Office shifting should be treated no differently from your office projects. After all, it is highly critical, needs to be completed within a deadline, there are a million ‘hassles and headaches’ to take care of, and yes, potentially, a gazillion things can go wrong. Relocating an entire organization – including teams, infrastructure and related utilities – from one geographical co-ordinate to another is usually a huge ‘exercise’ that requires detailed planning, a streamlined strategy and most importantly, expert execution. Not surprisingly, most offices leave the entire shebang to experts.
Here are 7 boxes you must tick, if you are shifting your workspace.
Have a focussed packaging strategy.
Block the date in your office calendar and make sure all your employees, partners and vendors know about it well in advance. This involves tackling the packaging mandates one zone or area at a time, and giving each enough attention to make sure you don’t miss out on anything. First, identify and demarcate all your office ‘stuff’ into categories. Colour code your boxes as per their contents, label them correctly and use the right packaging material and technology. Ask your teams to take as many photographs as you can – it will act not only as a proof of their ‘condition’ (should you need to show it to your relocation partner or insurance company), but also serve as a quick reminder and useful guide of ‘what goes where’ when you are re-arranging and decorating your new place.
Make sure your valuables (like petty cash, important papers, discs & drives, ID’s etc) are locked away securely in a handy locker under the watchful gaze of a team member specially assigned to this task. Don’t forget to book your relocation with the building management well in advance : Check with the authorized personnel about regulations & limitations such as car parking at loading dock, whether premises (such as floors) are to be covered and protected by you, the use of elevators, time-limits beyond which relocation work cannot be done, any outstanding tax or financial dues and so on. Have two teams ‘on duty’ while the shift is on: The first at the old premise, and the second one at the new office.
Create teams & delegate tasks.
Treat your office relocation as no different than just another office project. Set the ‘big goal’ (which is basically the safe relocation of every item against a reasonable cost, with as little disruption to daily work as is feasible, and in the minimum possible time-frame), break down the exercise into smaller tasks and assign the ‘best talent’ to each job. Demarcate different areas of your workspace and do the packaging in phases, so that ‘everyday tasks’ can still carry on in other areas while the packing in one phase is going on. Organize an ‘Emergency Readiness’ meeting and discuss in detail what to expect at every step of the journey, things that can potentially go wrong, and an ‘Emergency Plan’ outlining what to do if they do.
Intimate contacts about your change in address.
Be it your utilities (such as electricity, internet, landline and others) or professional associations (work partners and clients), it is critical that you intimate everyone about your impending change of address well in advance. Not only will this help you move on to your next phase seamlessly, it may pre-empt major losses both in terms of cost, convenience and reputation, and ensure that you can resume work in your new location with minimum disruption.
Plan your destination.
Don’t land up at your new office without having had a ‘measure’ of it first. In other words, create a space plan which includes where your items will go in your new destination. Size up your available space vis-à-vis your current possessions and create a plan that optimizes every inch, while at the same time allowing you the freedom of expression of designing your new space in a brand new ways – which is what a new beginning is all about. Make sure all utilities like electricity, water, AC points, computer terminals, cleaning teams and security is in place before you ‘move in’ (get in touch with the General Management or the ‘Facility Management’ teams for this).
It’s a wise idea to take an insurance of the items you are moving. There are several choices in the market today. You can ask your packer and mover partner to provide options, too. Opt for an appropriate valuation protection plan and make sure you clearly understand all the terms and conditions.
Keep last-minute supplies ready
Keep cash and chillers ready – you will need to dig in for them from time to time, so keep them handy. Get refreshments at hand as well. Hunger pangs may strike your team every now & then, so make sure you have your supply of bites and sips ready. It’s hard to predict everything accurately at the outset, so make sure you keep sufficient ‘packaging’ stuff at arm’s reach as well, such as bags, tape, adhesive, bubble wrap, scissors, rope, etc at hand.
Let professionals handle your office relocation.
Office shifting can be a potentially hazardous task. Your expensive gadgets and machineries will need extra precaution. You will need expert hands and minds on the job. Most office equipments are heavy, and any kind of dislocation requires the support of strong and seasoned hands. These are traits and abilities one doesn’t normally associate with an office team. You will have to procure and purchase the materials to protect your valuables, which means not only scouring the market in search of the right supplier and bargaining hard for a reasonable deal, but also last-minute customizations and on-the-spot improvisations since the materials may not be readily available in the exact form and shape you need.
Your office will have a host of sensitive documents and confidential files as well, and they will need to be handled with extra attention. Shifting expensive office infrastructure safely and scratch-free also involves the right choice of vehicle. ‘Normal’ vehicles – which don’t have the right permits, space or technology (such as ‘shock absorbers’) can prove harmful to the health of your critical office belongings. You must know the ‘best routes’ and have the right legal permits to make the journey (from your old office to your new workplace) in time, and without hurdles. Office relocation can be expensive. Often, there are costly hidden expenses as well. Veteran relocators have the advantage of insight, volumes and bandwidth, and the best ones often pass on the benefit in the form of competitive pricing, and customized price-levels to match your budget and need.
From making sure your expensive equipments and important work-items are shifted without a hitch or scratch to deploying the right vehicle fleet and on-ground teams to take care of every little detail of this very specialized job to even helping you save precious money and time by their knowledge of city rules, traffic routes and official processes, a packer and mover team that has the right expertise for office shifting – with the right technologies, teams and work-ethics in place – can help you relocate with minimal disruption to the regular work schedule, and make sure you are in the right mood and shape to start your new business journey.
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