Whether you’re moving your office to a new street, another county or even a different state, planning is essential. The more aspects of your move you can organize in advance, the smoother the experience will be for all concerned.
From initial high level planning to untangling the intricacies of moving your IT network, this article sets out the most important advance planning requirements.
HIGH LEVEL PLANNING
The quality of an office move can usually be directly linked to the quality of high level planning that has gone into it.
The first step is to create a moving committee and, where resources allow, various sub-committees for the different areas detailed later in the article. To avoid these becoming silos, the committee as a whole should agree on a relocation timetable and identify any dependencies between areas. For example, there is no point arranging to connect PCs to the IT network if the desks they will sit on are yet to be delivered.
A detailed list of equipment and services should be compiled which would include everything from technicians to decommission equipment to poly bags for computer equipment to a sturdy office move dolly to avoid any back injuries and lawsuits.
Effective communication throughout the process will be vital so this stage should also involve deciding on key points of contact and communication channels.
LAYOUT AND FURNITURE
It is extremely unlikely that your destination office will have exactly the same layout and facilities as your existing one. An employee census and occupancy review can identify both effective arrangements (which should be maintained where possible) and problem areas which can hopefully be eliminated.
As well as desk space, the committee will also need to think about where communal printers, servers and even the water cooler are going to go.
It may be the case that departments that have become siloed can be brought together in the new building. An office move should be seen as an opportunity to improve on existing arrangements.
In terms of furniture, decisions will have to be made about what can be re-used or re-purposed and what will need to be replaced. Furniture delivery lead times and an installation schedule should be set up to enable other equipment and services to be co-ordinated.
IT AND NETWORKING
Relocating your company IT is one of the most challenging parts of an office move but also potentially the most beneficial. It should go without saying that this sub-committee (and probably the main committee) should include the CTO and perhaps even the CEO. After all, an office move provides the perfect opportunity for considering upgrading hardware and software and even eliminating large parts of your IT infrastructure altogether by connecting into the public cloud.
Both your external (WAN) and internal (LAN) networks should be reviewed, with all power supply and cabling arrangements compared to current industry best practice. Don’t forget to assess your WiFi provision against coverage heat-maps in your new office.
You could also use the time to audit the software you use. Are there better alternatives on the market now?
Think beyond servers, PCs and printers. Alarms, HVAC systems and other equipment will all need to be connected into your new networks.
TELEPHONY AND DATA SERVICES
It is advisable to have one sub-committee dedicated to arranging the transfer or replacement of telephony services although this will need to be tightly integrated with your physical infrastructure move. Setting up or moving telephone numbers and data services can take up to three months so this unit should start work as soon as possible ahead of a move.
An office move may seem like a huge undertaking but with proper planning and effective communication, there’s every reason to expect a seamless relocation.