Moving to New Business Premises: Minimise Disruption to Business with Commercial Removals

TMAAT August 26, 2015

Planning the Move

Before you begin packing anything, it’s a good idea to locate some floor plans and room dimensions of the new premises. Identify key features that are important to business operations, including:

– Power points
– Phone/data points
– Storage space
– Office and furniture layouts
– Reception or customer service area
– Waiting room or foyer
– Kitchen facilities
– Staff restrooms

Spend a bit of time working out where everything in the current premises will fit in the new space. If there are aspects of the current premises that don’t quite work or that may need altering due to expansion, consider working these into the new plans.

Adding new rooms or installing new work cubicles is much easier while the building is still empty. If you intend to paint and fit out the premises with corporate branding and colours, it’s also best to complete those tasks long before moving day.

If you have pictures, whiteboards or other items that need to be installed at the new location, get these done before anything else is moved.

Preparing for the Move

Choose a team leader or department coordinator to manage and oversee the moving process. Create a checklist set out in order of when things need to be done, to ensure nothing gets overlooked.

For example:

8 weeks to moving day: Organise quotes from AFRA accredited removal companies
7 weeks to moving day: contact phone and internet service providers to arrange transfer of services
6 weeks to moving day: book the chosen removalist company

Using a checklist that itemises everything that has to be done also allows various staff members to check off completed items as they’re completed. There’s less double-handling and less risk of forgetting important items.

You will also need to create an inventory of everything you plan to move to the new location. Most businesses will have items that can be thrown away or disposed of safely, but it’s important that staff and removalists know what items will be moved and which ones won’t.

Cull Unnecessary Items

There’s no point packing and moving items the business no longer needs. Old furniture, broken electronic equipment and outdated stationary can be thrown away to reduce the amount you need to pack.

Most businesses are required to keep certain information for up to five years. If your business deals with client’s confidential information or financial records, you may need to store them for up to seven years.

If you don’t have sufficient space to store those items in the new premises, consider looking at secure offsite storage options.

Set the Moving Date

Ideally, you should set your moving date well in advance. Book your commercial move with a professional removalist company to ensure they’re free on the day you require. It’s a good idea to choose an AFRA-accredited removal company that specialises in business or commercial moves.

Always check with your removalist that they can offer the right level of insurance to protect your business furnishings and equipment during transit. Your normal business insurance may not offer coverage during transit, so it pays to ask the right questions.

Gearing Up for the Move

Once the moving date is set and the removal company is booked, start letting customers, suppliers and vendors know your change of address. You might also want to order new stationary and marketing materials with the updated address details.

Organise a mail re-direct with Australia Post so that all mail starts getting forwarded to the new location as soon as possible. It’s also wise to start arranging the transfer of utilities, phone and internet to the new premises early, to ensure there’s no risk of being without important connections.

Get Staff Involved

Choose a team leader or department coordinator to take charge of packing and moving each section of the business. Let staff members know when the planned day will be. Set them specific tasks for packing and preparing their own work spaces and any cupboards or storage areas. Items or tools that aren’t used regularly can be packed into boxes and put aside without disrupting existing workflow.

Packing the Old Premises

Packing files or paperwork into secure document storage boxes is a time-consuming task. Asking current employees to stop working on their daily tasks and start packing up the office could end up costing you more than you expect. Aside from them being completely unproductive in their regular roles, they’re being paid their normal wages to pack boxes.

Do some simple calculations about the real cost of getting employees to pack up the office. It may be more cost-effective to pay a professional packing company to come in and do it for you.

Moving Day

Draw up a roster showing employees whether they’re expected to be present at the current or the new premises on moving day. Some staff will need to be present to ensure delivery of furniture and equipment.

Of course, some people will need to remain behind at the old premises to check that everything has been packed and moved properly. If the phones or internet connections haven’t been transferred on time, it’s important to check that they’re still operational at least at the old premises until the new connections can be completed.

Professional commercial removalists will work diligently to get all furnishings set up in the new premises as efficiently as possible. Any employees already at the new premises should begin setting up work areas so they can return to normal duties.

When the old business area is empty, any remaining employees can head over to the new premises to help with unpacking. Once again, do the sums and work out whether it’s more cost-effective to hire professional cleaners to finish up in the old place, rather than paying staff wages for non-productivity in their usual roles to complete cleaning tasks.

Moving to new commercial premises can be a big task for everyone involved. However, with the right planning and foresight it’s possible to get everything done with minimal disruption to staff or to business operations.

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