10 Ways to Plan for a Smooth Office Move

1. Move your Mission Critical equipment first

It’s the first thing your team should consider, so we went ahead and put it first on our list! Servers, routers, modems, switches, computers, monitors, fax machines, copiers, scanners, telephones, cords, more cords, even more cords--all these technical devices take extra precautions and expertise to move, not to mention more time to set up at your new location.

Play it safe and give yourselves at least three months of planning to make sure everything is ready to go from day one. Mission critical infrastructure like your network equipment and phones should always be set up beforehand so you can hit the ground running. Double check that all of your network and service providers are aware of your move date and whether you’ll be continuing your relationships with them. The more preparation you put into your IT equipment, the less time you’ll spend playing catch up.

Hot Tip: Roll up all those endless cords we mentioned, put them in plastic bags, and tape them to the devices they go with to make sure no one gets lost on the way to their new home.

2. Make sure your entire team is on the same page

Too often, companies will put a manager or two in charge of their office move and then just have everyone else continue working normally until it’s time to start packing everything up.

Don’t be afraid to send out multiple emails and calendar updates as your moving date approaches. Some people might find the constant reminders annoying, but a few grumbles will always be preferable to your whole plan falling behind schedule. Create a new message board channel with team leaders so you can check in regularly and answer any questions they or their employees may have. An office move can only be as successful as your planning allows it to be.

Hot Tip: When the big day arrives, have one manager at your old office and another at the new office so you can change plans on the fly. This will also give your moving company a decision-making resource at both ends of the process.

3. Make it visual, make it easy

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Sometimes a sticky note or piece of tape is the only difference between your office move being a logistical nightmare or a piece of cake.

Especially when it comes to furniture and heavy equipment, assigning each department a color and then going over where each color should end up with your department heads is one of the easiest ways to make sure the big day goes smoothly.

4. Notify customers about your upcoming move

A well-planned office move shouldn’t impact your customers or affiliate companies, but that doesn’t mean you should keep it a secret.

Posting a notice on your website or adding a short message to your auto-attendant goes a long way if any problems or service outages do crop up. And if you have any large or particularly sensitive customers, send them a personalized email and maybe even set up a forwarding number for them to call if anything mission critical happens while your team is AFK. 

5. Keep track of your contact info

In the craziness of an office move, it's easy for the little things like address changes and new phone number postings to fall through the cracks.

Updating your website and digital media is simple enough, but printing new business cards or ad signs will require some advance planning. As soon as you have your new location finalized, take some time to make a comprehensive list of everywhere your address appears and set deadlines for when they need to be changed. On the plus side, at least if you have a cloud-based service like FluentStream, your phone numbers and device provisioning automatically come with you to the new office. No setup, no settings changes required. All your communications go with you anywhere, on any device.

Hot Tip: In addition to all of your collateral, make sure you reach out to review sites and search engines so they can update your address on their ends as well.

6. Evaluate your new space for equipment upgrades

Moving offices is a great way to upgrade your workspace, but it’s also the ideal time to upgrade your technical hardware.

If you’re moving to a larger office, you’re probably planning on scaling rapidly to fill that empty space. So rather than just packing up and sending over all your current phones and technology infrastructure, do a walkthrough of your new office with an IT professional and see if they have any suggestions or spot ways your current setup isn’t up to snuff. Switching to a cloud-based solution gives you the flexibility to grow your communications just as fast as you grow your business, without paying for the extensions and features you don’t need.

7. Does it bring you joy when you hold it?

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In addition to modernizing your IT, don’t pass up this excuse to declutter your business.

For a place where problems go to get solved, your office sure accumulates a lot of random junk no one really has an answer for. Old office chairs, stacks of extra keyboards, mountains of tupperware, that standing desk your boss bought and then abandoned before it was even assembled… Just get rid of it! The last thing you need to worry about while getting your new office settled is which closets you can use to hide all your old skeletons.

8. Don’t schedule yourself into a corner

A good general rule is to leave yourselves a 3 day buffer zone around your office move that’s free from important meetings or deadlines.

Inviting clients into a conference room full of boxes is awkward for everyone involved. Asking your team to complete a project or hand in a report at the same time they’re supposed to be packing up their desks is a surefire recipe for a meltdown. The good news is that modern communications software already provides the solutions you need! Cut out the messy conference room completely by using a video conferencing tool like FluentCloud Meetings. Plus, with the convenience of cloud drives and softphone applications, you can pack up your desk early and finish projects from anywhere.

9. Take personal items home instead of trusting them to survive on their own

Office moves are all about speed and efficiency, which leaves plenty of opportunity for things to get broken or lost in the shuffle.

Your moving company will obviously try their best, but the easiest way to make sure all those beloved pictures, personal mugs, and desk toys successfully make the journey is to ferry them yourselves after all the heavy lifting is over. Few things escalate an already-stressful situation faster than accidentally dropping the box full of someone’s prized snow globe collection.

10. Standardize your carrying capacity

Speaking of boxes, do your best to limit surprises and keep them around 25 lbs when possible.

You may need to pack more boxes overall, but keeping them standardized will allow your moving company to work much faster and should be manageable enough for every member of your team to help out.

BONUS: Appoint a Green Thumb Moses 

Unfortunately, most office moving companies will not be responsible for transporting plants. So if you want your foliage friends to come with you, your team will have to make a difficult choice about who they trust to get the job done. We recommend someone with at least 30 years of bonsai tree-growing experience, but since the average business likely won't have access to such a master... really anyone with a pickup truck will do.