Lessons Learned While Opening a New Office

By: Bill Kopp

Moving into a new workplace often marks the beginning of a new stage in a business’s evolution. A smooth and trouble-free relocation is, therefore, crucial for the successful start of this new period in the company’s life and its future progress. Moving offices and people is a challenging project that requires careful planning and meticulous organization to ensure everything goes smoothly and quickly, the transition period is kept as short as possible, and any disruption to normal business operations is resolved within the shortest time possible. To achieve such efficiency, you need to streamline the moving process, take every little detail into consideration, get expert help, and develop a foolproof relocation strategy.

The best approach to accomplish this, once you determine your new location, is to begin with the development of a comprehensive checklist that will guide you through every step of the process so that nothing is overlooked, will keep you organized, and keep your business running during this chaotic period.

To be effective, this checklist should identify all the tasks that need to occur, the owner of each task, and obviously the timeline in which each task needs to be completed. One of the most important items on the list is a clear communications plan that includes regularly scheduled meetings with your team to update them on the status of the move, and to get feedback from the various stakeholders regarding their specific action items. To keep things on track, this activity is imperative.

As with any project, there are lessons learned that need to be remembered, so that if you ever do this again, you will be smarter than the previous time. So, here are a few:

Employees are busy performing their “day jobs” and an activity such as this, even though the result(s) might be exciting, will be viewed as an unwanted distraction.

Regardless of your initial assessment, this will cost more than estimated.

Some things will just not be thought about and will not present themselves until you move into the new space and take it out for a test drive.

Use any available experts to assist; if you are buying new office furniture and the vendor provides a design service, take advantage of it.

Operationally inspect/check everything BEFORE the vendor/delivery party departs.

Nothing ever gets delivered when it is supposed to, so remain flexible.

Managing an effort like this is a thankless job, as you cannot make everyone happy.

Do not schedule an office move in the middle of a Coronavirus (COVID-19 Outbreak) Pandemic (that was a last-minute curve we were thrown).

Moving an office is a challenge that won’t end on moving day – you will still have to unpack, install your office equipment, arrange the interior décor, and set up the right working atmosphere to make the new place a foundation for the successful future of your business.