Moving an office can be very stressful. The stress begins the moment you decide to move and ends well after the movers are gone. Once everything is moved, you still have to organize your new office before you can resume normal business activities. During the move, you risk the possibility of losing business and damaging some of your valuable office equipment. To make your move a little easier, here are six tips on how to take the stress out of an office relocation:
1. Plan Your Move Well in Advance
You should begin planning your move at least three to six months in advance. It will take that long for you to review your current office arrangement and develop a work plan for your new office. You will need to decide exactly where to place each piece of office equipment as well as your supplies, records and files. You will also need to lay out the space to be occupied by clients and employees so that your office has an efficient workflow. Additionally, you will need to plan your move for a time that will minimize disruptions to your normal office routines.
2. Discuss the Move with Your Employees
Not only should you tell your employees about your relocation plans, but you should also ask for their feedback. Some employees dislike change and need time to adjust. Others may have some good ideas on how to make the move easier and more productive. Depending on how large your company is, you could either deliver the message yourself or relay it through your staff. You might even consider establishing committees to handle important tasks. As the moving date approaches, you will want to keep your employees updated so that they are adequately prepared for the move.
3. Choose the Best Office Movers
You should spend some time researching professional movers in your area. Then, choose the one that works best for you. Some movers are more experienced at relocating offices and have special equipment designed for that purpose while others primarily perform residential moves. Once you select a mover, contract with them as soon as possible in order to lock down the moving date. You might also want to have a service representative visit your office so that you can ask questions and solicit their advice.
4. Arrange for Utilities and Technical Services
Make sure that the utilities will be on at your new office prior to the time you arrive. Also, either you or your IT department will need to arrange for internet access and other technical services and equipment. This includes computers, servers, printers and security cameras. This is also a good time to perform upgrades because you could purchase new equipment and have it up and running at your new office prior to the moving date. That way, there is no down time. Obviously, you will also want to make backup copies of all your computer files and store them in a secure location.
5. Update Your Marketing Materials
You will need to update the address and contact information on all your marketing materials, including brochures and business cards. That would also be a good time for you to make those revisions that you have been putting off for a while. Additionally, you will need to arrange for some type of sign that will let customers know exactly where your new office is located. Don’t forget about your prerecorded telephone messages that tell callers where to find you.
6. Pack Efficiently
Your office move will go much smoother if you pack efficiently. Make sure that all boxes are marked and that your office equipment is properly protected with sufficient padding. If you saved any of the boxes that your equipment came in, they are ideal for such purposes. If you hire professional office movers, they should be able to handle the office furniture and file cabinets for you.