Preparing to move your office is a lot more difficult than moving to a new home. After all, it’s vital that your business still stays productive and operational during the moving process. As the saying goes, time is money.
Careful planning in advance along with a professional removalist allows you to minimise the disruption to both your customers and employees. It also lets you make sure the move goes according to plan.
Set a Time Frame and Schedule
The first thing you do should be to set a time frame regarding your move. Once you have set your final move out date, which is the date everything must be moved out of the office, it’s time to work backwards.
Allow a few extra days to get everything organised and packed before your move out date. It’s recommended to make a list of everything so that nothing is overlooked before the moving trucks arrive.
Preparing Your Staff For Moving To A New Office
Once you have organised the schedule, notify your staff as early as possible. You should hold a staff meeting to advise them of all the details. After the meeting also send an email with further information in writing.
Every staff member needs to be advised. If there are staff members away on training or off-site, try to wait until everyone is in the office at once. What about staff members who can’t attend? You should have a separate meeting with them once they return and have read the email.
Advising staff in advance also gives them enough time to research new travel routes as well as consider any other options.
Give Your Staff Enough Time To Prepare For The Move
Some people do not cope well with change, so don’t be surprised if people are completely resistant to the move. Some people may be comfortable where they are and settled into a routine. People need to change their transit schedule, and also consider the distance if the new office is far away from their home.
You should give your staff plenty of notice, and have a platform to ask any questions and address their concerns.
By telling staff early, the process also gives them time to adjust and prepare for the move both mentally and physically.
But just how long is enough time to give your employees notice? It’s unreasonable to provide them with only a few days or a week to prepare, even if you are moving a short distance.
While many office moves are planned as much as 6 or 12 months in advance, it’s recommended to give your staff a minimum of one month notice, but ideally, it should be between 3 to 6 months.
Assign Tasks To Staff
The earlier you involve staff in the moving process, the more productive it will be. It will also help to maintain a positive office environment. Consider setting up a move committee to not only help plan and organise the move but also to help make the transition more comfortable for the rest of your staff.
You can ask for volunteers, and make them the first point of contact for any questions or concerns other staff members have. The committee should also review all of the tasks which need to be completed before and leading up to the move, as well as assigning any roles to these tasks as required.
As the move gets closer, it’s likely there will be additional tasks which get added to the list. It’s easy to forget things on your own, which is why having a committee to help makes sure you don’t overlook anything.
Be sure to remember to update your business address details with ASIC within 28 days after you move to your new office.
Implement an External Communications Plan
Be sure to set up an external communications plan. This lets your clients and suppliers stay up to date with your business activities and allows your business to be operational for longer. It also advises of any downtime which will occur during the move.
It also is a chance to communicate any new phone numbers your business will have, as well as informing them of your new physical office address.
Keep Staff Regularly Updated
As well as advising your external stakeholders, it’s just as important to have an internal communications plan also. Send regular email updates to all staff keeping them informed during the moving process. Also, put up signs in the office with any important updates.
Having a committee who has regular meetings is a great way to keep communication open between management and employees. Have the committee send an email after each meeting with the latest updates and minutes from the meetings.
If staff are kept in the dark about the moving process, they are likely to:
- Feel upset
- Lose trust in the company
- Or even feel betrayed.
This can lead to low morale, and also to staff not feeling valued or respected and looking for a new position at another company.
Remember, moving office is a big deal for both you and your employees.
It’s a change of location, routine, opportunities, and potentially lifestyle. Keep everyone feeling in the loop and maintain an open line of communication to address any concerns.
New Office Layout and Plan
Creating a layout plan for your new office lets you figure out the layout in advance before you move. Having the committee assist with the planning helps to figure out where everything will go in the new office, as well as the physical seating location. It also lets you get employee feedback on the new layout. While offering a chance to resolve any issues before they arise in the new office.
The more detailed the plan you create, the easier it will be during the moving day. The plan also lets Removalists know where everything belongs, and they can set things up much quicker.
Communicate The Benefits Of Moving
It’s likely that not all of your employees will be happy about moving. If that is the case, then you need to keep a positive message. It will help them focus on the benefits of moving to a new office.
- A better location
- A bigger office
- Better public transport
- Car Parking spaces
Even the most apprehensive staff may warm up to the idea over time. Once they can start to see that the benefits outweigh the inconveniences.
Although you should also prepare for the situation that some staff may choose to leave the business instead of move to the new office location.
Hire Professional Packing Staff
What if you don’t have enough time? It’s understandable for you and your employees to focus on work instead of packing the office. Consider hiring professional packers to do it for you. This will allow you to continue running your business as usual, while packers prepare all the office furniture in advance of moving day.
Let employees pack their own desks. It also allows them a chance to get rid of anything they no longer want to bring to the new office.
Hire Professional Movers
Finding a professional removalist can be the difference between a moving nightmare, or having your business back up and running at your new location right on time. Make sure to thoroughly investigate Removalists to find the right one for your business.