Moving offices is one of the most important decisions a business can make. It affects every facet of the business – from staff and client perception through to long-term profitability. When there’s so much to consider on such a small timescale, the earlier you can begin considering the potential timetabling; the easier the move becomes. How much time is enough time? Check out our timescale calculator to find out.
A realistic relocation schedule ensures that you, the company, the supply and move teams and critically, your employees are all comfortable and prepared for each stage for the move. Here are a few tips to creating a great timeline:
- Simple: Keep your schedule as simple and easy to read as possible; presenting itemised dates and times and what is happening where and when. This allows department managers, IT staff and everyone involved to see exactly where they fit into the bigger picture.
- Delegated: It doesn’t take week after week of hour long meetings to create a good timeline. Appoint a person from each department to be responsible for their team and provide a checklist of items they will need to consider.
- Updated: In our experience, there will always be revisions to the timeline; a supplier who can’t make the specific date or a parking restriction at a certain time. It’s important to keep the schedule updated and notifications distributed to ensure everyone is involved and on board with the latest changes. Often, setting a separate, easily accessible email calendar is a great way of streamlining this process.
There are also many crucial questions to ask when creating the timeline. Below are a few you should begin considering:
When is the least disruptive time to move for your regular business?
Many companies decide to relocate on weekends, holidays and evenings and there are many great reasons for doing so. Primarily, it keeps your operation going as normally as possible with minimum disruption and the least downtime. It’s a good idea to check with your building manager and local parking authority to ensure there are no time restrictions as to when you can obtain access to the new (and the current) property.
What tasks have to be done at a specific time?
There are many time-sensitive tasks in an office relocation; often those related to your IT systems. For example, a computer server room may have to move at an exact time; often with maximum care and efficiency. Ensure your relocation team focus their efforts on these areas, so IT staff can get back to work as quickly as possible. Anything that needs an exact move time has to be recognised and built into the schedule.
What tasks are flexible?
A realistic timeline finds the balance between specific times and keeping things flexible enough to account for operational issues. For example, to detail the timetabling in moving the Finance department at 9am, Sales at 11am, and Service at 1pm looks great on paper, but it is usually better to suggest you will start with Finance at 9am and then moving on to Sales and then Service, finishing everyone by the end of the day. This ensures you won’t overrun on each department and start scrambling to catch up.
Can you get the employees off site during the move?
It is faster, safer and less disruptive to move furniture, equipment and office materials without the users present. Usually, a detailed inventory and labelling system will answer all the relevant questions as to the logistical aspects. Is there somewhere else staff to can work during the move? If you’ve consolidated the work to a single day, offering a spot of training or out-of-office team building might be prudent in heightening staff motivation levels for the move. If this is not possible, try to find (or close off) areas that employees are not using at specific times. Your move team can then quickly remove or install the items as necessary, minimising any interruptions.