These are challenging times for many organizations, especially those with large office spaces. The economic impact of Covid 19 on companies worldwide has forced many organizations into rationalization. Indeed, for most companies, the current situation with ongoing lockdowns has at least introduced the age of remote working. Even for those organizations that were already contemplating such a model, the coronavirus has hastened the transition to fully remote or a hybrid work from home/office model.
With these new challenges, the costs associated with keeping and running now redundant office space has become a topic that many firms are moving to address as they take on a new, more agile, stance. So, if your organization no longer needs all that office space and the decision to downsize has been taken, here's how best to prepare for the move to your new office.
Preparation Is Key
To minimize the time taken to complete the move and therefore the disruption to your business, a clear move plan must be put implemented. This plan should;
Have input from each part of the organization involved in the transition.
Outline a clear, non-negotiable timeframe for each stage of the move.
Provide a budget that needs to be adhered to.
Clearly define the roles & responsibilities of each department.
Highlight any new requirements created by the new location, or, the ‘new normal’.
Once the move plan has been agreed upon by management it is essential that all stakeholders involved in the move adhere to the plan while remaining within the allocated time frames. To ensure this happens a Project Manager should be nominated. Often referred to as a ‘Move Manager’ this person acts as a central point of contact for all participants and along with providing oversight on the masterplan, acts as a conduit of information up and down the chain allowing rapid decision making.
Finding The Best Movers
Perhaps your organization has its own transport department and the desire to manage costs by handling the logistics of the move in-house is appealing. While lower costs are always welcome, this may well prove to be a costly mistake in the long run.
The benefits of engaging the services of a reputable commercial relocation company outweigh the costs as they are experts in what they do. Obviously, your staff can move office but commercial relocation companies will do it quicker (minimizing downtime) and, as they are experienced, will cause less damage. Using other companies’ staff also eliminates the risk of injury to your people.
Always get more than 1 proposal and make sure that all quotations received are for comparable services. Confirm that your movers are fully insured and don’t forget to check their online reviews as these can give you insight into the service provided to previous customers.
It goes without saying that companies want to minimize the impact a move has on their business. Increased downtime will put more pressure on already squeezed profits. Any move should be coordinated to happen at a time where the business is usually quiet and the move will cause the least disruption.
Perhaps the most common mistake made by organizations is to underestimate the time frames involved in a move. What appears to be simple tasks in your current location can take longer than anticipated due to a lack of familiarity with the new surroundings. It is wise to allow for delays when agreeing on timeframes.
It is a good idea to survey your new office in advance of the move that way you can take care of any issues before the movers and your staff arrive.
Finally, ensure that your new location does not have any restrictions in relation to access between certain times - some buildings (especially those shared with other companies) have rules concerning access times for movers so as not to disturb existing tenants. Enquire with building management in advance.
Keep Your Customers Informed
With the best will in the world, there is going to be disruption to the service levels you provide to your customers. Don’t forget to inform them in advance and to keep them in the loop throughout. They will understand as chances are, they have done this in the past.
In fact, if the thought of relocating your office is daunting try and keep in mind that many organizations have done it before so don’t be afraid to talk to your customers and suppliers and ask them about their experiences. They will likely have made mistakes that you can learn from.
Finally, remember that while an office move can be challenging, every challenge provides your organization the opportunity to make a positive change. Moving office could be the clean slate you have needed all along.