How to manage an office move
15th August 2019
Moving can be stressful, costly and time consuming for businesses. However, with some forward planning and plenty of organisation, there are ways to make it run more smoothly. If managed well, a seamless move will be quickly forgotten, but the ramifications of a poorly-managed move quickly impact upon income, operations, relationships and reputation.
A move should be something positive and exciting to focus on. It might mean the company is doing well and therefore needs to expand. Or a business might be relocating to a better premises with more up-to-date facilities.
At MovePlan, we are experts at managing moves and change management, it’s part of what we do every day. So here we’ve come up with our top tips on how best to plan a business’ relocation, to ensure the whole process is as stress free as possible.
Plan, plan and plan
This might sound obvious, but as the age old saying goes, fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Preparation and planning for a move really are key to ensure it all runs smoothly. Depending on the size of your organisation, some moves can take months or even years to plan. Decide well in advance who is going to be involved in the planning and coordination, assigning each person clear roles and responsibilities.
When deciding who to take charge of a move, you need to find someone who is senior enough to make decisions; knows the business and its needs extremely well; is good at communicating; experienced at multitasking; is very organised; and can stick to a budget. If you don’t have someone who ticks all these boxes, then you may need to consider seeking external support. MovePlan can help here as our team of experts have all these skills and more to ensure a relocation is managed effectively.
Communication is key when it comes to relocating a company. Staff need to be kept informed, otherwise it could cause upset and unsettled feelings in the workplace. Communication can make the difference between staff feeling negative and worried about a move, to positive and excited about the change. Put someone specifically in charge of communicating with staff. This becomes vital the closer you get to the move, when everyone needs to play a part and know what their responsibilities are.
Communication with staff will also mentally prepare them for the move, allowing them time to pack up their desks and personal belongings. Relocating can feel unsettling for staff, but by keeping them up-to-date with plans they will feel a valued part of the team.
The team managing the move also needs to communicate with each other, or there could be disastrous consequences. You don’t want to find out on move day that three people have all booked removal vans, or worse, no one has!
Don’t forget to also communicate with clients and customers about the move in advance, to minimise the disruption to business operations. If emails and phone lines are out of action, this could be damaging to your business. You might miss out on new custom or cause frustrations. Ideally, you don’t want your operations to stop at all, and this can be achieved with careful planning by setting up a skeleton operation in your new location before everything shuts down in the old site. If using MovePlan, we operate on a zero-downtime model and guarantee that your business won’t stop running during a move.
Moving is the perfect opportunity to have a good sort out and get rid of anything that is no longer needed or used, the same as you would if you moved house. At MovePlan we regularly achieve filing and storage reductions in excess of 70 per cent, resulting in cost savings of unnecessary cabinets and space and improving operations, with impressive financial results.
When relocating, use it as an opportunity to make numerous positive changes including future-proofing your organisation’s filing and storage; reviewing and revamping document retention policies; improving information security; and encouraging environmentally sustainable behaviours. As change management specialists, we can help you make your move an opportunity to introduce new ways of working.
A move can create opportunities to streamline a business’ operation, and ensure that everything that moves with you has a specific purpose.
The key to a successful move is to ensure minimum disruption to the business’ operation, so that staff remain productive, creating a positive experience for everyone. This might sound like the biggest challenge of all, but it is possible with careful planning and organisation.
One of the best ways to reduce disruption to staff and customers is to carry out as much as possible outside of office working hours. This allows business to run as normal, and reduces the stress on staff who won’t be distracted by noise whilst working. Professional removal teams will ensure packing and moving is carried out as quickly as possible.
At MovePlan, our service offers companies peace of mind when it comes to relocating, and mitigates the risks surrounding relocation.
Seek external support
Most businesses will seek external support when it comes to relocating. By working with a company such as MovePlan you are passing over the responsibility for ensuring everything runs smoothly to experts. Not only will this ensure your staff can continue with their job as normal, it will reduce the risks involved with relocation, ultimately saving money in the long run.
Our expert Project Managers integrate quickly with client teams to understand requirements and culture. We provide a dedicated manager to every project, supported by additional team members. With our MovePlan Toolkit© (containing more than 250 checklists and templates) the unnecessary stress caused by a move can be completely eliminated.
If you think that a move is too much to handle internally, our team can take the strain away and be responsible for the programme from start to finish.