There are very few businesses that stay in one location forever. As companies grow and change, they move to spaces that better fit their current needs. It’s simply easier than trying to force a space to accommodate something it wasn’t built for. If you are facing your first office move, it is important to understand that moving a business is much different than moving a home. Here are some tips to help the process go smoothly.
Seriously. And when we say “hire movers” we don’t just mean to hire people who do the physical and manual labor of moving (though you’ll want to do that too). We’re talking about hiring professionals who specialize in asset move management. These professionals know how to plot floor plans and arrange the logistics of your move to be as smooth as possible. They can help you schedule packing, loading, unloading, arranging, etc. Moving offices is more complicated than simply figuring out the physical arrangement of your stuff in a moving truck. Hire professionals who understand that.
Mind Your IT
Your professional movers will likely tell you that it is best for everyone to move your IT infrastructure first. Listen to them. This will give that team time to install your servers in the new location, run cables, etc without having to do a bunch of crawling around under desks and around boxes. They can make sure everything is functional and in place before your employees move in. This will help keep productivity and employee morale up.
Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of moving from one office to another is the way company productivity takes a dive during the move itself. With IT and servers being dismantled and moved, having to pack up then unpack offices, etc., it’s no wonder employees aren’t able to focus properly on their jobs. A good way to combat this is to allow employees to telecommute from home during the week before and after you move offices. This way you don’t have to worry about productivity lost to a server that is in transit or the moving process being a distraction.
If you want to keep productivity up, you will likely need to have employees work longer hours than they usually do during the transition. Make sure your employees know that they will be receiving overtime pay for staying late, coming in early, and working on the weekends. Most importantly, let people know that they will be paid even if their late night is spent unpacking their desk and arranging their office. If your employees don’t have to worry about losing billable hours to the moving process, their productivity will remain high and their stress levels will be minimized.
PRO TIP: Offer bonus gifts as well. Take your employees out to dinner, give them event tickets or other (work-appropriate) gifts in addition to offering overtime pay. These types of affectionate displays can go a long way to assuage stress during the moving process.
Don’t Forget Your Clients
It is important that your clients know about your move well before the move itself takes place. Let them know that you’ll be doing your best to continue to serve their needs but that they may experience delays in communication or product delivery. Start telling them about the move as soon as you decide to start looking for a new place. Keep them apprised of the process. This helps them feel like they are “in the loop” and reinforces their value. It can also assuage frustrations at projects taking longer than projected, an employee not calling or emailing back right away, etc.
Moving isn’t anybody’s idea of a good time but if you follow the tips and tricks we’ve listed here, your office’s move should go relatively smoothly.