Whether you’re moving into your first office from your home business, or simply upgrading your workspace, relocating to a new workspace can be stressful. For business owners, it can be difficult to juggle your normal everyday responsibilities with the added stress of moving offices.
There are a number of risks involved in an office move. Here, we’ve highlighted a few of the biggest, and the best ways to avoid them.
Get your internet and phone lines running before you move
Ensuring your new office has a working internet connection is not something you want to leave until the last minute, as it could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months to get a new one in place. It can be helpful to have a site visit with your IT department before you move to review network and cabling requirements. RippleIT also recommend using this opportunity to evaluate your current equipment, and replace any items that may have become outdated.
You’ll also need to review your building before moving to establish whether your new office has the cabling and infrastructure your business requires. For example, there may not be enough phones or power outlets to accommodate for your equipment, meaning you’ll have to have more installed before you can start work. It’s better to add these to the existing space well in advance of your move, rather than struggle with a lack of power.
Hiring a specialist IT relocation service can help you with moving entire servers and installing floor boxes, making sure your business can be up and running from day one, without having to struggle with a lack of power.
Avoid data loss by backing everything up
Losing valuable company data is one of the biggest risks when moving office. From your staff and employees’ personal information to important business documents, such as banking information and company projections, you have a responsibility to keep this information safe and secure.
There are many laws surrounding data protection, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which replaced the Data Protection Act in Spring 2018. These laws ensure that companies are compliant with the new, stricter requirements, or risk facing penalties and fines.
The most effective way to protect your data before moving offices is to backup everything on each and every device. You could choose to copy information to external hard drives—giving you two copies—or move everything to the cloud. The cloud may be the better option for your business, as it is offsite, and reduces the number of things you need to keep track of during the move.
One tried-and-tested method is the 3-2-1 backup strategy. This tactic leaves you with three total copies of your data—-two of which are local, but on different devices—-and at least one copy offsite, which could be in the cloud.
Plan your office layout in advance
Your office layout has more of an impact than you may initially think. The layout can affect your company culture, and even the productivity of your employees. Before you move take the time to plan your new office layout well in advance. Measure your new office and create a physical layout on paper, so you can carefully plan where all your equipment and desks can easily fit in. Think about where each department is going to go, and where each member of staff will be positioned.
If possible, incorporating collaborative areas into your floor plan can have a huge payoff when you move in. Research has found that collaborative workspaces makes staff more productive, as they encourage teamwork and promote discussion between staff. This can bring new ideas to the table for any company projects, or simply provide employees with downtime, allowing them to switch off from work for a while to recharge.
Minimise the risk of lost items with a clear chain of custody
One of the biggest risks when moving offices is keeping track of all of your furniture and equipment. As you move between offices, your items will most likely be handed from person to person, as they get packed up, loaded onto a delivery van, unloaded, and set back up in the new office. This presents several opportunities for your items to be lost or stolen in transit.
Avoid this by having a clear chain of custody, with a dedicated member of staff in charge of items at each stage. Counting each item at every stage can be an easy way to ensure that everything is transported from the old office to the new. If an item isn’t accounted for, you can check to see who the last person in charge of the items was. As well as accurately keeping track of everything, this can deter people from stealing any items during the move.
Moving offices can be a stressful time, but by simply planning well in advance, you can ensure a seamless move on the big day. Having a clear plan of how the day will go, as well as ensuring that all your data is backed up, will help you to get your business up and running in the new office as quickly as possible.