One of the most stressful events in the life of any business, large or small, is relocating an office. Office moving can be stressful because it affects everything from cash flow to customer satisfaction, and involves an incredible number of details. Here are the five essential things to remember when undertaking an office move and ensure the transition is a smooth one.
One: Let Everyone Know
Your customers need to be told before, during, and after the move about the date of the location change and the new location address. This also is a great time to send marketing materials to former customers and let them know about the office move.
The second most important group after customers is vendors. Make sure vendors know when to start shipping to a new address. Few things disrupt a business as much as mission critical components being shipped to the old office address.
The third group to reach out to early is the utilities. Power, water, phone, and internet providers often are able to help with some of the more vexing issues of office moving logistics if they are brought into the loop soon enough. Some firms even will be able to set up services at the new location the day of the move to help minimize business disruptions.
One person needs to be in charge of the overall move, but one person cannot competently complete all the details involved in moving an office. Break the moving project into tasks and assign others to head up the individual tasks. Often employees are happy to help, but are not sure what to do. Breaking up the project into smaller tasks encourages employees to take initiative without losing organizational cohesion. Some examples of smaller tasks are packing specific rooms or items, contacting vendors, cleaning the old space, and contacting moving companies. Make sure everyone is involved in the office moving.
Three: Move in Stages
It is tempting to try and move everything in one swoop. However, the complexity of a giant move often leads to more going wrong than right. A careful study of any office will identify things that can be moved early and the business can function without for a few days or even weeks.
One way to manage moving in stages is to rent a self-storage unit. This allows for non-essential items, such as office décor, to be housed until you are ready to move into the new space. Other non-essential items are surplus inventory, and some break room items.
Four: Label Everything
When it is time to do the work of packing everything up, make sure every box is labeled with both what is inside and where it goes. Personal effects should have employee’s names on the boxes and labeled as such. Items that are not boxed up should still be labeled with a destination using a label maker. This is particularly useful if using professional movers, as they are unlikely to care where items go so long as they are off the truck.
Five: Expect the Unexpected
Realize that no matter how prepared and how well the move is planned, something will go wrong during the office moving. The simple expectation that something will go wrong can take a lot of stress off. Delegating others to have specific areas of responsibility also comes into play here. Knowing someone can help deal with a crisis will make things easier on everyone.
Office moving can be stressful. However, if the above tips are used, the stress can be managed and the entire event will be over before you know it.
[author ]Paul Benjamin works for EZ Storage, a self storage company with both standard and climate controlled units available with flexible leasing options.[/author]