As fortunes change, the size of a business office will also change. We know the unique challenges of moving an office. When you move an office you don’t just move things, you move a culture. Here are the four major steps in a basic office relocation guide.
How to Find a New Office Place
First in your office relocation guide comes the choosing of the new place of business. Contemplate on what exactly you need, and whether your office will stay with the same amount of employees, or you plan to expand. Pay special attention to:
- Whether you can, or cannot afford it.
- Does it have insurance?
- Is it big enough for everyone without anyone being uncomfortable? Would it accommodate all the manager’s personal space? Does it have rooms you can use for business meetings and conference?
- Is there room if you decide to expand in the future?
- Does the space have air conditioning, or central heating? If it doesn’t, installation will cost you more.
- Does it have a kitchen?
- Does it have bathrooms? Showers?
- Is it close to amenities (shops, gyms, saloons, hairdressers, bus and tube stations)?
- Is it comfortable for clients to visit?
- Is it a relatively safe area? Are the streets lit well? Is it close to busy streets? Is there hired security in the vicinity?
- Does it have available parking space? Can you store bikes securely?
- Are there enough power sockets?
How to Relocate a Business
Once you’ve chosen your new place for business, it’s time to get to work and move things into action little by little.
- Start planning 12 months before the move. It’s going to be a lot of work, so the sooner you start, the better. For this purpose, it’s best to make a huge list of all the things you need to do (or at least be aware of). Use an excel spreadsheet, or just plain paper.
- Plan the design of the new office. Decide whether you’ll be purchasing new furniture, or use the old one. Make an interior design plan and find a place for everything. For this, you can use a special software, draw on plain paper, or hire a designer to take care of everything.
- Hire reliable services. If the building rent does not include those, you have to hire your own maintenance, cleaning, security, landline and locksmith service.
- Update business cards. You can’t use the same business cards with the old address once you move.
- Book a quote with a moving company. The earlier, the better. Office removals will surely be needed for moving day.
- Calculate relocation costs. Next on your office moving guide is calculating the moving costs. The dilemma here is, should we spend more money on the move and relocate faster to continue with what’s important (namely, work), or do we spend less money, but more time on the move, executing it ourselves.
- Delegate responsibilities to lower managers. If you’re a big company, then you have at least a few offices and each office has its own manager. The lower managers know best how to prepare the employees for the move and how to make it as trouble-less as possible. Keep in constant touch for questions.
- Send change of address notifications. Post office, power/water/internet suppliers, contacts, business partners, unions, and everyone that might need your new address. Here’s a whole list of institutions that might need it. Sometimes a simple email would suffice, but sometimes you might need to write an official letter. Make sure you announce the date of the move and the new address. You can also use an office relocation announcement template if you find any difficulty.
- Build kitchen and wash-rooms. Kitchen, bathrooms, showers should be furnished and in working order, before moving day.
- Set up servers, cables and wiring. This is for the last day at the old office, so you don’t have to interrupt work flow. Leave this to your IT team.
Office Relocation Responsibilities Towards Employees
When relocating a business, you have to pay special attention to your employees. After all the organisations, here are some things that might cause glitches.
- Check Mobility Clauses. This should be in every worker’s contract – this way the employers may change the work place, without asking for permission. If there is no clause an employee may simply say, “I don’t want to move” and if you move the office anyway, they can file a lawsuit. But, let’s not go there, and simply agree to have a good working environment.
- Get to Know the Details. Now, let’s go over the addresses of all employees and see if any of them will have trouble travelling to the new place of business. Look over the transport links and make sure everyone will be able to get in on time. Some might have their way to work shortened, but others won’t be so lucky. Think about compensation… if you feel obligated of course.
- Avoid Misunderstandings. Employees gossip. Announce the big news early and after the plans are ready. If you have to tell more than 100 people you need to give them 90 days’ notice, for 20+ you need to give them approximately 30 days. It’s important to ensure that the move isn’t putting certain members of your workforce at a disadvantage. This applies specifically to those with disabilities.
- Let Your Employees Play an Active Role. This is optional of course, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to let them all have a say, by giving them an online survey for example. If you include them in the matter, they will adapt to the change more easily which will allow you to consider every detail. It’s also a good idea to include them in some cleaning up. Of course everyone will prepare their personal space in the office, and departments will handle their own equipment, but don’t overlook shared spaces, like the kitchen.
When the big day arrives, stick to the plan but be prepared for hiccups. Moving your business location is not easy. Factor for traffic and weather as best possible, and try to limit the move to one or two days maximum. You don’t want to interrupt work flow.