Organized, Efficient, and Stress-Free: Seven Steps to an Easy Cross-Country Office Move
Few situations are more disruptive to running a business than a massive office relocation. But if your business has outgrown its current location because of a recent pivot or you need to relocate across the country to target a new client base, it may be time to start planning a big move.
The good news is that with smart preparation, your cross-country office move can be smooth and easy. The challenge is that preparing to move an office involves coordinating a large number of logistical factors. In this situation, it really pays off to follow professional advice.
Fortunately, Eugene Tolk, CEO of Verified Movers, a free app where users can read reviews from real customers and compare moving companies, has plenty of great advice to share.
1) Get organized well in advance.
The biggest mistake people make when they move is not starting early enough. Because there are so many moving pieces and small items to remember, people underestimate how long it takes to prepare and pack. Eugene says:
Moving your home across the country is difficult enough, but with a business, you’ve got more than fine china and furniture to worry about. You’ve also got to make sure every department gets organized and every person involved understands what’s happening and when.
Eugene recommends starting to coordinate your office move at least eight weeks in advance. This is when you should do your research and book your long-distance movers. You will want to find a reputable nationwide moving company with experience in corporate relocation.
What to consider when choosing a commercial moving company:
- Will they take care of disassembly and assembly of office furniture?
- Do they provide full packing services?
- Do they have property insurance?
- Will they handle junk removal?
[Related: Six Tips for a Successful Business Trip]
2) Notify your customers.
If you anticipate any widespread service disruption as a result of your relocation, you’ll want to let customers know what to expect. You may have some customers with whom you’ll be communicating online after you relocate, so obviously you’ll need to think about how to find a proper solution to make it work.
In addition, you should notify all of your customers, even if you don’t anticipate any service disruptions. Your customers are the core of your business. Keeping everyone in the loop will prevent any confusion down the road.
3) Assign an office relocation coordinator.
Ideally, you will have informed your employees of the move well in advance and have a list of employees who will be relocating along with the company. Now is the time to assign an office relocation coordinator. Eugene says:
Like any big event, the most successful office relocations have a leader who will be in charge of coordinating everything.
If the business has several branches or departments, the coordinator should work with department heads to make a master checklist. Different departments will need to start packing at different times.
For example, the IT department will need the most time. The coordinator should also make sure to hire professionals to pack sensitive electronic equipment carefully. Eugene recommends:
In fact, you may want to move IT separately and ahead of all other departments. This way, they can get into the new office and make sure the software is up and running before anyone else arrives and needs to start ramping up productivity.
4) Make an inventory list.
The office relocation coordinator should also make two inventory lists: one for every item that will be relocated and one for every item that you don’t need to take. Labeling, numbering boxes, and adding the number to the inventory list is a good way to ensure unpacking goes quickly once you reach your new location.
With the list of items that will not be moved, you can decide whether to donate them, sell them, or put them into storage and make the appropriate arrangements.
[Related: Five Signs You're Already Successful]
5) Pack up the office.
Like it or not, how you pack your office will determine how long until your company is back to peak productivity.
So first, make sure you have all the proper materials. You’ll need plenty of high quality cardboard boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and plastic sheeting. Then set aside anywhere from a few days to a week for an office-wide packing party.
Eugene recommends making the packing part as fun as possible for employees:
Make sure everyone pitches in, provide a catered lunch, and turn it into a team-building experience.
But before everything is packed, you will want to find and secure the services of a reliable and verified interstate mover. This takes priority, of course, because they will be the ones transporting your valuable possessions. Don’t take shortcuts here by opting for the first company that comes up. Instead, check the company that will be handling your office inventory.
This is why I created my app. I wanted to make sure that you can read through hundreds of authentic and verified reviews from real people about the moving company before you decide who is going to relocate your belongings.
6) Give employees a tour of the new location.
Time willing, give employees a tour of the new location ahead of the big move. This will empower them to visualize their new offices and help plan out furniture placement and setup. Although this may seem like an unnecessary step, it will allow your staff to get back to work more quickly because they can start visualizing how they will work in the new space.
7) Give yourself a two-week buffer.
Rather than putting a lot of pressure on yourself and your staff to work twice as hard during the relocation, plan for some downtime. Eugene suggests that offices give themselves a two-week buffer:
Have everything packed up a week before your moving date and take the week after to get everything back up and running in the new office.
Follow these seven pro tips and your office will be back up and running on the other side of the country before you hardly notice the disruption.
[Related: 7 Ways to Offer Flex Work At Your Company]
Madeline Fusato-Zammit is a communications professional with a passion for storytelling, personal and brand development, and helping businesses and entrepreneurs stand out and thrive in their niche.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Start your free membership to continue reading and learning from people who want to help you succeed.Sign up for free