Moving can be great. New offices, new location - who doesn't love new things?
While it is a great thing, we also know it can be an immense amount of work, and an extremely long process. We also know that unlike when you move houses, this type of move affects a lot more than just you. From employees and vendors to customers, your move and whether it goes well or not, has implications for a large group of people.
In the past we've helped a lot of clients with their office moves, and recently have been planning for our own office move, so we thought why not put together some information to help everyone! For most of our client's office moves we are generally just responsible for the technology portion, but er've learned throughout the years that there are a lot of other things to take into account.
So once you've found your new office, how should you go about the entire moving process?
Tip #1: Start Early & Plan Everything
Hopefully you've already started planning, as we recently found out, even the process for finding a new office starts WAY earlier than one would expect. That being said, once you've started the process, it's important to plan for everything! Lists are your best friend in this process.
The best first step is to assign one person or team to be in charge of the move. This way everyone knows who to refer to and all involved have one point of contact to direct questions to. Having a dedicated person or team also helps make sure nothing gets overlooked and that people aren't confused about who is assigned what task.
This early planning process should also include finding a moving company, picking a moving date, setting your budget, transferring/activating any utilities or services for move-in day, and assigning any tasks to employees, like packing up their desks.
Tip #2: Know Your Layout
Whether you're moving into an already finished space, finishing the build out of an office in an already finished building, or starting from the ground up, it's important to know what the floor plan and furniture layout will be. This helps you know:
- What furniture you will be bringing with you
- What furniture you will be selling or donating
- What furniture you need to purchase before the move (where you will have it delivered - the current office or the new one)
- How to position everything in the new space (looking at cabling, electrical outlets, and office flow)
- Informing employees of what their new space will look like
Knowing the layout is also important for vendors and the technology setup. Which brings us to...
Tip #3: Have a Detailed IT Plan
Your employees need their technology to serve your customers. From internet to phones to necessary hardware, planning for technology in the new space is one of the most important steps.
You need to plan for things like:
- Is your current service transferrable? If not, do you have options for a new provider?
- How much notice does your provider need to transfer or activate new services?
This is another area in which knowing your layout is needed.
- Does the office have sufficient cabling?
- If you need to make cabling adjustments do you have a qualified vendor to work with?
- Is this in your budget?
- Will your current equipment work?
- Do you need any new or additional equipment?
- Is this in your budget?
- Do you have qualified personnel to move, configure, and troubleshoot the network equipment?
- Who is responsible for moving, connecting, and troubleshooting the workstations during and after the move?
This is just a brief overview of everything you need to think about. We've put together a full technology focused moving checklist you can download here to get started. But it's important to not that if you don't already have one, you should engage with an IT vendor to help in discussions with contractors, architects, access control companies, electrical and any other IT vendors throughout the moving/building process.
You don't want your employees showing up to the new office unable to work!
Make the Move!
Once the planning is done, and the day has arrived, it's time to make the move. Make sure your employees know their role, and make sure everything is being done in a way that will have the least effect of your customers.
Give yourself and your employees time to settle in and address any moving related issues, technical or non-technical. A couple things to check:
- Does the network work and can all stations connect?
- Is all the furniture assembled and positioned according to the plan?
- Are all utilities activated?
- Have all employees finished moving their desks?
Once everything has been evaluated and tested and the move is complete it's time to make sure everyone knows you've moved!
Double check that you've forwarded your mail, updated billing information with banks, and send out a formal notice to your customers informing them of your new address. Make sure to update your website, social media accounts, Google business account, business cards, and any printed materials that might have your old address listed.
Once all of that is complete and your employees are settled in it's time to breathe and enjoy your new space!
If you're needing technology help, or advice, for an office move or any other technology related projects, give us a call! We've been helping Austin small businesses for 20 years and would love to help you!