If you need to move your business, the best place to start to plan how to pack and move is right here. I've had a lot of requests from individuals who have been given the task of moving their company office and while moving an office is a large undertaking that may require additional help in the form of other colleagues (creating a committee) or by hiring professional packers. I've coordinated a few office moves and found that the key to a successful move is to build some alliances who can help motivate and coordinate the rest of the office staff.
For the purposes of just getting you started on your office move, we will begin with some basic steps to start the moving process.
Plan the Move
Create a timeline that will allow for all the necessary stages of your move. This will need to be discussed with the rest of your moving team or with the managers and supervisors to ensure that it is feasible. For a small office, you'll need at least three months to prepare and for a medium to large office, at least six to eight months. The key is to start as early as possible.
The next step is to collect all information on the new space. Try to acquire blue prints or floor layout so you can identify key components such as electrical outlets, storage space, etc. and most importantly, to determine the new office layout. It is also a good idea to have a general layout plan for your current space so you can compare the two; if there are areas in the current office that are not working, identify them so that they can be resolved in your new space.
Also make a list of potential problems with the new space, such as a smaller reception area or less storage area or perhaps a larger open space that may require more cubicles or temporary walls. It may be necessary to hire carpenters or painters if walls need to be constructed or painted. This may have been addressed when the new space was acquired, but just make sure that no additional construction or cosmetic changes need to be completed prior to the move.
Gather Your TeamFor medium to large offices, I recommend appointing (or ask for volunteers), someone from each department or division to coordinate their particular area. This could be assigned to the department supervisor or manager who can then ensure that each employee takes responsibility for packing their desk, files and personal items. For smaller offices, you may be on your own. If so, identify a few key people who may be able to help with coordinating the move.
Your team can also assist in identifying current issues with the old space and provide possible solutions for the new office. This is a great way to incorporate other viewpoints and to achieve consensus on the move if some are not quite excited about the change.
Have Regular Meetings
In your schedule, set regular meetings and make sure that employees are notified of meeting details and to ensure everyone knows what they need to do to pack up their office or workspace. It is important to keep everyone informed to limit any worries or concerns; moving is stressful for everyone involved especially if decisions are not being communicated.
Determine Your BudgetIf you have a specific budget amount assigned for your move, it will be important to identify costs before you hire movers, or even before you pack the first box. If If you're uncertain of your budget and what the move might entail, e-mail me for an Office Moving Budget template that will help organize your costs.
Assign TasksHave your moving committee create a list of tasks that need to be completed and make sure they are added to the time line/schedule. You may require specialty service providers, such as telephone line installers or computer network specialists. Ask each department manager or supervisor what is required from their area. Make sure common areas are covered, such as the reception area, lobby, and storage areas.
One of the most critical tasks is to hire the movers. There are moving companies that specialize in office moves. Just make sure you do your research, ask the right questions, and have the company come to your office to assess your move. Like any household move, you need to make sure the company is reliable and that you are receiving the best service for the cost. This task can be assigned to a few people, each calling specific companies then comparing notes. Start early to make sure you get the best price possible.
Make a Contact List
You'll need to make sure that everyone you do business with, both suppliers and clients, know that you're moving. It's a good idea to assign this task to one person to oversee. Notifying customers and clients requires specific communications around where you're moving to and how business will operate during the move. Such information is essential to ensure your customers don't go elsewhere for your services.
Find out more about who and what companies should be on your moving notice list by checking out our article: Who to Notify When Moving an Office.