Preparing to move an office or business can be a lot more complicated than moving a household. Preparing is key and ensuring that everything on your list is complete is essential. Use this quick checklist as a guide to keep your company move on track.
Determine a Time Frame and Schedule
Your time frame should be the first thing you do. Set the date when all stuff has to be out of the office space, which is your final move out date.
You'll probably need a few days to actually move out, depending on how much stuff you have to move. Work backwards from your move out date and make a list of all the things you need to do before the trucks arrive.
Assign Tasks and Set Up a Move Committee if Needed
It's a good idea to get staff involved in the move early. A move committee can not only help you organize and plan the move but also help ease the transition for the rest of the staff. Have the committee review all the tasks and assign roles as needed. As the move goes forward, you'll probably need to add tasks to the list and as you do, make sure assign tasks, too - there's just too much to do to do it all yourself.
Set up an Internal and External Communications Plan
An internal communications plan will ensure employees are kept informed of the moving plans while an external plan will keep your clients and suppliers up to date on your business activities during the move so you can keep your business in operation during the transition.
Like any move, hiring good movers takes time and should be one of the first tasks on your list. Have a staff member develop a list of at least five moving companies, then ensure you investigate them thoroughly before you hire. Determine budget, get quotes, and compare services across moving companies to decide which one to hire.
Hire Professional Packers
If your moving budget can support hiring professional packers, do it. This will save you and your employees from having to pack up areas of the office that are common and often, the most difficult spaces to pack and move. Employees can be asked to pack their desks or offices as it also provides an opportunity for staff to clean up their spaces and get rid of stuff they don't need to move.
Create a New Office Plan and Layout
This is where your move committee will be really helpful. It's always difficult to move into a new space but when you have to figure out where everything and everyone goes, that takes a lot of time. Make sure you know where each piece of furniture will be placed and every employee will sit. The more detailed the plan, the better.
Talk to Your Current Vendors
Moving a business may mean changing service providers. Check your contracts then decide if you'll stay with your current vendors or if you'll look at switching. You'll need to determine what the new space will require in terms of telephone lines and network infrastructure. Talk to your new landlord and vendors to ensure that you know what the new space needs so there isn't a gap in service.
Any equipment that you're leasing, contact the dealer to notify them of the move and how best to get their equipment to the new location.
Keep Employees Updated and Informed
A move can be difficult for employees. It can mean a change in how they commute and whether their commute is now longer than before the move. If you're moving to a smaller space, then staff need to know how offices will be assigned and what their new space will look like. Employees should be informed at every step in the process. I recommend keeping a moving schedule on the kitchen bulletin board or other common space so people can see how things are progressing and what is expected of them as employees.