A blueprint for relocating your office
Relocating your office is an exciting time.
There can be many reasons behind such a move, ranging from an urge to access new markets to a need to upscale operations after signing a new client.
However, without adequate planning, office relocation can become stressful, cumbersome and disruptive to your workforce.
So what are the key considerations to bear in mind when relocating if you want to avoid putting your entire company out of action for an additional week?
On the legal side, you must plan your departure before you plan your move.
This includes reviewing your leasing / rental agreements and insurance contracts to see if stipulations exist relating to relocation; for example, early termination of a lease may result losing some, or all, of the initial deposit.
Additionally, you should clarify the exact date your tenancy ends and if your organisation is liable for any damage to your current space. Doing so will help your business to avoid any surprise costs or complications down the road.
You must also assemble a team to carry out the move – and choose the members of this team wisely. Certain skills are more useful than others to efficiently execute a logistical task of this size.
Design, communications, financial and strategic expertise should be prioritised. Assembling a well-rounded and diverse team will ensure that all areas of the office more will be considered so nothing falls through the cracks.
No matter how thorough the budgeting for your move is, it’s always the case that there will be unexpected expenses that were not fully realised at the start of the process. Whether it’s unexpectedly high contents insurance or some additional staff the moving company has surprised you with on the day, you should bear in mind that it’s probable your relocation will go over-budget.
The chances of this can be minimised by circulating guidelines for all move-related purchases among your volunteer relocation committee and being as thorough as possible when devising your budget.
You may want to proactively set aside a ‘rainy day’ fund to ensure any unexpected expenses are easily covered so you won’t have to start pulling money from elsewhere.
On the employee side of things, you want to ensure your company’s relocation is a transparent process from the very start.
It’s up to you whether you want an open consultation on where your company’s moving to, but the moment you finalise your new location, you must clearly communicate this to your staff.
Again, how you do this is up to your organisation; whether you inform a workforce via an internal newsletter or open forum, it’s important to keep your staff updated.
Some staff will inevitably feel unsure about such a big decision, worrying about their added commute time or possible job security. Highlighting the various transport links and espousing the benefits of the new location should quell their anxieties, ultimately minimising the uncertainty felt amongst your team.
Whilst external communication may seem like an obvious point, it’s vital to inform key stakeholders of your office move. From clients and service providers to banks and regulators, business leaders must ensure that no one falls through the cracks.
Such information could be passed on via external newsletter, telephone call, or even a personalised letter. Similar to internal communication, the company update should be as comprehensive as possible, including details such as moving dates, the new address and how this will affect their dealings with the business.
If your company handles sensitive financial data, you should have security-cleared engineers ready to re-commission your hardware as soon as it’s set up at the new location – so you can get back to work as soon as possible after everything is over. In an ideal world, your staff should have been working up until the day before the move, with everything but the truly essential items already packed up and ready to be moved.