Who Me? How would I plan an office move/relocation? Well I have done on many occasions and I like to have things in order and I like to plan well in advance, but I also don’t mind when things do not go to plan and I have to think on my feet – do you have a person in your office/business who is a planner, thinker and can delegate, and if so, you need to appoint them as your MOVE MANAGER.
How you sell this added role to this ‘superhero’ will be up to you, the size of your business, the time-frame you now have left for your business relocation and of course the current workload of the apple in your eye. The main thing is that someone is responsible and they have these qualities or you can encourage these qualities. Why? Because there is a lot involved in personal moving in and office/business moving is on a whole different level. Lack of planning potentially causing financial impacts on the business and a general upset to smooth business running. Getting it right means getting off on the right foot and planning for further prosperity.
You might think this is obvious, but there is so much involved that hoping for the best will not work for a business/office relocation. If you are moving by a certain date now, then you start planning now. Even a domestic move has intrinsic steps that can be embraced by an office move so think about when you moved yourself and ask around you as everyone has a moving story – disaster or successful that could help.
- De-clutter, donate, recycle and eliminate
Put the word out to have a spring clean day long before the move and start *labelling items that are not used, broken, gathering dusk or just don’t fit your new vision and give them the heave-ho -environmentally heave-hoing that is. Think about your timeline for customer notification, signage relocation, power, IT, services and scoping out the best trendy coffee places to get on-boarding from all other staff member.
*be label specific in your planning when you start the packing process especially if other people are packing items that are not generally personally attached to their desk. Until you have a floor plan of the new place do you know where a box will go? If you want to get a hold on packing the business, start with something generalised i.e. stock to stock room, but always remember to keep orders of say paper reams to minimal leading to the move as you don’t want boxes of new paper arrive the day before the move to add more work for removals teams – double handling and double cos
- Get the best packing and moving company
You are looking for experience, reviews, word of mouth, expertise and an on-site inspection. If a removals company can provide a quote without a meeting, I would say scratch that company off your potentials list. We can generally supply a range figures for apartments in certain areas and suburbs as we have the data to back up the figures and we ask the right questions. However, commercial/office/business moves have multiple facets that need to eye-balled and spoken about before the scope of the project can be fully appreciated. I would recommend at least 3 quotes from very different companies (top end to middle), including Black Stallion Removalist, and ensure that the extent of the project is covered in all quotes, as no one wants to compare an apple with a potato and end up blowing a budget. Getting points 1 & 2(link back) defined before you call in the experts is where you want to be at and do not be afraid to ask questions and learn as much as you can from the meetings with the removals companies, as they might guide you a little free of charge – its is their profession and they would like your business so they will advise and give you perspective.
Every company and business can thrive on the uniqueness of their staff and the individuality of each desk or workspace. Some people like to keep it minimalistic and others, well, they want their desk to represent who there are and each holiday they were on and the family tree honouring. We say, your desk is your space and therefore your responsibility. Have a day of packing for each staff member and get them to pack and label non-essentials and files that allow for preparation, responsibility and foresight on how the boxes are building. Those sneaky desks seem like they have nothing and then bam you have four archive boxes. If needed have a morning coffee meeting (gets everyone on-board quicker) about tips on de-cluttering, shredding, scanning and moving only working files/documents from one physical location. I can’t really provide more advise than that as some companies are still really paper reliant for compliance and others have the digital down, so its kind of working de-cluttering into the physic of the company and individual. After de-cluttering ask them to start packing non-essentials inline with your strategy and closer to the time it is all remaining pieces that allow them to do their daily tasks – last packed – first at hand on unpacking and straight into work – no downtime.
- Building Management
We are asked a lot for our insurance cover before we do a pick-up and drop-off and usually this is followed up with being supplied with building rules, time restrictions, loading and unloading areas, booking elevators and a general non-disturbance to current lease holders. Do you know what are the regulations for moving out and also moving into your new leased premises – if you own your new premises you make your own rules – sweet!
You want to get your current deposit back and retain the future one, so take the time to speak with your building manger, obtain any documentation that they have for moving procedures and ensure the removals company have sufficient public liability and workers compensations if required by the management. If you can, get the selected removals company and management to sit down for five minutes and ensure there is clarity on what is and is not allowed. A good removals company will make themselves available for your reassurance free of cost if you have selected them for the up-coming relocation.
- Floor Space and Measurements
Is it a like-for-like office space or are you upgrading or downsizing? Do you know if items you want to move were built on-site and need to be dismantled (will add to costs) or if items were customed made and cannot be moved from one location to another? Any differences in elevator /stair height, door width/height and did you check that your large boardroom table or double-doored fridge can fit in an appropriate area without engulfing the entire room. Time to really look at your floor plan and ensure the day for the moving will go smooth and you do not ask the removals company to move a large item from the old address to the new one without knowing it has a place.
- Areas and labels
The floor plan of your new business has been decided and you have bagged the best desk so what location is this? Figure out desks/locations and areas of your new premises and assign numbers to each, add each of these areas to a spreadsheet and allocate a number per person/desk or area as you want to ensure your loading and unloading is stop on and when everyone arrives on Monday morning it is a quick unpack and away you all go. I really would not recommend getting the contents of Mary’s desk onto your spreadsheet – her desk, her contents and her responsibility.
- Let everyone else know..
If your new trendy digs are 100% secure you need to time the information release that suits your clients and customers. Consider your customer perception on moving and if early knowledge is bad knowledge or discrete information is more suited (keeps up the mystery). Could be that only the mail man needs to know by way of Australian Post redirection as you are fully online. Do think about your physical address presence and if you need to plan to change Google or Social Media attachments, debt collectors or just your weekly fruit delivery.
- Finish line celebrations
Once everyone is settled, acknowledge the day, the work that went into the move, everyone that was involved and really use it as a way for everyone to see a new beginning – a change is as good as a rest.