8 Things to Consider Before Moving Office
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One major change that we will all experience at one time or another is moving or relocating. This could mean moving house, moving cities, or moving office.
If you’re a business owner or director, it’s highly likely that at some point you’ll be faced with the decision to move offices. Whether your company is expanding or contracting, or branching into new markets, it’s inevitable that business needs or operations will change over time, and the current office space may not always be able to support them.
Before tackling an office relocation, here are a few things to consider:
As with any type of move, choosing the right location for your new office requires careful consideration. Think about your staff, your clients and stakeholders, and how the location of the office may impact them. How accessible is the office? Are there good transport links or parking? It is important staff and clients can easily get to and from the premises. It is also important to think about the safety of the area, and whether your staff and customers will feel secure travelling to and from the office. You should also consider what amenities are in the area (eg. supermarkets or cafes).
You’ll need to determine the level of technological infrastructure in the premises you’re taking over, and whether this is up to the standard that your business requires. Otherwise you may be faced with significant installation costs further down the track. Things to consider include: power; heating and cooling systems; communication service providers; wireless connectivity; phone/computer cabling; phone systems; security systems. These systems will need to be thoroughly tested before employees move into the new office, to ensure that operations can resume quickly.
Moving offices is a great time to look at the type of business you are running and what kind of space can best support this. Are your staff onsite from 9-5 each day? Or do they spend a lot of time out in the field? Do your staff require a traditional workstation (desk/chair/cubicle) or do they need a more flexible set-up? Depending on your business and the type of work your employees undertake, this can dictate the type of work space they need.
It’s also important to realistically look at how much space you require. The bigger the space, the more expensive - it’s not just the rent but also business rates, service charges, energy consumption etc. As a guide, you should estimate 10sqm for each employee, plus meeting rooms, kitchen and storage rooms. Also think about the future of the business. Do you need space to expand? Make sure you look for a premises that can sustain the growth of the business, or a space that is not excessively large, should your business operations be scaled back.
Moving into a new office can mean that new furnishings are required; if the new office layout is significantly different, the current furniture may not fit into the new space, or if you’re moving into a bigger space with more staff, you may need more furnishings.
This is also a good time to look at the needs of your staff and determine what furnishings and structure will help them to do their jobs effectively. If you are in a creative industry, an open-plan office with break out spaces will allow for greater collaboration. For a business that deals in sensitive matters, or one which deals with clients on a regular basis, it may be more practical to have individual offices or cubicles, to provide privacy.
If you are looking for flexibility, you might want to consider furniture rental. If your business needs change (eg. Perhaps more staff work remotely) or if you need to move again in future, you can return the furnishings that are no longer needed, and procure new pieces.
5. Workforce Needs
When looking at a new premises, it is important to keep in mind your current workforce and their needs. If you move to a dramatically different area, this may cause issues for some of your staff – and they may decide to leave. If you want to retain your staff, consider them in your planning and be sure to consult them in the process – this will give you a good gauge of desirable locations for your staff.
If you’re opening a brand-new office, you’ll want to factor in the available talent pool. If growth is on the horizon, choose a location where you’ll be able to access quality workers with the skills that you require.
6. Workplace Culture and Brand
The office environment says a lot about the brand of a business so it’s worth thinking about what kind of message you’re communicating to clients or stakeholders when they are in the new office. The office can also greatly influence the workplace culture. Make sure you think about the culture you’d like to establish or retain, and how the office set up may affect this. It is important to find a balance between creating an office environment that promotes productivity, while also creating an attractive space for your staff to work in.
7. Business Continuity
Moving offices can be very disruptive to business operations. It is important that you and your team consider how you can best minimise this disruption during the moving process, to ensure that your business can continue running. In an ideal world, the move would happen outside of business hours, and staff should be able to pick up where they left off. However, things may not always go to plan. Make sure to develop a detailed back-up plan which outlines how the business will function should any systems fail. This might mean staff need to work from home, or remotely for a short period until the new premises is up and running.
8. Professional Help
When it comes to moving offices, one of the smartest moves you can make is to enlist the help of a commercial relocation service. Hiring professionals to do the job for you will remove both mental and physical strain. With a wealth of experience in commercial relocation, John Ryan Removals will ensure your office relocation goes smoothly.
Moving offices can be a stressful experience for both you and your staff, but it also provides an exciting opportunity for a fresh start. If you’re planning an office move, get in touch with the team at John Ryan Removals. We can take care of the moving, so you can put your energy into finding the perfect new office for your business and your staff. We're the leading office removalists in Melbourne.