7 Ways to Minimize Downtime During an Office Move
Relocating an office is a major disruption for your business. While some work stoppage when moving is acceptable, it is important to minimize it. With proper planning, and good communications, downtime can be minimized and possibly even eliminated.
Here are 7 ways to minimize downtime during an office relocation:
- Plan in advance
Good planning is critical, and it is important to allocate plenty of time to organize everything. Most moves take at least 3 months to properly plan and execute. Every office is different of course, so your plan will include items specific to your organization’s requirements. Create a timeline that includes all the tasks that must be accomplished, when they must be done, and who is responsible for their completion. Plan for some leeway if possible, so unforeseen issues will not set you back. Two key points: do not rush through the process and get plenty of input from your team. These will ensure no details are left out and will make staying on time and within budget easier.
- Create a backup plan
You can never plan for every contingency, but it is important to have a good backup plan with alternative solutions. It ensures that unexpected difficulties can be dealt with quickly to minimize their impact on the move. Remember, downtime is lost business!
- Prepare your employees
Communicate with your staff frequently as the relocation progresses. Make sure everyone receives necessary information and knows what part they will play in the move. It is important to create a reliable way to disseminate information. Your employees will need to be able to ask questions and receive regular updates. It can be through face-to-face or Zoom meetings, e-mails, intranets, or discussion forums; whatever works best for your organization’s culture.
- Prepare IT carefully
IT considerations in an office relocation are considerable. Computer servers, internet connectivity, networks, phone systems, and security systems all have to be worked into the plan. The process puts substantial pressure on your IT team. They will need to have all the wiring and hookups for every piece of equipment on-line and running according to the schedule. If your IT team is small, consider bringing in outside expertise to help manage this portion of the move.
- An important step will be to inventory your current technology. Often this is a good time to upgrade old and out-of-date-equipment. Once you know what will be moved and what will be replaced, you can source the new equipment so it can be installed prior to the relocation and be ready to go with no interruption. And do not forget to properly dispose of the old equipment! A full-service mover will make sure all your e-waste is taken care of securely.
- In addition to installing new equipment ahead of time, relocating and installing existing equipment on a weekend will also reduce your downtime during working hours.
- Consider moving in several phases
When possible, we often recommend companies relocate in phases. By breaking down an office move into more contained parts such as one department at a time, it reduces the disruption to the entire company, maintains productivity, and allows the company to easily handle any unforeseen contingencies that might arise.
- Have as many employees work from home as possible
The ability to work remotely for many office workers has become quite easy and the technology is readily available. Working from home eliminates downtime for the employees that can do it.
- Move during your business’ slow season
If you can pick the time of year to relocate, the slowest time in your business year will ensure that productivity is not significantly impacted by the move. Also, many moving companies offer reduced rates during the winter and spring months.
For further information on making your office move smooth and efficient, contact Sterling Corporation. Our consultations are always free. As a full-service commercial mover with over 60 years in the business, Sterling has worked with companies of all sizes and has a proven track record of handling every type of office move.