Moving is never easy, but moving an entire office to another location can be especially challenging. Your primary goal is to get up and running as quickly as possible to minimize downtime for employees and overall business disruption. No time is really a good time to “be offline” so let’s discuss ways to minimize this during your business relocation process. Here are some tips of things to remember to make your office relocation seamless.
There are many things to consider when you’re relocating an entire office, but some things are more important than others. Because minimal downtime is essential, your office and technology equipment should be the highest priority.
Make sure you organize and box these items so they’re easy to find and set up in the new space. We recommend each employee designate and label a specific box for their own workstation: computer, printer, scanner, mouse, keyboard, monitor, and all essential cabling needed for all these items. Having each employee’s entire workstation and technology contained within one box makes it much easier to unpack and setup at the new location (no missing cables or parts). We also recommend that all departments keep their boxes together – that way it is easier to move and unpack department by department in an orderly fashion. You should also make a list of tasks, numbered by priority, so everyone knows the plan to quickly and efficiently get the new office up-and-running. We recommend starting with technology of course! Company servers, routers, internet, individual workstations, phones, and shared equipment like copiers, printers, etc. should be a priority!
Your vendors are your allies. Make sure you utilize all the services they offer and help everyone coordinate to help streamline the move. Oftentimes people forget to transfer their internet/phone service from one provider to another (if the new office location uses a different proprietary service provider) and then they are left with unexpected downtime while they wait for the new carrier to act. It is very important to contact the necessary internet service provider as soon as possible to make sure you have enough time to “turn on” the new services - some providers require at least 30 days to turn on a new service so be prepared to talk to your new carrier as early as possible!
If you’re working with a general contractor on your new office location (tenant improvements or expansion), ask your IT provider to review the building plans beforehand. Your IT provider can work together with your general contractor to maximize space for your network equipment, advise on certain switches and cabling needed in offices, and advise where to run the wiring above the ceiling and behind certain walls. This is essential when planning conference rooms with multiple drop points and ensuring that your IT needs are streamlined before the construction is finalized.
With the changes required in transferring your technology to a new office, now is the perfect time to consider making some needed upgrades.
Upgrading to new technology can be expensive, so it’s important to make sure you maximize your value by finding lasting technologies that will boost your business. Your IT company can make suggestions about the best upgrades that will add value to your company. They can also help with the set up and provide any needed employee training so you can begin using new systems immediately.
Most offices have accumulated many files (paper and digital) over time and moving is a great time to review and purge them. Consult with your company’s policies on what items, files, or records can be discarded, and do this prior to the move to cut down on what needs to be relocated. Discard or delete anything you don’t need and organize the things you do need. This helps minimize the manpower you need to move your files, and it also makes things easier to find in your new office.
If possible, avoid moving your office during typical business hours. Instead, try scheduling your relocation during a weekend, taking your company “off line” on a Friday evening and preparing to be back up and running on the following Monday!
This will allow you plenty of time to get your network running, desks and offices organized, and your employees more familiar with the new space. If you want to minimize downtime, this is one of the easiest ways to do it.
Most people are more understanding of a disruption if they’re notified in advance. That’s why it’s always a good idea to let your customers and vendors know you’re moving well before the big day—even if you don’t anticipate any downtime at all. Simply explain the situation, let them know the date you expect to be back in business, and include your new contact information. If your contact information remains the same (same P.O. Box, same main office phone number, same email) make sure to tell your clients that too! Continuity is great, and ensuring your clients are up to speed with your operations is key to a successful move.
If all of this sounds overwhelming and you are unsure if you have all your technology bases covered, don’t worry! You can hire an IT expert to do the job with you. Method Technologies offers business technology relocation services and consultations and we can guide you towards the most seamless moving experience possible.
We can give you expert tips and guidance throughout the process and make sure you’re up and running with minimal downtime. We can inventory your IT equipment, ensure it’s handled carefully throughout the move, and make sure everything is assembled and working properly in your new location.
To learn how we can help with your business technology relocation, contact us today for a consultation.