The arrival of Covid 19 has brought unprecedented challenges to office-based organizations around the world. The current trend of rolling lockdowns worldwide has, for some companies, introduced remote working for the first time and for other organizations that had begun to introduce it, accelerated the change to a fully remote or hybrid work from home/office model.
Many companies now find themselves with office space that is far too large (and expensive) for their needs and the requirement for agile working means that smaller offices are in demand. If your company is on the move, here’s how to ensure the move isn’t a backbreaking undertaking;
1.Plan Well In Advance
In research commissioned E.On ¾ of small & medium enterprises (SMEs) reported having delayed relocation plans because of the stress associated with the move. To minimize this stress a clear move masterplan must be put in place. This plan should;
- Investigate any extra needs demands generated by the new location prior to the move.
- Have prior input from each department head.
- Clearly allocate the responsibilities of each department and the impact these responsibilities have on the move.
- Define employee roles for both the packing and unpacking phases of the move and to whom they should report any delays or problems.
- Set a clear timeframe and budget for each aspect of the move.
Once the move masterplan has been agreed upon and signed off, all managers involved in the moving process must stick to the plan and remain within the time frames allocated by the plan.
To ensure compliance with the plan, a responsible individual should be nominated to project manage the move. This ‘Move Manager’ will act as a central point of contact for all parties involved in the move and along with providing oversight, act as a single point of contact facilitating speedy decision making.
2.Identify Moving Partners Early
The decision to cut costs and handle the logistical element of the move in-house is especially attractive these days now that budgets are especially strained. Be aware though that this may well end up as a false economy. The benefits of engaging the services of a reputable moving company far outweigh the costs as they are specialists in the area. They will be more efficient than you can ever be minimizing downtime and potential damage caused in the moving process.
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3.Prioritize Your IT Needs
In this modern world, no company can operate without its IT infrastructure so this should be at the top of your list of considerations. Engage early with your IT department and ensure they have the resources they need to plan and execute the move.
Seek external help and advice if necessary as the importance of hitting the ground running in your new office cannot be understated.
4.Identify And Label Everything
While it may be clear now what each particular ethernet cable connects, will it be so obvious in the new office? Labeled and tidy cabling will save a huge amount of time when you get to your new offices.
Labeling packing boxes will allow you to minimize the time spent in the unpacking process because you won’t need to open boxes unnecessarily. A great tip is to label each box with the location it came from and a number. Create a corresponding spreadsheet that lists each box number and its contents. While it’s certainly a lot of work initially, it will save you so much time on the back end as you will be able to refer to the spreadsheet and know where everything is without having to search through the boxes.
5. Spring Clean
An office move is the best time to take advantage of the opportunity to clear out old files and get rid of unwanted items before the move. This is the time to do those jobs you have been putting off such as scanning hard copy documents that are no longer needed and upgrading any out-dated equipment and office furniture.
A great added benefit is that you will move less, cutting down on time and associated costs.
6. Use This Opportunity to Make Positive Change
New office, new ways of going about business. An office move is a fantastic opportunity to affect positive change within the working environment. Whether it’s reorganizing the office layout to maximize space for your employees or to use the move process itself as an exercise in improving communication, the move has the potential to result in improved business performance, better facilities, and increased staff morale.
With every challenge comes opportunity and now is the time to grasp that opportunity with two hands. With staff already working from home or in ways they never did before, now is the time to make the move.