Whether you are upsizing, downsizing, or just looking for something new, the idea of moving your business to a new location can be an exciting prospect. If this is your first move, it could also be a bit stressful. However, with proper planning and an organized approach, you can make the move as straightforward as possible.
There are many factors to consider, including the space, necessary construction, and how to handle the move without everyone going crazy. Let’s take a look at how to handle those and other concerns during your next relocation.
Consider the Space
Before you even think about moving, you need to have a plan for how your business might grow and change over the coming years. Next, you need to plan your space accordingly so you will have room for the new departments you’ll bring on and all the desk space that the employees will need. It is highly advised that you take a tour of all potential landing spaces so you can really map out where you would put everything and where all departments and equipment will be situated.
The space you’ll need will partially depend on the type of office environment you have. If you are going with standard cubicles, then you will need the room to house those work stations. If you are going to a more remote workplace, you could buy or lease a smaller space and have offices for only the essential employees. An open office features desks without partitions so everyone can see each other, which could be a good idea that will lower the cost of desk structures and eliminate unnecessary space as employees can be a bit closer together.
While space is important, so is proximity. You should consider the commute of your employees and availability to customers and clients. You don’t want to move to an office that is unnecessarily far away from the previous spot because you do not want to lose employees who don’t have the resources to get there. You also need to keep your customers in mind and not travel so far that you move out of your key demographic area because they may go to a competitor.
Choosing a Building
Along with choosing the space, you need to find a building suitable for your business. There are several options, including a stand-alone office or a large facility that houses several businesses. If your business handles physical customers, they will need to be able to access the building and find where they need to go easily. You should also get a building that has ample parking as a lack thereof can be enough to push potential customers away.
While it may be attractive to move to the sleekest building in town, many companies are relocating to older buildings, sometimes historical in nature. There are many benefits to moving to an older building. For one, with less required manpower and resources, it can be less expensive than building a structure from scratch. On top of that, you are helping the environment by reducing the waste required to build onto or tear down an existing building. Prospective customers might also appreciate that you are helping the community thrive by repurposing the structures that they have grown to love.
As you might suspect, there are also considerations that must be made when moving to an older building. For one, if you use computers, networks, and phone lines, then you will need to make sure that the old space has the connections that you need. If not, consider the cost and have those set up before you get everyone moved in. Older places can also create safety hazards, especially in the form of asbestos.
Often built into the walls, floors, and roofs of older buildings, asbestos is a mineral that is split up into microscopic fibers that, when inhaled, can lodge deep in the lungs and potentially lead to lung cancer. Before even considering a move into an older building, have the structure tested by experts to see if asbestos is present, and if it is, you may want to avoid the location altogether.
Avoiding Moving Stress
Moving to a new office can be stressful for everyone. Employees might be frazzled as they confront this new change while still trying to do their jobs, and management will be crossing their fingers that they do not face complications during or after the move. To ease the stress, make a moving plan that accounts for every step of the transition, including everything that will have to be moved, how it will be transported, and where it will be placed in the new space.
Ensure you have a moving plan built out in order to ease your stress. Write out a schedule for everything from the packing of equipment to the layout of the new office. Use the resources of your moving company. They will have the padding and boxes necessary to ensure that everything is moved properly and nothing is damaged once it reaches its final destination. See that all boxes are properly labeled, so there is no confusion about where they go, and you reduce your risk of losing something important.
You may be concerned about your clients and customers during this time, so have a plan for that as well. First, consider moving during a slower period of the year, so mid-summer instead of during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays when customers will be shopping, and you may have a reduced staff as they go on vacation. You should also email your customers about when the move is happening and when you will be back open for business. Also, keep your employees in the loop with constant updates, so they don’t feel lost or left out.
An office move is a big endeavor, but it doesn’t have to ruin your year. Make the proper precautions in advance, and you will be back in business in no time.
Guest post courtesy of Noah Rue