Moving into new office premises can be an exciting time for a company but the process can also become disruptive and time consuming. Three quarters of small and medium-sized companies delay relocation because of the associated stress and an average of 7.5 working days are lost as a result of moving.
Office relocation can have a detrimental effect on business if approached with little aforethought. Not only should you consider the needs of the business itself, it’s also important to consider how the move will affect employees and existing clients. There is likely to be a lot of equipment and people to get from A to B, which can become stressful for everyone involved.
However, the process needn’t be a disruptive experience. Here are five tips on how to coordinate a stress free office relocation:
Set an office relocation budget
As discussed in our step-by-step guide to office relocation, it’s important to set a realistic budget from the outset to help you monitor expenditure and avoid overspend. The moving process should be factored into this budget.
Consider the price of new office equipment, purchasing new or migrating your own IT and telecoms systems, repairs at both the new and current property and any HR costs associated with the move.
You may need to hire the services of a removals company to transport office furniture. Professional cleaners may also be required as you have an obligation to return the office in the condition it was at the start of your lease. You are responsible for any dilapidations incurred during your stay which could result in charges with an estimated expense of £5 to £20 per square foot of the net floor area. Please contact Open Workspace Design for any further advice on budgeting a relocation.
Time the office relocation right
To limit disruption and reduce stress, it’s important to choose the time of your move wisely. Consider seasonal activity that affects your industry and avoid busy times of the year such as Christmas and New Year.
It’s wise to discuss how timing can affect cost with your local removals company as there may be advantages to moving at a particular time of year, or even a certain day of the week. You could even consider moving on an evening after office hours or during a weekend to minimise downtime in the workplace.
Contact current service providers to inform them of the move
Informing your current service providers of the move well in advance is absolutely crucial. Many businesses wait until the very last moment to contact their providers, only to discover their new telecommunication and broadband services cannot be configured for two to three months.
Planning early also gives you time to evaluate your current service providers and if need be find a more competitively priced solution.
It’s also important to let vendors know of the relocation so they can make adjustments to your shipping and billing address. If you require new office furniture or a sign, order it well in advance so it arrives before your business relocates.
Delegate tasks between the workforce
Employees should be kept informed of developments and schedules associated with the relocation. If team members are unaware of the plans, you’ll find yourself spending lots of time answering unnecessary questions. By providing a regular update, there will be less questions to answer and team members will be less stressed by the prospect of relocation.
A good idea is to get all employees involved in the move by delegating tasks to them. This could be anything from packing boxes, decluttering or simply working from home so the business doesn’t come to a standstill. Sharing responsibility will help to reduce your own workload and will ensure an organised and efficient transition to new premises.
Ensure your existing clients are aware of the move
It’s absolutely crucial that your existing clients are informed of the move. It is also important to confirm that business will be going ahead as normal, although clients are likely to be more understanding of delays if they are aware of the relocation in advance.
The best way of informing clients is to send out an informative email or letter, as well as updating the company website. A well drafted message should include important information such as your new address, contact details and the date of the physical move. It is also wise to provide details about where clients should direct their queries on this day. The letter should also reassure clients that they will not be disadvantaged by the move.