Whether you’re a small business owner or the CEO of a large company, overseeing an office move will take equal portions of energy, organizational skills and assistance to make it happen as successfully as possible.
Once your budget and moving date are decided, assistance should come from a committee that includes staff from the HR, IT and communications departments, department managers, security advisors, the office manager and the cleaning crew. This relocation committee is supposed to help you make the transition to the new location easier, so include anyone you think can contribute their knowledge and expertise.
The next task is to decide how to keep everyone, including employees and clients, informed and up to date about the move. Members of the relocation committee should have access to a web page where meeting notes, assignments, completed tasks, deadlines and meeting dates are posted. To keep the rest of your staff informed of events, changes and updates post information on your interoffice Facebook page. Be sure the site gives the staff the opportunity to ask questions and post info they think would be of help. On your company website, maintain a section for your clients and vendors that features info about the move and how the change will be an asset. Be diligent about sending monthly emails to keep everyone aware of your progress. You want the info to be positive, so your staff, clients and vendors will feel comfortable and confident about the changes.
The following is an office-moving plan that lists tips and thoughts to help you, your relocation team and your staff prepare for the big move!
- You’ll be more relaxed if you have six to eight months before your move in which to work on a comprehensive to-do list. If you don’t have that much time, start making your list ASAP. Detail everything you need completed prior to, during and after the move. Keep a printed list available and make sure someone else has access to the file, in case you are unable to follow through on the plan.
- Create a file of important documents, such as insurance records, contracts, agreements and other records you deem important. Be sure these documents are available to your second in command.
- Announce the moving date via email, post it on the employee-Facebook page and your website and place signs and posters throughout the complex. Include the moving date, a picture of the new building and a statement from the CEO or owner as to how the move will add value to the company’s service and how employees will benefit from the relocation. Direct people to the company web site or employee Facebook page for more details and questions.
- Two to three months prior to your move, start researching moving companies. Request referrals from your relocation-committee members and your real estate agent. Check with your community’s Better Business Bureau and local Chamber of Commerce for recommendations and accreditations. Review each mover’s web site and their client feedback section. Then call at least three moving companies for a free quote. Find out if their services include packing, unpacking and box removal. Does the company have a flexible schedule, such as working evenings and weekends? Also, this is a must, ask for proof of general liability insurance, auto liability, cargo coverage and worker’s compensation.
- Discuss each department’s work-flow plan and how it will be affected during the move. Are project deadlines flexible or will due dates need to be adjusted?
- One month before your move, talk with security to coordinate loading and unloading times and guarantee spaces are available for the moving trucks.
- Coordinate maintenance and cleaning crews at both the old and new structures.
- Make sure HR has acquired employee passes for parking and entering the new building. Confirm food will be supplied the day of the move.
- Decide which staff members will stay with the movers at the old location as boxes are removed and which employees will be at the new building to direct the movers to various offices.
- Confirm with your technicians that they will be present to disconnect and reconnect computers and other electronics.
- Call the mover a day or two before to reconfirm the moving date, arrival time and number of trucks.
- Label boxes and equipment, so movers will know where to place everything and employees located at the new building will be able to help direct the movers. Be sure to label which boxes are to be unpacked immediately and which ones can be unpacked later.
Take a walk through the old building and check that all is ready to go. Verify for a final time when the cleaning staff and maintenance crew will arrive to do the final cleaning. Walk through the new building checking power, water, heating and air conditioning and see that desk locations are marked. Take photos of any damage to walls and carpeting and guarantee all is clean and ready to go.