Moving offices requires significant preparation and planning. It can be a stressful, complex and costly process, which needs adequate time to implement. Without a detailed plan, this exciting time for growth in your company could have negative impacts on both staff and business costs.
When it comes to planning an office move without disrupting your business, Karren Skillings, Principle at Skillings Education, offers the following tips:
“1. A successful relocation is 90% planning and 10% delivery.
2. Every successful project needs a process plan.
3. Managing large office moves is challenging.
4. Clients are always surprised at how much planning is really required to pull off a relocation.
5. Don’t let anyone understate what you need to know or plan for during this time.”
To begin your new chapter with confidence, take a look at our guide to make sure everything is in place in plenty of time.
Before you choose a new site
When choosing a new location for your business activities, the new site should not only accommodate your growing workforce but also provide the foundations you need for a smooth transition. Some considerations to make before selecting a new site include:
- Is there sufficient cell service?
- What sort of connectivity is available? Some services can be unavailable or extremely costly and time consuming to install?
Ryan Jones, Junior Sales & Marketing Associate at ACI Inspired Workspaces, says: “one of my best tips for before you even start choosing a site is to ensure you have a great office fit-out provider in place. Some of the best office fit-out companies will also offer free space planning and office relocation services, allowing you to choose the best office for your needs even before you start laying out large amounts of money to buy an office building.
12 – 6 months before the move
When you have chosen the location of your new office, identifying the biggest challenges you will face due to the move is the next step. If you can reduce the complexity of the office move, you reduce the chance of things going wrong. For example
- If you have legacy onsite servers, can they be virtualized well ahead of the move date?
- If you have an On-Premises PBX, why not consider moving to a new VoIP system, which can be bedded in before the move takes place.
Solutions for the above initial findings should be considered carefully before committing, as delays and further problems could be costly for the business.
6 months before the move
If you are moving to a location that needs a total refit, allowing sufficient time for installing cabling and connectivity is vital. If the new building already has other business working from there it is likely that some providers will already have connectivity available. Take a look at the below lead times for connectivity installation to schedule in sufficient time.
- Ethernet cable installation: 6 – 18 weeks
- Peer-to-Peer (P2P) network connection: 4 – 16 weeks
- DSL connectivity: 2 – 3 weeks
- T1 line – can vary dependent on your provider
Aaron Fisher, CEO of My Infotech Partner, adds: “Depending on the size of your business and the type of internet connection (or if you have other data services in place), it can take 3 months or more to get services activated. Before moving your people and equipment make sure your in house IT or outsourced IT team has confirmed that all 3 services are active at your new location.
“Time and time again I’ve seen it where deadlines are missed and people have moved offices with no phones and no internet, and they’re essentially unable to do business.”
3 months before the move
As you get closer to the move, backing up essential data is recommended to ensure a smooth transition. At this stage, the details of how the move will be implemented will need to be planned and finalized.
When developing the plan for the moving phase, it is important to consider whether it will happen in one effort or over a staged period. You will also need to ensure that you communicate to all staff when the date of the move will take place and get everyone prepared for potential disruption.
1 month until the move
As the time draws closer, getting teams prepared is essential for a smooth moving day. At this point is also a great idea to get everyone to do some housekeeping, not just for their desk and filing systems, but also their computer. This will help clear out any unnecessary files on the server, so backing up is easier to implement.
2 weeks until the move
With only a few weeks to go, everything should be on schedule for the final move date. It is important to check everything is set up in the new office to provide a smooth transition and backups of all data need to be made over this period to make sure everything is safely stored for access in the new location.
Big office moves can prove a stressful period for any business, but with effective planning, you’ll reap the rewards of a growing team.