As businesses continue to shift amid rising hybrid work and labor shortages, many are relocating. Some companies may downsize to a smaller office, while others move closer to corporate partners or job markets. Whatever the case, these moves require careful planning.
Office relocation can bring many benefits, from reduced expenses to increased worker satisfaction. However, 67% of office employees have found these moves challenging. If business owners want to minimize the challenge, they should know and avoid these eight mistakes.
1. Failing to Take Adequate Inventories
One of the most common mistakes in office relocations is not taking inventory before the move. As many as 43% of small businesses don’t track their inventory at all or use manual processes, opening the door for costly mistakes. Without an accurate record of everything in the office, teams will struggle to ensure they move everything correctly.
Inventories should include everything in the old office that’s going to the new one and which room it’s in. These records will help ensure nothing gets lost in the move and can streamline the organization process in the new building.
Inventories should also include item conditions, especially for higher-end equipment. This will reveal any damage incurred during the move, holding moving companies accountable and streamlining insurance claims.
2. Not Involving IT Staff
Another crucial mistake to avoid is failing to involve IT staff in the relocation process. Businesses today rely on IT systems, but the new office may have different electrical, network or space considerations, requiring adaptation, which means downtime. Even with identical workspaces, disconnecting and reconnecting everything will take time.
Network downtime costs $600,000 per year on average, so getting IT systems up and running in the new office quickly is critical. To do this, business leaders must refer to their IT staff’s expertise.
First, let IT leaders see the new space as soon as possible so they can understand any adaptations they need to make. From there, they can help set moving timelines, including when to move each system for maximum uptime.
3. Setting Unrealistic Timelines and Budgets
Moving is often a long, expensive process, and companies must account for that. While it’s tempting to work as fast as possible, not providing enough time can lead to costly mistakes. Businesses should plan far in advance, giving themselves more leeway if something goes wrong and delays the process.
Similarly, businesses should give themselves plenty of wiggle room when setting moving budgets. It can be more cost-effective to pay more for quality moving services than to deal with equipment damage and preventable disruptions. Conversely, overpaying for these services can make the already disruptive relocation process more constraining, limiting near-future profits.
4. Not Researching Moving Companies
Businesses should also avoid automatically going with the first moving service they find. It’s important to compare companies, including looking at their customer reviews, to see which one best aligns with your needs and objectives. Remember that which service is best often depends on the specific scenario at hand.
There are a few different factors to consider here. Cost control is the most common challenge for relocation managers, so prices are important, but businesses should balance these with reliability. Customer satisfaction, flexibility, services provided and vehicle options are other impactful considerations.
5. Choosing the Wrong Equipment
Just as businesses need to choose the right moving service, they must select the right equipment, too. It’s easy to place items and boxes wherever they’ll fit, but this lack of planning could make it easier to damage company property. Businesses should carefully consider what types of vehicles and other moving equipment they need for which items.
Moving trucks provide plenty of space and protection, but be sure to get the right size. Cramped spaces can make it harder to move everything, and too much space can create unwelcome wiggle room, leading to damage. Enclosed cargo trailers, which offer the same benefits in a smaller package and have features like built-in drawers, are a handy alternative.
6. Moving Things You Don’t Need
Many people fret over forgetting things during the move, but the opposite can also be a concern. Moving gives businesses the perfect opportunity to review their inventories and decide if it’s time to get rid of anything. While this may seem like an optional step, skipping it can make the moving process harder than it needs to be.
Eliminating unnecessary inventory before relocating means having less to move when the time comes. That translates into quicker moving times and lower costs. By the same token, failing to get rid of obsolete equipment means spending more time and money on things that don’t generate enough revenue to be worth the cost.
7. Overlooking Impacts on Employees
Moving can have a significant impact on employees, so businesses should consider this before the move. The new location could make commutes longer for some workers, disrupting their schedules and raising their transportation costs. Offering remote work, which could account for 25% of all jobs before long anyway, may be an ideal solution.
Similarly, companies should consider parking spaces and safe outdoor areas at the new location. Before selecting a new building, they should ensure it has as much if not more to offer workers as the old office.
It’s also important to get employee buy-in during the moving process itself. Inform everyone of the move early and offer clear guidelines for how the transition will happen. Communication will help minimize the disruption to employees’ productivity.
8. Forgetting to Update Your Address
Finally, forgetting to update business addresses is an easy but critical mistake. If companies don’t update their address on all forms and sites, they could miss deliveries and confuse potential clients who show up to the old office.
Companies should start informing business partners about their upcoming move as soon as they confirm their new location. Sending regular emails to partners, clients and third parties throughout the process can help remind them of the move. It’s also important to update company websites and social media pages to keep future clients updated.
Avoid These Mistakes and Make the Most of Your Move
Relocating an office is often challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. If more businesses avoid these common mistakes, the process will be far easier, faster and less costly. It all starts with knowing what not to do.
Teams can avoid many of these mistakes by planning far enough in advance and planning in depth. With the right preparation, office relocation can be minimally disruptive.