How to reduce downtime during a corporate relocation
Contingency planning, effective communication and thoroughly documenting your office installation plan are three things experienced moving companies will tell you can ensure a successful office move.
1. Plan for contingencies
A broken water main or an out-of-service elevator are only two examples of the many unexpected contingencies that can interrupt an office move. Key questions to consider include:
Does your present or new space have more than street building entrance?
How many elevators travel between floors?
Are any other city events scheduled for the day of your move?
Other unexpected delays can happen on the back end of the move. Many companies forget the need to plan for cleaning up the vacated space, which can also include accounting for extra fixtures and equipment that didn’t seem to make the transition.
If you’re considering working with relocation service providers, ask them about their experience with planning for contingencies. It’s a good gauge of their experience with office moves.
Consider a phased approach
Moving companies may recommend a phased approach to minimize the impact of unforeseen obstacles, rather than moving all employees and property at once. Depending on the size of your organization there may be no other way to do it.
Employee compliance with labeling and packing requirements is essential to ensure a successful move. Relocation service providers have restrictions and policies around what they can move, and will often be unable to move unlabeled boxes or improperly packed belongings and workstation equipment. This is a case for basic communication of essential information, which at the very least should include repeated, consistent communication in the months leading up to the move. Moving companies may have some advice and experience to offer on effective communication of moving plans.
Build employee engagement in the office move
Even better, not just communication but promotion and enthusiasm-building around the organizational value of the move can help motivate employees to participate and even go the extra mile. Town hall Q and As and recruiting move captains from within the employee population are just two examples of ways to build engagement around the move. Moving to a new space with more room, more amenities or a more convenient location should make enthusiasm-building especially easy.
Clear mapping of not just desk and office arrangement in a new space but the layout of individual workspaces is essential to a successful move. In commercial office moves, where the majority of employees require equipment to do their jobs, the importance of careful technical documentation is also paramount. CPUs, monitors and peripherals need to be hooked up correctly to ensure minimal downtime when employees come to work. In work environments with highly-skilled technical staff like programmers and designers, documentation can be even more critical. These individuals may have multiple CPUs, keyboards, and monitors in precise arrangements. The cabling setup alone for each piece of equipment could require its own documentation. Relocation services providers specializing in office moves should have experience tracking the disassembly, transport and reinstallation of equipment with precise documentation.
The key: minimizing downtime
It may sound obvious, but it’s good to remember that the main goal of any office move is not just getting all of your people and property from one place to another. Equally important is doing so with the minimum possible disruption to your business.
If you’re looking for quotes from a full service commercial relocation company for your office move, feel free to contact us.