Moving house is said to be one of the most stressful things a person will do in their life, so it’s no surprise moving your entire business can be just as problematic.
To be able to meet constantly changing business needs, companies now need to move offices on average every seven years. While this can be daunting, careful preparation and early planning can help avoid setbacks, extra cost and alleviate much of the pressure.
Express has put together its top tips to help you to ensure a hassle-free relocation…
1. Nominate a project leader
As the move is going to take multiple hired professionals and a team of employees to facilitate, you should initially identify an internal project leader.
This person will act as a single point of contact for external parties and keep all central stakeholders in the loop. This should be an organized and senior individual who has the authority to make decisions quickly and drive the project forward.
A dedicated scheme leader will keep everything – and everyone – on target, focus on their individual tasks and diminish delays to ensure the main objectives set out at the start of the move are realized.
2. Think about location
Through your relocation, you may be looking for easier access to the best talent, your target consumer market or clients, so readdress your reasons for moving before deciding on a site.
Consider where your key employees live and whether the location is appropriate for them. While you’re never going to please everyone, it may be worth undertaking a survey to find the most commutable areas for the majority of staff. A long and expensive commute may push them to seek employment elsewhere, causing costly – and avoidable – recruitment fees.
Setting up your office in a lively area with shops, restaurants, and cafes could have a positive impact on employee wellness and engagement, so ‘saving’ money on cheaper out-of-the-way office space could cost your business in the long run. In addition, consider the immediacy of public transport, staff and client parking, and accessibility.
3. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
Whether it’s for a prearranged development or reduction in overheads, make sure your purpose for the move is clear. Contemplate how you need the new premise to work for you now, in one, five or ten years to add longevity to your relocation plans.
Before starting your relocation, gather all necessary information including the details of the existing lease and notice period and any outstanding obligations, to allow you to set out your relocation timeline. Set a moving date as far in advance as possible and avoid arranging any significant business activities on or around the date to avoid needless pressure.
Once the project leader has been agreed, work should also begin on producing a budget. Estimate the full cost of the space, including rent, utilities, construction costs, moving expenses and include a buffer for any unexpected costs, which are sure to appear.
A budget is vital to help you assess your costs, plan your finances and manage your expenditure throughout the relocation. It can also help you to gauge the success of your project and measure its ROI.
4. Deliberate your design
Research suggests employees get distracted every three minutes. To help combat this, ensure there are areas where employees can take a proper break away from their desks.
Employers should provide spaces which encourage social and informal connections between employees, as well as facilitate team meetings and flexible working, such as the Express HUB.
However, you also need to provide areas where people can concentrate and work in private.
If there are not enough secluded meeting spaces or quiet areas for employees, this can be a cause of stress, so ensure you offer variety to suit different preferences and activities.
A move of the workplace is a chance to generate constructive change within your business. The move could improve performance, deliver better facilities and in turn, increase staff morale. Keep your staff informed and engaged throughout to make them feel part of the process and highly valued.
About the author: Emma Davidson is the Area Retail Manager for Express, a top five graduate employer amongst SME’s in the UK and voted top graduate employer in the Consumer Goods Industry.