The location of the office is a crucial factor for any business. The supply chain of the company is heavily influenced by it. Similarly, the effectiveness of the operations and in some cases, productivity and morale of the workforce can get influence from it. Interestingly, businesses start with a lesser focus on business location, but in the long run, your office location influences your employer branding and corporate image, supply chain, storage, and warehousing.
As like nothing is permanent in business, office location tends to change too. There are several reasons for relocating the office. Primarily, it is the growth of the company and organizations that require more prominent space for storage of raw materials and inventory, a requirement of more prominent space for employees or operations, cost advantages, etc. Office relocation might sound like another task in the business routine, but it is not as easy as it looks. It can be painful for the ones initiating it. If the execution is not right, it can add stress, resistance, inconvenience, and backlog in business operations. There are no “one size fits all” practices to follow when it comes to office relocation as no two offices are the same. Companies can be big or small, business operations can be different, and thus every business relocation goals and needs are different from managing. However, some best practices can help avoid obvious and fundamental mistakes, especially when it comes to storage issues. Let’s take a look at some of them:
1. Start Early And Make A Plan:
First things first, if you start earlier than the actual relocation phase, the majority of the possible hassles and issues will stay away from the process. When there is a shorter lead time, chances of havoc and abrupt efforts are higher, leading to unwanted bumps. One must plan the whole process along with the requirements of resources like self storage units or warehouses on rent etc. However, it is ideal to start planning at least one year before the current office lease expiry. In this way, all of your workforce and clients will get to know in advance, and they can maneuver their operations by considering the move.
2. Data Migration And Office Storage Matters:
Although storage matters and migration of data are part of the process, they need special consideration. Whether you are moving from a smaller space to a more significant area or downscaling the location, offices face numerous storage issues to manage. These include handling specialized equipment, temporary storage of office equipment during construction work at sites, special care of customer database, prevention from theft or damage, etc.
Similarly, database management is a critical task, and it needs to be handled by trained professionals. Also, you might require additional data servers for a temporary basis as well. Any mishandling or ill practice can make the business suffer tremendously.
3. Timeline And Budget:
Office relocation is not lesser than a project itself. Therefore, it is essential to set up a timeline and allocate a comprehensive budget for this task at hand. Through time lining the process, you would be able to divide the tasks effectively without halting business operations or client servicing. It will also help identify tasks to be done before moving like setting up internet connections and phone lines, acquiring storage units to shift unwanted furniture, etc. Similarly, employees can plan their activities as per the timeline of their relocated offices.
Relocation requires a lot of costs to be incurred too. Without a budget, things can go out of the place, and one would overspend in the process. Therefore, it is essential to list all the possible tasks, required procedures, and prepare a budget to cater to the needs. In this way, people responsible can look out for vendors under their budgets for moving services, storage facilities, legal requirements, etc.
4. Assign Responsibility:
It is crucial to assign responsibility to the office move coordinator. In this way, all the directions and decisions will be streamlining effectively with no confusion or slowdowns. Similarly, it will also help to eliminate blame culture in case things fall out of place. However, the person who would take this charge must have to manage responsibilities alongside his/her usual job. Hence, it is ideal to assign it someone who has similar experience and knowledge of project management, storage management, data migration (if you are an organization with massive data handling), and people management.
5. Right Vendors:
Office Relocation involves outsourcing, dealing, and working with multiple vendors. These vendors can be real estate agents, moving experts, storage facility staff, data migration experts, etc. They are the key people in the process, and their effectiveness depends on their efforts. Therefore, it is essential to do a background check and take key professionals on board based on their expertise, experience, and professionalism.
6. Settling Period:
The relocation process doesn’t end with shifting to the new facility now. It involves settling in and getting comfortable with the new place too. Therefore, you need an ample amount of time for the schedules planned for an initial 2-3 months where the workforce is getting used to a new place. During this time, the data systems will require to be in your possession to refer back, correcting more modern methods and using older systems as a backup until new backups systems are in place.
Moving office to a new place is no fun or easy task, but prior planning and attention to detail can prevent unwanted surprises or shock. One of the key elements is to get as much information as possible as it will prepare you for the next phases without going into them before and work as a simulation for you.