove all the garbage/recyclables and arrange for proper disposal
- Order new stationary with new address on it
If your business is about to change it location or your office is undergoing a move, it's never too early to start combing for efficient, reliable and professional office movers. You can begin by getting free quotes and compare your estimates by filling out this quick and easy form!