Moving is never fun, but moving a business can be downright distressing. Depending on how big your facility is and how many employees you have, you may need to discuss prorating your rent to move departments over in chunks instead of moving the whole business over in lump action.
Schedule During Downtime
Do your very best to schedule moves during downtime. If you have one department that’s under a heavy workload, you can start moving another department and let the department under load keep going. Do your best to allow the department still working to have an honest indication of when they can actually expect to have to move.
Budget to Gift Time
Once one department is moved over, you may have folks with time on their hands. If this happens, budget time to give employees a few days off in the moving process. Not only will this keep folks who have nothing to do from hanging out and stressing out folks who are working, but it will help to raise the grim feelings caused by the moving process.
Be as Transparent as Possible
Whenever possible, be sure to update your employees on the status of the move and provide folks with dates. One of the big challenges that business owners face is that changing things around can create a lot of resistance, uncertainty, upset employees, and gossip.
Do your best to provide employees with data. Even if you have to publish a change later, it’s better than giving power to the gossips that will attempt to fill in the information.
Use Your Suppliers
Do a detailed inventory of all the office consumables in stock, as well as raw goods for manufacturers. Move toward an “as needed” stock management system and be prepared to stock up fully when you get moved to your new space.
If you’re under contract to receive a specific level of stock each month, look for a secured storage unit near your new location and have the product dropped off there instead of bringing it to your old facility. Should you be able to store any product in your new building, consider installing or upgrading security. In case there’s already security there, take over the contract and keep the building monitored.
Invest in the supplies necessary to allow everyone to pack up their own space, tools, and supplies. Your tech support group will need to move the computers, but you will want to allow employees to pack up their own manuals, files, and notes specific to their jobs.
When it comes time to move the big stuff, hire someone with the strength, gear, and insurance to safely get your supplies and equipment to your new facility. Carefully review the condition of everything before it goes on the truck, particularly any precision machinery that needs detailed packaging. The best moving company in CT or your particular locale may be skilled and careful, but if those items aren’t properly packed beforehand, your movers can only do so much.
Plan Out-of-Office Cleaning
If you have cubicles, send them out to be cleaned around moving time and have them delivered to your new office when they’re done. Take a look at your metal file cabinets and consider sending them out for cleaning and painting if they need some freshening up. Get the furniture out of your office and get it cleaned, reupholstered, or updated in whatever way necessary to set up a brand new, wonderfully comfortable seating area in your new office.
Many organizations that clean furniture, cubicles, and other office structural components will also pick them up and deliver them, so get that service lined up and budgeted for before you start packing. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that your new space is fully cleaned and freshened, preferably with new paint and flooring, before you move in.
Settling in will be quicker than packing up, but you can expect more disruption. Change is hard. Do your best to do some hand-holding of the employees who really can’t handle the process of change and stay flexible. Take care to monitor your own stress level and step away from the moving process if necessary.