The new financial year is a time of rejuvenation for many businesses. For some, this may include an office relocation to new premises for an expansion or to simply change the scenery and improve the workplace. However, there is a fine line between a successful office move that has minimal interruption to productivity and an unsuccessful one that can cause unnecessary stress, and at times irreversible damage to client relationships.

It is therefore extremely important to meticulously plan and prepare the entire moving office process in order to make the transition as smooth as possible for clients and staff. Well planned office relocations equate to your employees being able to settle into their new office in no time and the business continuing operations without disruption.

Planning for the future

Once the new premises have been settled upon, the business should consider the needs of the workforce and time should be allocated on deciding how the new office space should look. It is important for you to plan the space in order to best fit out the available space for everyday operations. Things to consider include factoring in the common IT stations with office printer and photocopiers as well as common areas such as storage and kitchen. Be sure to to consult with staff prior to making final decisions in order to ensure their requirements are met.

Opportunity for renewal

The office relocation process offers a great opportunity for ‘cleaning house’. Take time to conduct a thorough inventory of the office, assessing furniture, facilities and equipment that the business owns and considering their value to the new workplace. The cost of relocating some older furniture and equipment may outweigh their benefits. Some councils offer free pre-booked e-waste and furniture disposal services, be sure to check and make any necessary arrangements well ahead of the moving date. Additionally, when ordering new furniture and equipment, don’t forget to get them delivered directly to the new address.

Happy clients

Another important consideration before moving is to notify clients of any potential interruptions and how this might impact them. Open communication is vital to minimise confusion and unnecessary frustration for your clients. Develop good messaging and utilise a third party supplier such as Campaign Monitor to send out email notifications highlighting any shut down periods, but more importantly new contact details. This will also allow you to easily send reminders. Consider moving on Friday or over the weekend so that by Monday morning, you are back to business as usual.

Besides clients, other agencies and partners you work with should also be informed of the move well in advance. Your bank, insurance companies, government agencies, vendors and other suppliers would require sufficient notice in order to update your new location information in their systems and to avoid issues down the track. Additionally, don’t forget to update your new address on your business cards, letterheads, email signatures, invoice templates and any other printed materials that you use.

Staff locations and responsibilities

To make sure the transition is as smooth as possible, notify each staff of their workstation location as soon as the final decisions have been made and the new office layout plan is available. Additionally, inform them of their particular responsibility during the move such as packing their own personal belongings and clearly labelling their cartons with their new allocated desk number prior to the move. Working off the same plan and numbering system, Grace will be able to unpack in the new office quickly and have the business operational with minimal interruption.