Moving office is a stressful experience, and whist it rarely gets a mention compared to the upheaval of moving home, for the people involved it can be almost as traumatic. Then there’s the poor damned-if you-do… soul whose responsibility it is to organise an office move – and the logistical pressure cooker that entails.
There are 101 reasons why a business might need to move office. If your business is in that boat – and you’re quaking in your boots at the prospect of all that upheaval – let our little blog offer some crumbs of comfort and some pearls of wisdom as you plan your migration.
Office moves happen for a lot of reasons – you might be outgrowing your existing premises, your lease might have expired, you might need to move to a cheaper premises, you may feel you need a more visible or prominent site or (heaven forbid) your premises might have been damaged in a flood or fire.
The logistical planning you need to do ahead of any office move might seem daunting, but the lions share of it is just common sense…
Get Planning (make a written project plan)
You need to get planning as quickly as you can. The longer the lead-in the more likely things will go without a hitch. If you’re flung into the deep end by an unexpected event you’ll have to work fast – unless you’ve done your homework and already have a good contingency plan.
Consider your scale
If you’re a big financial corporate occupying 5 floors of the Gherkin, your office moving requirements are going to be a bit different to Legal, Eagle and Silk Solicitors whose chambers take up just 2 floors and 4 rooms of a converted town house in Wimbledon. Understanding the scale of your business move is the first step in planning the long line of logistical issues you’ll need to cover.
Look at the physical limitations
If you are on the 5th floor of the Gherkin moving office will be a harder task than if you’re on the ground floor of a business unit in Camden. Give some thought to getting your stuff out of the old premises and into the new one and the challenges of doing so. Is there a service lift? Will you have to arrange with your building facilities to use it. If you’ll be using big wagons to transport your office furnishings is there adequate parking and loading/unloading space available? Will it be something that can happen during normal office hours or will it need to be overnight, to avoid disrupting neighbours?
Brief your people
Share a clear ‘What you need to do’ brief with the employees of your business. If they know what’s happening and what is expected of them then the chances are better of it all going smoothly are greatly improved.
No, we’re not a talking Strictly inspired jig towards the bin – we mean a metal skip, or business waste disposal service. Unless each and every one of your staff have got the discipline of Kim and Aggie off of How Clean is Your House, there’s probably a fair bit of stuff around your office that’s only fit for the skip. We’re not recommending throwing out any secret dossiers here – just stuff that is genuinely rubbish. Make a desk clear out part of the plan for every member of staff.
Get Boxed up
Invest in some proper packing and packaging. Making do with the sheets of cardboard you found by the recycling skips might seem like a good way of saving money, but when you’re replacing lots of stuff because they got broken during the move it’ll be a false economy. It’s worth making sure everything is properly protected, packed away in boxes or well wrapped up. If you’re looking for packaging supplies we can help with that.
Get a Staging Post
Just because you’re moving office, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have access to your stuff or that business has to stop. Finding a staging post for the important stuff (and we don’t mean the MD’s living room) you might need to access during the move can be the difference between keeping things ticking over nicely or being in business limbo and losing customers.
A self storage unit is the perfect staging post to keep the stuff you need safe and secure during your business move. We’ve got three convenient locations in Wandsworth, Camden and Southwark. You can access your space as often as you like (we’ve even got 24hr access available on selected units in Southwark and Wandsworth) – and our Only Pay for the Days You Stay guarantee means your storage costs will be kept to a minimum.