If you’ve ever moved house you’ll know the joys (not!) of packing your life away into a hundred little boxes, lugging those belongings in and out of a truck and then unpacking them at the new destination. Sure, this is a great way to catch up with old mates who have kindly volunteered their services for the day – but there are definitely more cost effective ways to a catch up, like coffee or a pot luck dinner!
But relocating a business is a different story. Since business has to ‘carry on’ in the process – this can be a very stressful experience for both employers and employees. If you are in a business who has to move, don’t fall into the trap of doing it all wrong. Like any grand project, break the move down into baby steps, starting a few months prior and everyone will be happy on moving day.
10 handy tips for a smooth office relocation
3 months before the move
A business still has to operate even when on the move. All parties involved should take a bit of time to familiarise themselves with the offices and location.
1. Floor plan and measurements
- Measure the size of the office and what can be fitted in.
- Draw up a floor plan and distribute to all so those helping will know where to relocate fittings, furniture, equipment and even plants!
- Examine the elevators at your new office building. Make sure they are working and large enough to fit bigger furniture items. If not, give movers ample notice to alternative arrangements can be made.
- Check how many security points are necessary and that all points are covered.
- Check whether an alarm system is installed.
- Does the new office have a record of burglary. You can go security sites like Stylewise Security for tips and advice on this.
4. Back up files
- Back up computer files. Arrange for phone and Internet services to be up and running before the move. Hire experts who know how to break down and re-setup equipment.
5. Clients and suppliers
- Inform clients and suppliers of the relocation date, time of move and location.
- Order business cards and new stationary ahead of time rather than after the event.
- Try to limit interruptions to clients as much as possible.
1-2 months before the move
6. Parking permits
- Secure necessary parking permits for staff members and your removal company.
- Organise bike racks for cyclists.
7. Health and safety
- Be aware of health and safety regulations and make sure all people involved in the move comply with these.
- Don’t allow employees to lift and carry heavy items. Leave all heavy items for the relocation company.
- Clear any tripping hazards. It won’t do any good to have staff who are unable to work, or worse still, file for compensation!
8. Pest control
- Inspect and treat premises for pests in advance. Avoid interruption to business due to a possible extermination of pests during or after the move.
9. Items in storage
- Remove all items from cupboards, desks and shelves.
- Don’t empty filing cabinets, just secure them with a lock or good quality masking tape.
- Empty desk drawers or secure their contents.
- Make each staff member pack their personal belongings into boxes.
- Ask employees to pack their own personal belongings into boxes.
- Secure extra boxes from movers or supermarkets if required.
- Use scrap paper, bubble wrap or packing peanuts to pack small breakable items in boxes.
- Remove liquid and toner from fax and copy machines to avoid messy accidents.
10. Organisation is key
- Be sure to download a comprehensive moving checklist from your removal company or via an online source.
On Moving Day
An organised move is a happy move! By moving day you should be well equipped but When moving a business the goal is to keep business running as smoothly as possible by avoiding interruptions. For a stress-free experience, make sure employees are well informed of procedures and that instructions are easy to follow. Then it’s business as usual!
Enjoy your new business premise!