Planning an Office Move? Here’s What You Need to Know

We are moving”- 3 words that every Operation Manager dreads. Where to start? How to find the right place that stays aligned with the company’s goals and desires? What is the purpose of the move? How do you stay on budget? 

These are just a few questions that come to mind… But is it really that intimidating? 

Organization and a clear understanding of the move goal are essential to completing your move with ease and success.

So here are a few tips for a successful and stress-free move-

 

  • Location, Location, Location

Before you begin looking for your perfect new home, take the time to determine what your office’s needs are. It is important to sit with the relevant managers and listen to their intake on the move- make sure you are aligned with the company strategy. Think about the needs of  your employees and what will make them feel comfortable; the company values and what will help it grow.
A few things to consider- Are you looking for an office that is close to public transportation? How about near great restaurants? (Optimistic during a pandemic, I know). Should it be located in a friendly neighborhood? Do the  employees need nearby parking? Should there be security in the building?
For example, we knew that we wanted to be in a centralized location that is accessible to public transportation and handicap accessible as well. In addition, we wanted the new office to be located in a safe neighborhood that you could feel comfortable walking at night in. More over, we made sure that there was a convenient and close parking lot for employees and visitors.
Once you know the answers to these questions, your search will be much more focused. 

 

  • The magic that happens inside

In addition to finding the perfect location, it’s super important to think about how your office will be organized from within. For us, at Roundforest, we had a few musts- 

  1. A comfortable open space working area that will allow all our team members to work and collaborate easily. We believe that sharing knowledge in the way to create effective results and can help maximize personal and team productivity. 
  2. Spacious meeting rooms that will allow holding private conversations and meetings. This will allow our employees to work with no interruptions or interrupts others. It is important for the rooms to be equipped at all times with anything that will able the meeting as productive as it can be, such as a TV screen, a whiteboard, paper and pens. 
  3. We also want to have fun together and be able to change scenery from time to time. This is why a social area is something we can’t live without. From our lobby area connected to our kitchen that is equipped with anything that can boost your energy, to a balcony that ables you to breathe some fresh air and catch up with our co-workers or take some time to yourselves. 
  4. Sunlight! Who doesn’t love natural light? Studies show that optimizing the amount of natural light in an office significantly improves health and wellness among workers, leading to gains in productivity.
  5. Storage. Many employees come to work with a bike or scooter and we wanted their to be a place where they can store them without having to worry about them and where they don’t interrupt other employees. An electrical outlet can also be really helpful 🙂

 

  • Design

Hiring an excellent  interior designer is crucial for a successful move. You should interview 3-4 different designers to get a sense of the wide range of ideas each has to offer. After narrowing down your list, make sure to check references from former employers.
After hiring your perfect ‘match’, have a meeting with them about the company goals, culture, needs and branding. It’s important to let them know your expectations from the renovation process from the beginning to ensure the project is successful. In addition, make sure everyone’s roles are clear and each one knows what their responsibilities are.

 

  • Keep calm and make a list

Organization is crucial!
Step 1- Make a detailed list of everything that needs to be done. Include deadlines, stakeholders, status, budget and comments.
Step 2- Have someone else look over the list and see if they have any additions or remarks- collaboration is key!
Step 3- Follow the checklist and make updates as you go. Be flexible in case things shift or change, but attempt to stick to the basic plan as much as possible.
Several important things to consider adding to your list- communicate moving day to staff, hire an interior designer, transfer all IT and electricity needed, secure movers, advertise furniture for sale and informing partners about the move.
This will ensure nothing is overlooked. 

 

  • Who doesn’t love some TLC (Tender Loving Care)?

Make sure you think of ways that will make all employees feel special and cared for. 

Be transparent; make the move is as seamless as possible; decide with the managers of the new seating arrangements; have the office ‘work-ready’ on the first day; plan a welcome breakfast; pick out unique or personalized gift that will make everyone feel at home; make sure all facilities are easy to use (such a close restrooms, easy AC and light systems operation, coffee maker and more); and most importantly, make sure they know they have someone to turn to if they have questions or uncertainties. 

 

  • “Music makes the people come together” 

“Music is the strongest form of magic.” ― Marilyn Manson

Playing music in the office can change the atmosphere enitirely. It is important to decide in which key areas to play music, e.g. the common area and balcony; and which areas it’s important to keep work oriented, like meeting rooms and the common open space. Create a playlist that suits the office spirit and customize it accordingly.

 

An office move, if done properly, with cooperation, goal setting and organization, should be smooth and even fun! It’s important to make the adjustments for your team and company needs. Try to think about everything, be creative, and ask for help from the people around you. 

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