How Do I Organise My Staff for an Office Relocation?
Moving to a new office is a major undertaking for any company and one that needs to be handled as efficiently as possible, in order to minimise any negative impact it may have on your corporate finances. If you are planning an office relocation at the moment, there are many factors that you should consider, one of the most important of which is how to organise your workforce in preparation for the move.
Do Not Skimp on the Essentials
One of the biggest mistakes that companies make when preparing their staff for a move is to involve them in the packing and transportation process itself. While it may sound like a good idea to use staff that would otherwise be sitting idle, unless they are experienced commercial relocation specialists, they are unlikely to do a very good job. Hiring a team of professionals is far preferable to using your own workforce to pack, load, and transport company property, for the following reasons:
- Organisation – An experienced team of removal experts will be well versed in the best methods to use when moving office equipment from one location to another. While your own staff may be more familiar with the equipment in question, their enthusiasm for getting their own equipment packed up and moved before that of their colleagues is likely to end up creating a chaotic environment in which it is very difficult to get anything constructive done.
- Theft – Your employees may be very trustworthy and honest people but to avoid any possibility of false accusations flying around, it is much better to have an outside firm handle the moving of valuable office equipment. That way, if something were to go missing, the removal firm would be able to make a claim on their insurance policy and replace it. The only items your employees should be responsible for packing and moving are any personal possessions they leave at work on a regular basis.
- Minimal Disruption – If you decide to use your own workforce to move your office equipment and furniture, you can be sure that productivity will suffer in the weeks and days leading up to the day of the move as everybody spends more and more time discussing their duties during the relocation and less time actually working. By minimising your employees’ involvement in the relocation process, you will be able to minimise any disruption that the move causes your business at the same time.
- Liability – If you use your employees to move large pieces of furniture and they sustain any injuries in the process, you will almost certainly be liable for damages. A removal company will have its own liability insurance, specifically for such eventualities, reducing your firm’s exposure to risk during this critical time.
What Should You Ask Your Employees to Do?
We have taken a look at what your employees shouldn’t be doing during a major relocation but what exactly should they be doing, as the day of the move approaches?
- Organising Their Own Space – Each employee should be responsible for preparing his or her personal space, in preparation for the impending relocation. Every worker should ensure that his or her space is neat and tidy, and that anything that does not belong there is moved to its proper home. In this way, you will be able to give your removal firm a detailed list of all your office equipment, including the location of every item, safe in the knowledge that it will all be where it is supposed to be.
- Clearing of Desks – Employees’ belongings should be removed from your office prior to the relocation. Not only will this result in less work for the removal team that you hire, it will also ensure that nothing of personal value to your employees is lost during the move. You should stress the importance of removing absolutely everything that is not company property, to make the move as simple as possible.
- Reassuring Customers and Suppliers – The firms and individuals that you work with on a regular basis will probably want to be reassured that your relocation is not going to disrupt your business relationships with them for any length of time. This is a task best handled by the employees who work most closely with the suppliers and customers in question. You should of course send out letters with details of your relocation, including your new address and the date of the move, but calling each client and supplier to talk to them in person will help to ensure they do not worry unduly about your ability to work together in the future.
- Testing new ICT Infrastructure – Although you should of course use experts to carry out technical tests of the telecommunications and computer networks at your new premises, it is a good idea to ask individual members of staff to visit the new office a few days before they are actually due to move in, just to make sure they are happy that everything is as it should be. If, for example, telephone extensions have been installed in inconvenient locations, this is the type of problem that can best be sorted out while the new premises are still empty.
Get It Right First Time
Perhaps the most important topic to discuss with your workforce when preparing for a move is whether they are actually happy with the new location that you have chosen for your business. This is obviously a conversation that it is better to have before you have signed a new lease but it is one that you should definitely consider if you have not already done so. As available commercial office space in London and other major cities becomes scarcer, it becomes more important to make the right move for both your business and your workforce now, because it may not be so easy to find the ideal location in the future.
If you require any assistance with your forthcoming move, please do not hesitate to contact Saracen Interiors, the specialists in commercial relocations and fit outs.