We think there are four important elements to ensuring that any potential office move progresses smoothly: communication, planning, planning and more planning! As you get underway with your planning, take a look at our top ten steps to making sure that your office move runs as smoothly as possible.
As advocates of good organisation, project planning and consideration of all scenarios, the first thing we would suggest starting with when moving offices is a straightforward Excel Spreadsheet or Gantt Chart. Departmentalise every phase of your move, itemise every task that needs to be completed and when and by whom. List out all the relevant parties, their involvement and document precisely your expectations for what you expect from them. This should then be clearly articulated to them and acknowledged by return.
In our recent move, we established an itinerary very early on, outlining what was to be moved and where. We sketched out a new seating plan with the office layout, colour coordinating where every desk, chair, cabinet and moving box were to go, and marked each item accordingly. This made it clear and easy for the movers to put everything where it needed to go, without having to ask every time. We also created a checklist as a bit of precautionary measure, just to make sure we didn’t misplace anything along the way.
It is essential that every aspect of the move is budgeted for. Schedule in enough time to obtain multiple quotes for everything from your chosen solicitor, IT company, removals, signage writers, builders/decorators, insurance company, right through to who might do your waste management at your new office.
In advance of our recent move, we updated our team regularly and gave them advance notice of the moving schedule, so they understood what was required and how it might impact them. We did a little Q&A for any queries and discussions, and helped people plan their new journeys into work where needed. In the week leading up to moving offices, we emailed all our clients giving them details of our move, our new office and contact information pre-empting any potential complications in the event of any disruption.
Once you’ve informed all stakeholders, social media is a great way of getting the message out to the masses that you’re moving. As well as being informative, it’s a good opportunity drive engagement and a dynamic way to document the office move.
Create hashtags to build some buzz and momentum surrounding the forthcoming move and plan in some creative visual content for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. LinkedIn is also an ideal platform to share this exciting new venture with your staff, peers and the wider business community.
Being an almost totally cloud-based digital company, we were able to organise for the majority of the company to work from home without any impact on their work or our clients. Using a VOiP telephone system meant that the ability to communicate with both clients and suppliers was unaffected.
Once you’ve moved everything out of your old premises, don’t burn bridges with the office you left! Leave it the condition you found it or as agreed. We invited a couple of colleagues to assist on the day of the move with cleaning our former office and then unpacking and setting up the new office so that the day after our move, we were fully back to normal with all staff in situ. On the day everyone first turned up to our new office, branded car parking name plates and company names plaques were already installed outside the office, so there was no confusion on the day.
You’ve made it to your new office, the desks are all in and the computers are all up and running – it’s time to update your new address online. You will need to update the address on your Google My Business listing and ensure that this is consistent with the new details on your website – this is extremely important for local SEO. It is also important to embed your Google My Business map on your company website, along with clear instructions on how to reach your new location.
As you are in a new office, you will most likely have a new IP address. It is important to update details in your Google Analytics account so that any staff visits to your website do not give a misrepresentation of website traffic. The last thing you want is to celebrate a 50% increase in traffic the month after moving only to discover that the traffic is all coming from internal site visitors at your new office location.
Don’t forget to clean up your wider online footprint. If you’ve previously carried out PR campaigns, you will no doubt have a great deal of citations pointing towards your company and its location from a variety of different online sources. You will need to contact any online sources/listings you may have and request that your address be changed to ensure consistently across the board and if you have made a significant move, you may need to undertake a link detox to remove any historic local links that are no longer having a positive effect on your website’s backlink profile.
Finally, the most important thing you could possibly do when moving office is to throw an awesome ‘welcome’ event for all your clients, suppliers, staff, family and friends to showcase your new business home. Again, create a hashtag as part of your social media strategy so that your party goers can share their messages and pictures, but most importantly, enjoy your new space!
You can find our new offices at Second Floor, Old Building, New Barnes Mill, Cottonmill Lane, St Albans, AL1 2HA – just down the road from Sopwell House. We look forward to welcoming you to Wagada Towers soon, but in the meantime check our social media for a sneak peak of our new place!