If you’ve ever moved your company from one office to another, you know how stressful the process can be. Depending on the size of your company, there can be a large number of variables to consider when planning the move. Juggling your employees, technology, and customers may seem like a daunting task. You may even be so intimidated of moving that you join the 78% of companies that decide to stay put to avoid the hassle. However, in today’s article we will help you prepare for the big day by providing a list of the most common problems associated with office moves and how to solve them.
Potential Moving Problems and Their Solutions
What follows is not a comprehensive list of everything that could go wrong during your move. And plan on at least one thing going wrong not matter how much you prepare. But, understanding and planning adequately for these scenarios will help things go as smoothly as possible.
Not Enough Planning
Moving in general takes a lot of planning and evaluating space for rent. So, moving office spaces will require much more planning than you might expect. If you do not create a tight timeline, plan for as many variables as possible, and practice, then your moving day can quickly devolve into total chaos.
Solution: This might seem a little self-evident, but planning well and for a long enough period will ensure that your move goes according to plan. As mentioned above, make sure to create a detailed timeline that all people involved in the move understand and agree to.
You also need to make sure that you leave enough time to create a good moving plan. In fact, most experts recommend taking three months to plan the move of a small office and at least six to eight months of planning for a large office.
Finally, include resource tracking—many companies now offer software to help you do this—in your moving plan. This will ensure that nothing gets forgotten or lost during the move. If you use a moving service, a good resource tracking system will allow you to closely monitor what is being moved and when the movers are handling it.
Going Over Budget
This problem is somewhat related to the one above. If you don’t do enough planning for your costs, it could very easily go over budget. However, there are a few other ways that budgets can go wrong during a move. Most important among these is not researching all of the associated and hidden costs for the move.
Solution: Create a budget. As you do this consider all of the costs associated with the move. These include, but are not limited to, leasing fees for the new space, maintenance fees for your old location, start-up utility costs, mover’s fees, renovation costs, and any special equipment handling costs.
If this is your first office move, you may want to talk to others in the industry to learn more about any extra costs you could incur. There are commercial relocation companies available that can help you plan your move and stay within your budget.
Too Much Down Time
Having your company experience significant down time can be extremely detrimental to its bottom line, especially for tech start-ups. Down time can occur on your servers, phone lines, or Internet connection. Also, as your employees move into and adjust to their new space, there can be a loss of productivity for a short time.
Solution: While down time is not completely avoidable, planning will help you keep it to a minimum. The most common office-move problems occur because of failures to move or set up the technology efficiently. If you rely on data centers or servers, then you will need to be especially carefully when moving that equipment. Some commercial moving companies specialize in moving these and may be worth the extra expense. If you have leased any equipment, then you will also need to check with your vendor before moving anything.
Moving servers and data centers are not the only thing that can go wrong in an office move. You will also need to make sure that you have arranged for Internet and phone service to begin on the day of your move. No one wants down time for their company because the Internet provider wasn’t contacted in time.
Not Enough Communication
Moving is a stressful time for everyone at a company. Just because you are leading the move does not meant that your employees are not also planning and worrying about it. Lack of communication can cause a number of problems. First of all, company moral may drop if no-one knows their role or expectations. Second, if people do not have assigned tasks on moving day they may be more of a hindrance than a help. Finally, if you do not tell your customers about the move, you may end up losing them, which is never a good thing for any business.
Solution: Communicate with your people. You can do this in multiple ways, such as via email, signs, or meetings. Likely, you will want to communicate in multiple ways with your staff on multiple occasions.
If you are moving a medium to large company, you will likely want to delegate tasks to specific group leaders. If your company is small, you may be doing more of the work. However, it is always good to ask for help from your colleagues if you need it. Whenever you are planning a move with a team, make sure to schedule regular meetings with them so that everyone is on the same page. Meetings can also provide a venue for employees to clarify their assigned tasks, and voice concerns or suggestions from their team.
Regular and transparent is key for a smooth and positive moving experience.
Moving your business to a new location, whether it is to a big city like Downtown Los Angeles and San Francisco or a smaller city like Portland, Oregon is a stressful time for any company, no matter the size. If this is your first move the process can be especially intimidating. However, knowing the common pitfalls of office moves will help you be prepared. You can never anticipate everything that can go wrong. But, following our handy guide can minimize some of your unknowns.