Packing and moving a corporate office can be even more stressful than moving your family. You have less control over the logistics of the move and pressure from superiors to ensure everything goes smoothly. There's just so much to worry about when you're moving your business-the quality of the new office space, employee morale, the logistics of the move itself. You'll probably have to hire a moving company for the job, so you need to make sure they're reliable. Perhaps some of your employees will need to relocate as well. In the end, if something goes wrong with your corporate relocation, the onus falls on you.
Corporate relocation requires a great deal of planning and time to accomplish, and the following tips will help you guarantee it is a success.
Time is money
When moving your corporate office, it's imperative to be prepared. The less organized your move, the more time it will take, and the more money your company will lose being out of commission. For your move to be cost-effective, you will want the process to be completed as soon as possible.
- Before you begin your relocation, have an illustrated floor plan of your new office and a designated place for every desk, piece of furniture, filing cabinet, and piece of equipment
- It is helpful to visit the location in advance to take measurements so that you can effectively create an accurate plan and eliminate any space problems when the movers are hauling things inside
- Make copies of the plan and distribute them to every employee to eliminate confusion on moving day and ensure that every member of the office is prepared and organized during the relocation
- Label all furniture and equipment (by numbering or color-coding) to make it easier for the movers to transport everything to its appropriate location
Have a checklist
Keeping your move time and cost-efficient is easy with a task checklist. The sooner you begin to plan your move, the better--last-minute preparations create confusion and mishap, which leads to a longer relocation process and more lost money.
Some important things to include in your checklist are:
- Plan your moving timeframe--set deadlines for each step in the moving process so that you can easily stay on track
- Research moving companies, compare quotes, and receive at last three in-office estimates
- Inform your employees of the move and their responsibilities, such as packing their own desks and work areas
- Visit the new office, take measurements, and create your new floor plan
- Call all current service providers to set up your utilities, telephone, fax, internet, etc. at your new location
- Be sure to arrange installation or technical assistance for relocating equipment such as photocopiers and computer networks
Communication is key
To keep your office operations running smoothly after your relocation, you will have to notify your correspondents.
Be sure to update:
Your clients and customers
At least a month before the move, inform your customer base by sending out a mass email to everyone in your company database and posting the details on your website or social media account
Service providers, vendors and other businesses
Any company that makes running your office possible will need to be notified of your move--supply stores, internet providers, trash removal, etc.
All employees should be informed of the move and their role as soon as possible--you can create a moving guide detailing the process for all employees to limit confusion and maintain productivity
You'll need to change the address on company checks, inform your credit card companies and any other financial institutions--you may opt to transfer to a new bank or different branch depending on the distance you will be relocating
Change your address, have your mail forwarded to your new office for several months, and purchase a red stamp that reads "Note New Address" for outgoing correspondence after your relocation
Other ways to keep your correspondents in-the-know about your impending move include noting it in your email signatures (along with your new address) and mentioning it on your outgoing phone message.
How to Move Your Office
Just like your home, your office is full of valuable and important items that need to be handled with care. Of course, the best way to ensure every vital piece of equipment and furniture arrives safely is to hire office movers to aid you in your relocation.
To prepare for the movers you should:
- Empty all desks, filing cabinets and supply cabinets
- Pack all personal items, documents, legal papers, and important files
- Ask employees to be responsible for emptying and packing their own desks
- Remove all perishable food from refrigerators, clean thoroughly and unplug the night before to defrost
- Remove all garbage and recyclables from their receptacles before the move
- Be sure all electrical equipment and computer systems are properly disconnected, and dismantled, with any loose parts securely attached to equipment being moved. The fluids from photocopiers need to be emptied as well. You may need to hire separate services to perform these tasks, or your movers may be qualified to assist you.
Office moves have their own unique set of circumstances that require special attention from the start, and with all of the moving parts of a company relocation project, we know just how much tips like these can mean to both an owner and his or her staff!
Here is our comprehensive list of mistakes to avoid during an office relocation.
Thinking you can do it all yourself
Moving an office is a complicated process, and trying to accomplish everything on your own is the first office relocation mistake. By hiring a trusted moving company with experience performing corporate moves, you’ll have the right kind of professionals on your side.
Moving during your industry's busy season
If possible, try to avoid your company’s busy season. Keeping your business going during your office move should be top priority, so avoiding the times that you’re heavily occupied will help you avoid a bigger hit to your bank account than necessary.
Leaving packing to the last minute
An office move is a big event, and packing should also be one – one of the most important ones at that! Between moving computers and other technology, office furniture, and even employees, packing up should be done with plenty of time to spare. Create a timeline to help you stay organized and avoid rushing.
Not getting insurance
When moving your business, you’re going to have expensive computers, copy machines, large printers, office furniture and a variety of other objects on the moving truck. To be safe, we suggest you purchase additional insurance for your shipment as standard insurance only covers $0.60 per pound per item.
Not comparing moving estimates
Always compare moving estimates when shopping for professional movers. Jumping at the first company you stumble across might not be what’s best for your individual needs. Having options to make an educated decision is crucial to a successful move.
Not updating your website or letting your customers know
To avoid confusion or loss of business, let your customers know your big relocation plans ahead of time. Send out e-mails, put up signs and update your website and social media accounts accordingly. Giving your clients advance notice will help you to avoid any unnecessary loss of business.
To avoid failing where so many businesses have failed before you, take a look at these corporate relocation tips based on common moving mistakes. Maybe you'll learn from others' misfortunes!
Do your homework: Read moving reviews for the companies you're researching to make sure they're reputable and affordable.
Pack efficiently: Divide your heavy items into separate boxes and label everything effectively. Safety first!
Purge unnecessary items: You don't need to take everything with you to the new office. Take a day to get rid of stuff you don't need -- sell or throw it away.
Insure your valuables: Protect your valuable items by insuring them through your moving company. It can also be a good idea to move your smaller valuables, such as laptops and printers, without the help of movers, because damage is always possible when you put them onto a truck.
Choose the right time to move: Timing is important. Make sure you schedule your corporate relocation moving day for a day with decent weather. Pay attention to the forecast!
Prepare for the worst: Scheduling your move a week or a few days before your previous lease is up can be a good idea. Give yourself lead time to vacate the old office, just in case something goes wrong during the relocation.