Moving Office? Remember to P

Moving office can be a task of mammoth proportions; whether you’re moving from a shoebox in Barnsley to the grandest offices Bury St Edmunds has to offer or if you’re just moving three doors down, it’s a big job and a lot of responsibility so you need to remember the three Ps. The three Ps are the basics of relocation strategy and by applying them to your move, you will ensure the essentials are covered

  • Planning (organise in advance)
  • Professionals (hire a professional removals company)
  • People (involve everyone – clients and colleagues)

As long as you remember these basic principles your move should be a smooth and pleasant process but if you want a little extra guidance on your first office move (or your first in a long time), here’s a Barker Storey Matthews guide to office relocation strategy:

Moving Office

Make the Announcement

  • Let employees know about the move ASAP so they feel informed, prepared and involved in the overall process
  • Let clients know about 1 – 3 months in advance – too early and they won’t care, too late and you risk causing inconvenience and annoyance
  • Update everything and everyone; amend contact details and put notices on online and print literature, on social networking, in emails and mailshots
  • Let everyone know your new address by contacting clients and suppliers in writing and with courtesy calls (if possible) and give each employee a business card with the new address on so they can keep it to hand before and after the move

Budget for the Move

  •  Research removal company fees to find the best quote for the best service – there’s nothing wrong with inspiring a little healthy competition
  • Factor in moving and utilities costs – hope for the best but prepare for the worst case scenario, make sure you have enough of a budget to complete the move and deal with any hiccups that may happen along the way
  • Take this as an opportunity to review and replace any equipment that isn’t up to scratch – this might mean unforeseen costs but it is better to get everything set up at once

Hire Reliably

  •  Removals companies differ in specialisms and experience, it is best to find a reliable company that has experience moving offices as they will be better equipped to deal with your move and any problems that may arise
  • Ask for recommendations, do internet research, ask clients if they have used any companies they would vouch for
  • Book the removals as far in advance as possible and make phone calls to double check the booking one month and one week ahead of Move Day

Schedule Everything

  • Give the office a moving timeline so everyone knows when things go offline, move premises or needs packing up
  • Anticipate downtime and advise clients via emails or with a message on your website, twitter, etc.
  • Try and minimise the impact of a move on your business by relocating the office on a weekend, this is the most efficient option as it means a clean start on Monday

Back It Up

  •  Make electronic copies (and double copies) of all files
  • Liaise with IT services at both ends of the move
  • Check that your chosen removal company have experience moving IT technology
  • Make sure the internet and Wi-Fi works in the new office before the move

Organisation and Planning Ahead

  • Determine what is to be packed by staff and what is to be packed by professionals – all employees can pack up their own workstations but they need to label things clearly and correctly
  • Draw up a packing and unpacking schedule (realistic but prompt)
  • Design the layout of the new office before the move so everything is taken exactly where it needs to go
  • Label and/or colour code all boxes and make a record or checklist of what is in each box so you can compare at the other end
  • Try and find a removals company that uses Tracking Software

Spring Clean

  • Clean any equipment as you unpack it (a bowl of soapy hot water or some disinfectant wipes will do the job)
  • Donate unwanted office items (stationery, computers, etc.) to charity stores, schools and so on
  • Leave the old office in a clean and tidy state – it might not be pristine but an effort is appreciated

With so much to take into account when it comes to an office move it is best to be as organised as possible, as early as possible. Aim to have everything planned, booked and in motion no later than three months before the move. As long as you remember the three Ps and the handy hints above, your relocation should be a piece of cake. Good luck!

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