Unlike when you plan a house move with three or four people, an office relocation requires careful coordination and communication with all of your employees. If even one box gets lost during the move, it may mean the difference between completing a project on time and disappointing a client.
Don’t let an office move throw your employees off their game. Plan early and obtain employee buy-in by forming a committee to plan, manage the budget, stock supplies, supervise the move and take the lead on unpacking.
Moving Your Office Tips
If you’ve got three employees, you can probably handle the move yourselves or with the help of a hired hand. But if the stakes are larger — say, you’re moving state lines or you have over 10 employees — you’ll need extra help in the form of professional movers. Have your committee obtain quotes from multiple movers that have experience with office moves, then select a company that offers a reasonable quote, seems trustworthy and can provide references.
Ask your committee to prepare a packing plan for who will pack the office. They may decide to allocate one member per unit to coordinate that unit’s packing. Have them also review the new space’s floor plan and determine where everything will go with an eye toward creating a harmonious workspace. If you’ve always been frustrated because your business’s marketing and graphic design departments were on opposite sides of the floor, now is the time to move those departments closer.
Have the planning committee meet regularly and report out to the larger group. Moving is stressful on all, so communicating all the little details can help everyone feel like they know what to expect
If you’ll each be packing your workstations, have basic packing supplies on hand, such as boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape and permanent markers to label boxes. Beyond the basics, think about what would make the move more comfortable for all involved. You may decide to keep snacks and bottled water on hand, or to order pizza and sodas delivered on the days you’re packing. Keep personal care products on hand for the move, so that employees can freshen themselves up after long hours spent packing.
Making Sure the Move Goes Well
To minimize unnecessary work, evaluate office equipment as you pack. Maybe you don’t need to keep seven backup computer monitors. Maybe your printer is finicky. If you can sell or donate old technology and office equipment, you’ll make money or receive a tax deduction that can offset some of your moving expenses. You’ll also avoid moving items, only to have to toss them out a few days later.
Ensure that all boxes are clearly labeled with the contents and their location information, such as “kitchen” or “2nd floor accounting.” This is especially important with multi-floor businesses, since you don’t want to lug all of the accounting boxes up two floors after the movers have left! Even lugging something heavy across a large floor can be draining.
Don’t forget to think ahead and order new stationary, letterhead and business cards or to update your contact information on your website. This way, once everything is unpacked, you can get back to business with fewer strains on your employees’ productivity.