So you are relocating to a new office? Congratuations. We could even
say, “Commiserations”, depending on how well prepared you are.
We suggest that you don’t make a move till you read this.
First of all, determine a ‘moving office’ budget and keep to it. Even small offices that are re-locating would do well to follow this advice as hosts of quite unexpected expenses may come up along the way if you are not vigilant.
Never underestimate what is involved in the move. Re-locating is a complex, stressful, nerve-racking and time-consuming job and it must be undertaken well in advance in a methodical step-by-step manner.
There are questions to which you need clearcut answers: How much space do you need? Many people make the mistake of miscalculating their space requirements. They often under-estimate their requirements. The calculations have to be exact, and there are many things to consider. What features do you want your new space to have? Should allowance be made for additional room for some new tasks you envisage? Make a plan or blueprint (you don’t have to be an architect – just roughly draw out the plan on a blank sheet of paper), taking into consideration every piece of furniture required for every function. It’s best to factor in 10% to allow for more space as business grows. But over-estimating your requirements beyond foreseeable needs is also a mistake. Real estate is expensive and if the space is larger than that actually required, you cannot make optimum use of it. Calculations should be precise and noted down.
Another major pitfall is starting the process of re-locating too late. It’s never too soon to start. As the date approaches, panic sets in and costly mistakes can be made. Even if you have a small office, it makes sense to designate someone as project manager for the move. All decisions and expenses should be routed through him or her.
The timeline to follow must be sacrosanct (with the project manager keeping a few days’ in hand in case of emergencies or unforeseen contingencies). The tasks to be completed before a certain deadline should be reviewed. The project manager must monitor progress on a daily basis and take any anticipated hurdles to the management for corrective action before it’s too late.
Relying on your own resources for everything is not a good idea as it may end up costing you a lot in terms of both time and money. You can’t be a specialist at everything so why not take professional advice? People who’ve re-located their offices thinking they can handle it all themselves, have often found it’s being penny wise, pound foolish. Many costly mistakes can be avoided with the right professional advice at the right time. It’s worth it.
Today, IT systems are critical to the on-going success of your business. You can’t afford a shutdown for too long. At the same time, migration and safe transfer of IT systems is all-important. These should be planned for well in advance and here again, it’s important to have professionals handling the transfer. Make an IT re-location checklist – a step-by-step guide that takes care of the smallest detail. This can help you ensure close to zero downtime when moving your office.
As far as possible, you would like it to be business as usual. It is possible not to miss a deadline in spite of the chaos of a move. All key stages of your work should be charted and time allowed for completion of each task, without it interfering with the schedule for the move. With careful planning, it can be done.
Keep important papers in a safe place and write down where they have been stored. This can avoid panic stations all round.
In all the hustle and bustle of packing, don’t forget the sunny side of things. There’s excitement in something new, in going to a new location. Make best use of the energy this generates as you start anew at a new location. Nothing like a new desk (with no papers on it) for a fresh start.