Deciding to relocate your business is a big decision. Whether you choose to move because your lease is up and you’ve found a better deal on rent, or you need to increase your space for a growing employee headcount, once you make the decision to change your address there’s suddenly a million tasks to complete in order to execute the move with as little disruption to your business as possible. These tasks, while at times daunting, can also be a great opportunity for material improvements during your business relocation.
To be specific, moving offices is more than just picking up what you’ve got (employees, computers, phones, files, office supplies) and plunking them down in the new location. Deciding to relocate is also a golden opportunity to review your state of affairs and to streamline processes, vendors, and operating expenses – so that you can start business at your new office on the best foot possible. Since it will be a time of upheaval for your business already, you might as well use this window of opportunity to enact other changes for improvement.
Architecture and Design
First and foremost, a business relocation is an opportunity to rearrange your physical office space in new ways to better accommodate the processes and working habits of your workforce and to influence the employee experience and culture. As you plan for your new space, observe and conduct surveys on how your employees work best, whether that’s with individual cubicles or in a more open, free-flowing layout (or a mix of both!). You also want to consider how to set up different functional spaces, from large conference rooms with audio/web/video conferencing capabilities to smaller meeting spaces and more casual areas for ad hoc collaboration.If your business has a growing remote workforce, you’ll want to consider their needs so that, instead of wasting space on assigned cubicles and offices that will often be empty, you can build in flexible “hoteling” workstations. A well-regarded architecture/design firm should be able to help you with these decisions. Once you have determined what resources can assist you in the transition, be sure to establish collaborative tracking and communication with your project manager and closely follow the timetable and list of deliverables to ensure the project stays on track for the move deadline.
Before you do anything else, review your existing service contract! You want to check what the service end date is, find out if the services are moveable, and take note of their termination of service policies (you often have to provide at least 90 to 120 days prior notification). Once you know what your obligations and requirements are in order to move services, it’s now a great opportunity to review your satisfaction level with your services. Is the quality of your service and support adequate? Do you have a satisfactory experience with customer service when you need help? Do the costs equate to the value that you receive? If the answer to any of those questions is no, and you are clear on your service termination policy, consider evaluating other service providers beyond your incumbent provider(s). Your new building’s manager should be able to offer recommendations for which vendors are providing services in the building and you can check out this list of 7 must-ask questions for evaluating Internet service providers.
You want to be sure you’ve got your Internet, data and phone services lined up to be installed and turned on before your team arrives in the new space. But you don’t have to stick with the status quo on the type of services you are utilizing either! A relocation is the perfect time to make the switch to VoIP or hosted PBX for your phone system, purchase a service that includes Unified Communications services to help your employees collaborate in a more modern way, or set up a service that includes mobility and/or desktop phone hoteling functionality for remote workers who won’t be in the office often. A good service provider will work with you to improve your business communications technology; Allied takes pride in being a trusted technology advisor that can help you figure out your business needs and set you up with the optimal solution at the right price.
IT Services and Resources
As with your telecom services, a business relocation is the perfect time to review your existing IT service contracts and decide if you need to change, streamline or upgrade. Additionally, if you currently have space dedicated to servers, perhaps now is the time to migrate your IT infrastructure to a data center and eliminate hardware management in your new office. Figure out which services you can move to the cloud and what managed services you need to maintain on your premises for success.
Going green is a great way for your business to be environmentally responsible and it can help save money in the long run, but it’s easier to set yourself up from the start as a green company than to make changes later. Ensure your new office has low voltage wiring and light fixtures compatible with lower energy bulbs. Now is a good time to dump your old toner-eating printer and invest in a more modern, efficient machine. Reduce commuting by expanding your remote work policies and programs, since you can set up the new office for space-saving hoteling workstations. Aim for eco-friendly furniture and recyclable office supplies as your stock the new office. Include some indoor plants in the design; not only will your air be cleaner but the green colors can contribute to a peaceful work atmosphere. Start digitizing your files to decrease paper use. And be sure to provide receptacles for proper disposal of recyclable refuse.
Streamline Your “Stuff”
The longer you stay in one place, the more junk builds up in file cabinets, closets, cabinets, and desks. Don’t waste money moving unnecessary items. Scan important documents for archiving and hire a good shredding vendor to purge your outdated files. You should also set up a donation and/or selling strategy for old furniture, technology and supplies. One thing to note: if you’re upgrading to a new phone system, you can sometimes arrange a trade-in of your old phones.
Making the Move
When planned well, relocating can be the perfect opportunity to trim the excess and set your business and employees up for success at your new location, so be sure to maximize the ability to make improvements in all areas of your operations. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about the technology decisions you need to make, you can always turn to a trusted technology advisor like Allied to help you choose the right solutions for your business’ new location.