How to streamline your office move
What’s the difference between a guide to moving office and a guide to streamlining your office move? Well, it’s this. There are thousands of guides to moving office out there and they’re not terribly useful. They can even be a bit patronising. Let’s face it, you don’t need someone to suggest planning ahead or hiring a decent removal company.
If that’s not bad enough, they also tend to ignore the biggest challenge: the time and money that can be lost when you relocate to another office. They seem to say, “We know moving office will set you back a bit – you’ll just have to write it off, won’t you?” Not very helpful.
This is a bit different than your average guide to moving office. The fact is that there are ways to reduce that expense, sometimes considerably. The key is to avoid unnecessary (and often inadvertent) wastage and to think smart. Here’s how.
Making them work for your money
You’d be surprised how perfunctory some business owners are about shopping around for the best price. If you’re planning on investing in some cosmetic improvement to your new premises, for example, always email at least five companies for a quote. Be highly specific and detailed in your brief so that you get exactly what you want to pay for, and let them know that you’re looking for the best deal possible. You can always encourage competitive tendering to secure the best deal – get them to pitch to your brief and choose one that feels right or offers the best value. It’s fine to ask contractors to work to a fixed price contract rather than an hourly basis.
Being realistic about the time involved
It’s important to keep asking yourself – do I actually need this? Some removals companies will offer to pack and unpack your office equipment for you, for example. Now it might be more cost-effective to simply ask your employees to lend a hand (with the incentive of drinks and cake down the local café), but how much working time are you going to lose? If you’re going to lose a full day or even just a morning, does that make up for the removal company’s fees?
This one seems a bit obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it happens when it doesn't need to. All it takes is one breakage of your top-of-the-range desktop computer to leave you with a seriously high bill. Only work with removals companies who understand how to transport fragile items and, importantly, who will offer compensation if they break something.
If you’re packing up yourself, you’ll know how to take care of your items. But we really can’t stress enough that you should watch out for carelessness from employees – and possibly a bit of hubris from yourself. You should go over the top with precautions, even if you’re handling goods yourself and you trust your hands!
There’s loads of budget options for new desks and chairs, of course. But have you considered second-hand options? Not only can they create a different sort of office environment – perhaps a bit more cool and fun – but they’ll save you hundreds of pounds. Likewise, if you’re getting rid of anything, sell it rather than taking it to the tip. Some office furniture companies will happily pay for furniture that’s in good condition and even collect it from your old premises.
Having a game plan
We know, we said we wouldn't tell you to plan ahead. But actually, there’s a certain type of planning ahead that many business owners don’t take into account. And that is, simply, working out where all your furniture and equipment will go before you arrive. That includes sorting out the Wi-Fi and where employees will sit, and goes right down to where your computers will be plugged in, how and where the wires will be tidied up and where your printers will go. If you’re moving into a shared office or serviced office with certain requirements, working out your layout with them before the move will really save time. If possible you should have an actual blueprint in place so you can move in and set up as quickly as possible.
Covering the legalities
As an employer, you have certain legal responsibilities which need to be adhered to throughout the relocation process. You’ll need to notify staff in a timely fashion about the relocation and know your legal rights if they refuse to move. Likewise, make sure you store or dispose of sensitive data appropriately.
Moving offices marks the next step for your business, but it doesn’t mean you have to blow a fortune in the process. Good luck!