Moving offices is a landmark decision for any company. Usually, it means a step up in the status of the business, and is a statement to both existing and potential clients that the enterprise is successful, and intends to continue along a path to greater growth.
For these reasons alone, plenty of planning needs to be put into a move, as, to outsiders, it must be made to look as seamless as possible.
The first major decision to be arrived at is a schedule for the move, with a number of key dates included, especially the date of the handover of the old premises, and occupation of the new ones. Here, there may be some overlap, but if everything is planned down to the finest detail, the costs involved in this can be avoided.
A tangible plan, which includes certain milestones, is essential. And of course, as the internet is such a widely-referenced source of information and expertise, it is the place to find numerous useful tools which will help with scheduling, and remind you of some tasks which can easily be overlooked.
Major steps along the route to a full transfer will include transfer of IT facilities – probably the biggest concern – movement of stock and resources; notifications to all interested parties, including utility and telephone companies, of details of the change; and deciding how much, if any, of your existing furniture and fittings will need to be transported to the new location.
Starting early, and involving your whole workforce, are the keys to making the process run as smoothly as possible though. And it is never too early to appoint and begin regular liaison with a trusted specialist in organising the logistical and physical aspects of a business relocation.
If you will have different landlords this can complicate matters, but again, keeping the channels of communication open between your own business, and both parties on this side will ensure that things go to plan.
A change of office is not necessarily the time to make big amendments to your regular office seating plan, however. It is much better to try to keep things as close to normal as possible throughout the bedding-in period, so that staff are helped in finding their bearings in their new environment.
Finally, you should make efforts to ensure that the move is seen as a positive development by all of your staff. If they begin their tenure in new premises with a clear picture of where the move fits into the scheme of the business’s overall plans for the future, then they will be more likely to feel part of your plans, and to see the positive aspects of the move.