5 Dos and Dont’s For A Successful Office Move
If moving house is meant to be one of the most stressful things you do in life, where does that leave the person in charge of an office move? There are far more components to an office relocation such as furniture, power, equipment, arranging departments and desks and that’s before you get to the people!
Clean Focus has assisted businesses with end of lease cleans, builder cleaners and spring cleaning new commercial premises, and here we share the 5 dos and don’ts which we’ve witnessed first hand to ensure that moving office is a stress-free time.
5 Dos for A Successful Office Move
Share what you know!
Some things will be sensitive or confidential, but once you know the move is happening, share it with your staff. Whispers and assumptions at the water cooler will only bring you resistance and opposition to the move. As humans, we don’t like change and Barbara in accounts may be hesitant about moving from the cubicle she has called home for the past 15 years. Get staff on board by asking them to design new stationery or pick out new furniture. Maybe create a working group to implement some new benefits in the kitchen and break out areas.
We all know that there is a fair bit of planning involved in an office move, but it’s surprising just how many facilities and office managers underestimate the time and effort involved in the planning stages of an office move. Keep a project plan in excel or even look at specialised planning and scheduling tools for the project. The project plan and timeline will become your life. For large office moves planning starts at least 6 months away with regular meetings both internally and externally. It will be a working document that controls the entire move and will ensure nothing slips through the net.
Consider a project manager
It may be tempting to run the move yourself, but usually, facilities and office managers have to continue their day job as well as organise a move and when equipment breaks down, or the cleaners walk off the job it can spell disaster for your office move. If your computer suddenly displays a blank screen you call IT as they are the experts, right? So for a large and complex office move, surely it makes sense to get an expert in who has managed previous office moves. By employing an external office move expert to manage the project, you can keep an eye on the progress of the move, but still, have enough time to present budgets and costs in the management meeting and fix the air-con when it fails.
Visit the new location frequently
Everyone is human, even planners and architects, so don’t assume that what is on paper in front of you to be true. Complex office moves involving hundreds of people means many moving parts and incredible detail, so it isn’t unusual for one or two things to be missed. For example, check for loose carpet tiles and the LED lighting installation for bulbs that are out or lights that will be too dim or bright to work with. Make sure you visit the new site frequently as you lead up to moving day to help you visualise the office move and how and when furniture and installations will happen.
Coordinate an office clean
It’s amazing the amount of rubbish, old products, obsolete office equipment and broken furniture even a small business can acquire over time. You only want to take with you what will serve you and your staff in the new premises so organise a cleanup day at your office and buy some cleaning supplies. You’ll be surprised how much you can donate, recycle, upcycle and sell! When you have a pile that can’t be re-used, book in rubbish removals to take away what’s left.
5 Don’ts for A Successful Office Move
Try to do all the things!
If you take on the entire office move from beginning to end without engaging key stakeholders you are in danger of two things happening. One, you’ll alienate your peers and two, you’ll end up failing. As early as you can engage team or department heads in marketing, sales, HR and IT. Marketing can help promote the office move in a positive way with staff. Work with sales on a plan to keep the business running during downtime, HR can manage any time off needed and talk to any staff members worried about the move. IT will be working with you closer than the other departments to manage computer and office equipment set up and installation.
Yes, it’s a cliche. However, assuming that the power outlets are where they say they are because you saw the electrician point it out on a piece of paper could cause you huge problems if you don’t go and physically check. Don’t assume that important invoice has been paid because you put it in the accounts tray, ask for a copy of the remittance or call the supplier to check and don’t assume the office removalist Sydney you booked online has all the insurances to protect you from breakages.
Easily said than done I hear you say! Stress leads to mistakes, simple as that. Plan well in advance and engage support from your peers and team leaders to minimise the risk of putting someone offside, or making a costly mistake. Plan your day in advance to maintain control and if you do feel you’re about to lose it, take 5 minutes out. Sit quietly in the park, or take a walk and pop on a meditation track or music to listen to. It’s wise to avoid too much caffeine and late nights in the lead up to and during the office move as this will only add pressure to your day and raise your heart rate.
Lose track of the numbers
It’s all too easy to spiral completely over budget in an office move. Chat with the head of finance and work out the best way in which you can capture all the invoices and plan a watertight budget. Don’t forget to add a contingency, no office move has ever gone exactly to a pre-planned budget!
Forget what you’ve left behind!
It’s exciting to move into a new workspace, but as busy as moving into your new premises will be, there will be obligations to fulfil with regard to your old office space. Have you organised appropriate post forward accounts? Have you met with the landlord and signed off any agreed make good requirements? Has the last rend bill been paid and are all obligations closed off and remember to book your office cleaners for that all-important end of lease clean so you receive all agreed on bonds back.
There you have it! Follow these Top 5 Dos and Dont’s for a successful office move. Keep calm, plan ahead and keep your colleagues in the loop. Moving office can be a huge task, but if you go into the project with a plan, you’ll come out ahead!