Good business relocation should be quick, smooth, transparent, and not trouble your operations and current or potential customers and vendors. An office move includes moving giant equipment, folders of essential papers, fragile electronic equipments like laptops, printers, memory cards with gigabytes of sensitive information, and more. So, what should be the most important things involved in an office move?
A packers and movers company with experience handling corporate clients is the first and foremost thing needed for an office move. The other vital elements are planning the move, which involves communication, pre-arranging essential services at the new location, segregating items, and more. From the employee’s point of view, you will be dealing with resistance, budget negotiation, creating a moving team, and more. On the week of moving, you need a checklist, clean-up crew, storage units, final assessment of the new place, and closing any bills or commitments with the current workplace. Beyond these, there are government norms to follow. Did you know you need to start 6-12 months before moving for efficient business relocation? Let’s see what you should do from day one.
This phase usually begins at least a year before the actual moving day. It is not a one-day decision unless you are a small sole proprietary firm. Even then, it is required to communicate with vendors, arrange government licenses or forms, and more.
The first step is to create the moving team. Once your board members have finalized the move, you should organize the team immediately. This team will have to:
Announce the move to the employees, shareholders, customers, and vendors
Arrange the budget for the move and related elements
Assign authorities and delegate responsibilities among employees
Handle any resistance to move
Procure all required licenses (change in address to be notified and registration documents to be updated accordingly for place of business) for the transportation of the business and its products
Arrange the new office, hire required services, and manage the new layout creation
Completion of all responsibilities in the old place
Payment of the pending bills which are location specific
The first element of this phase is determining the loss of business during the days of packing and moving. The second element is hiring the best corporate packers and movers. Do you know how to box the servers? Are you well equipped to dismantle the tables and computers for effective packing? The answer is probably no; thus, you need an experienced moving company. Apart from this, the budget should include:
Employee compensation for relocation, changing housings, daily-commute changes, and more.
If moving to a new state, the company would face a lot of employee attrition; thus, you should include hiring costs. HR department has to make an early move to cushion the possible attrition.
Alteration in the new business space, vendors required for those alterations, parking area permit or rent, and more.
Storage facility charges for the temporary storage of goods, if required
The cost incurred for taking back-up and re-creating or re-purchasing the lost/damaged data or equipment.
Any office would have documents that fall under one of these categories:
Disposable or unwanted, or redundant copies
Key documents related to the business
Legal documents, bank reports, deeds, wills, contracts, and more
Sensitive information or financial details
It would be best if you threw the first category away. There is no point in packing everything and transporting it to the new place to store them in a corner. The best way to organize the documents is by delegating them to the respective employees. For example, only a finance employee knows which the necessary financial documents are. Ofcourse, as a good industry practice, such documents should be shredded properly before disposal.
The next set of documents to arrange is the information inside computers, pen drives, external hard disks, CDs, and more. The best way chosen by companies is by uploading everything to the cloud. Thus, it is safer and takes up literally no physical space. Moreover, it would be easier to retrieve any data whenever and wherever you want. Therefore, the time taken to resume your business in the new place will be less.
Create a timeline
Experts recommend creating a timeline in which the departments would start packing. The first step is packing all the documents, equipment, and others that will not restrict the business process. The second step is to pack the departments that do not interfere with the prime business. The next step is boxing the business-oriented departments, and the last step is the customer services or customer contact points.
Create a timeline and allocate adequate time for the employees and support teams to arrange and pack items. Once you have created this timeline, communicate it with the employees and ask for feedback. The top elements that should be in your announcement are:
The address, layout, and name of the new office space
Moving dates, packing dates, and other important deadlines
Any changes in the layout between the current and new office space
The reason for the move
Budget-related information, including the relocation allowances
Time allocated for employees to settle in the new place
What they can expect in the new place
Self-pack sensitive documents
If you have sensitive and valuable documents, do not wait for the packers and movers to pack them for you. Make sure to self-pack; it is best to transport them personally to the new office. In such circumstances, you would need to purchase packing items.
Can you consider transporting them inside the cabinets? You can move a 2-drawer vertical cabinet with items inside. A 4-drawer vertical or lateral cabinet should be empty while moving.
Items to pack
Number of cartions required
Files in a single drawer
Mid-size carton (12x24x12 inches) – 1, cellotape, plastic roll
Items in one cubicle
Mid-size cartons (12x24x12 inches) – 5 to 8Large carton (24x24x18) – 1, cellotape, plastic roll
Items in a standard 12 x 12 office
Med-size cartons (12x24x12 inches) – 20Large boxes – based on the number of cubicles and drawers
Create a packing station and start packing and storing the boxes in this area. If required, you can ask the packers and movers you have hired for recommendations regarding the type of boxes and packing materials.
On the day of packing
Before this date, you should have an all-inclusive list of things already packed and where they are stored. Also, make a checklist of things that haven’t been loaded yet. Then, as the packers pack each item, please note it in the list.
If you are self-packing, make sure to use double-walled cartons for computers. Dismantle them, wrap them separately and place them in a carton with bubble wraps padding the surfaces. Use a waterproof stretch wrap (plastic roll) to cover the carton. Each carton should have one computer with all its accessories. For small items, use separate packages to pack before placing them in a large one. For large equipment, you would need wooden crates with enough padding.
Even with all these preparations and communication with employees, a lot of different things could go wrong, and you might lose valuable or sensitive information or equipment. So, always have a plan B in hand. Be prepared to restart your business as early as possible. Frequently check with employees during the move to know about any problems.