Changing office locations is a normal occurrence for most businesses, especially as they grow. It could be because the business has expanded, and a larger space has become necessary, or it could be that the current area is too expensive.
Whatever your reasons, office relocation can be a nightmare if the move is not well managed.To ensure a smooth transition, use this checklist.
Be strategic when choosing dates to move
Moving an office has many implications. It interrupts your operations so you should choose a date that will have the least impact on the employees and clients.
For example, if the end of the month will be more disruptive, schedule a move in the middle of the month.
If you are leasing, when does the lease expire? Although minimal interruptions are essential when moving offices, the date when your lease expires matters.
Before deciding when to move, consider all the other variables for a smooth transition.
Discuss the move with your staff
Office relocation can be overwhelming for employees. Some will need to travel a longer distance from their homes to get to work, while others will need to put in more time in the office to help organize the move.
Communicating with your staff about the move and the benefits of the new location is critical. This will help them prepare emotionally for the move.
If the commute will be longer and more costly for the employees, this would be a great time to address their concerns.
If possible, get their input on the best period to move. Sometimes, the employees know more about the best time to move since they know when they are least busy. If they need to adjust their calendars to help with the move, they will gladly do it if they are involved in some of the decisions.
Ensure the new office space is ready
As you plan your move from the current office space, you must ensure that the new office space is ready for occupation. Examine the walls, floors, cabinets, bathrooms, and electrical outlets.
If you need to have the walls painted, make sure you do it early enough. Contact your service providers and ask them to make the necessary arrangements. This way, when you move in, you'll have electricity, water, gas and internet already fixed by the time you move in.
Moving will have an impact on your operations so you should make sure once everything is in place, you get back to business immediately.
Develop an office layout so that you know what goes where, and if there will be any difficulties. For example, is the reception area expansive enough for all the furniture? If not, what steps can you take to solve the problem?
Inform your clients of the move in advance
Before relocating your office, your clients need to know about it. You can advertise the move at least a month before you relocate.
Let them know when you’ll be moving, where you are going, and how the functions of the office will be affected by the move. For example, will you close for a day or two during the move? Can they still get the online service during this period?
Change the information on all the company materials
Your office address is critical. Even if you advertise your change of address in various media outlets, not everyone will get the information.
Ensure all your business cards, marketing materials, and stationery are up to date.
Don't forget to make the changes on your website as well. If you had placed an order for more marketing materials, ensure you inform the vendor of the changes.
This way, you'll not waste funds on items you'll not use because it has the wrong address.
Have a list of your inventory
Things tend to get lost when relocating. Sometimes people take advantage of an office move to steal. Having a list will help you keep track of all your office items. Develop an inventory of the company's assets and miscellaneous items.
If there is any clutter, such as broken furniture and appliances that are no longer in use, get rid of them. Have a hard and soft copy of all the business records.
Moving is never easy, especially if you have a lot of office furniture and equipment to move. However, if you arrange for the new offices to be ready for occupation, there will be minimal interruptions.
Involve your staff when coming up with a layout of the new space. This way, during the move, everyone will settle in their new work stations without wasting time debating where to place their desks.