Considering an Office Move?

By January 10, 2014Article
officemove_ladyboxes

When it comes down to the nitty-gritty details, moving your business can be stressful if you haven’t planned it properly. Add to that the prospect of losing valuable work time, and you might have a big mess on your hands. If you’re considering an office move and you need help with IT infrastructure planning,  we know what is going to make it go smoothly. Moving your office in the GTA can be pain free.

If you’re moving to a new office then it’s likely that you’ve grown out of your old space. First off, congratulations! We’re sure you’ve come a long way from where you started. We’ve also grown our business to the next step and moved to a larger office in the fall of 2013. We accomplished the move with no down-time in our computer network and no man hours lost.

Over the years we’ve seen a lot of our clients make office moves. It’s a logical progression of events. Once our clients have a solid IT infrastructure, they can focus their attention on on their business. Their businesses are able to grow and thrive because they have a trusted technology partner to ensure everything is running smoothly.

Planning for your move

1. Start planning the move before you even start looking

There is no such thing as planning too far in advance. Even a year in advance, check your current lease to see the terms of your agreement. Next, get an idea of how much it’s going to cost so that you can start putting together a budget for the move. Figure out what part of the city you want to be in, what kind of space you want, and how many employees you envision hiring in the future.

Timing – You’ll have to determine a time frame that works for your move. For example, if you’re an accountant, then tax season or year-end is not a good time to move. Working with an IT partner means that is feasible that you won’t have any downtime at all, but just in case something goes wrong, it makes sense to do the move during a time when it won’t impact your business.

Communication – Internally, inform employees of your intentions so that they can plan and adjust their schedules as needed to commute to a different office in the future.

Clunky monitors

Use your move as an excuse to upgrade to new monitors

2. Before you sign the Lease 

The right office is an essential factor of productivity. It can make or break a business. Figure out a balance between affordability and the perfect premise. Consider the  location, safety, amenities, parking, acoustics, and if there is room to expand.  If you aren’t already in touch with your IT Management partner, now is the time to reach out. Our clients that have had the foresight to get in contact with us prior to signing the lease have saved money and time. If you’ve narrowed it down to two or three facilities, we’ll help you find out which ones meet your needs and which are challenging for your IT infrastructure, phone, and internet connection so that you can make an informed decision.

Think of the move as an excuse to upgrade. The new office will offer a fresh start to your business. Don’t bring old clutter or out of date machines with you. For example:  if your office is using bulky CRT monitors, it is the perfect time to donate those clunkers  and upgrade to flat-panel monitors and new laptops or desktop stations. Maybe you want to leave behind the printer that always gets jammed in favour of a leased solution by one of our partners who can provide regular servicing. It’s also a good opportunity to take a hard look at the software you’re using to see if it needs updating. The move might be a good time consider efficiencies and cost savings, such as upgrading to an Office 365 subscription. You want to arrive at your new office location in even better shape to do business than you were when you left. We regularly consult with our clients to figure out the most affordable upgrades that they might need from a hardware and software perspective.  If you have the right technology partner, they can help you  get affordable hardware and software, and set it up to be ready to go on day one in the new office.

Review plans and make a selection. Your new office may need some work. If it is a major renovation, you’ll have to figure out your budget for construction and if permits are needed.

Negotiate with your future landlord. Landlords are looking for good tenants who pay on time, take care of the rental unit, and enhance the value of their property. Once you have cleared their credit check and proved your worthiness, the next step is to negotiate the right rent and length on the lease. Whatever is in the lease agreement is a bound contract, so make sure that you understand everything in it.  Can you put out signage? What alterations can you make to the office? 

3. You’ve signed the lease

Congratulations. The move is official. This is an exciting time and you’re off to a better place.  Logistically, there is the physical furniture to move and that will likely be the easiest part of it. There are a thousand little things to do before you get to that new office.

Put a Moving Committee together. Getting employees involved and designating point people helps employees get on board with the move. It can alleviate some of the internal planning required, help set expectations, and gives staff  a feeling of ownership over the change that is going to happen. They can inventory your current office furniture and help you pick out any new office furniture for the new space. They can create a seating plan and help communicate who is moving where and why. They can also coordinate any communication (maps, parking spots etc.), and hold a packing training clinic so that nothing gets broken during the move.

Call us. Really. It’s time to contact us at this point.  If you’re not already our client, we will come take inventory of  all  your computers, printers, and other hardware. We can evaluate your server room and computer networking needs. Our biggest value as an IT Support and Management company in Toronto is that we can coordinate with all vendors and service providers when it comes to your IT network infrastructure. This includes online and web hosting services, and coordinating connection and disconnection of their services. We’ll visit your new office space, work out a Network Diagram and fix the cabling that’s needed to make the network efficient. We can prevent issues like slow internet or outages. The best moves are the ones where the office equipment comes, is plugged in, and works as soon as you turn the computer on.

Details, Details, Details. Here’s the deal. We’ll take care of everything IT related. We’ll stay on hold with your internet service provider to coordinate the move and to get you speedy internet. We’ll do all the rewiring needed, and set up the servers and printers. You have enough to take care of, including signage, insurance, a moving plan, updating your marketing collateral and letting people know that you’re moving. We take coordinating everything IT related off your plate.

 

Moving Equipment

This is not the way to pack your computer equipment

 4. Get All of the Work Done Before the Move

Before moving day, we will have been on site at the new office to work on your network, put the right cabling in the right places, set up the wireless network, and have it all ready to go. If you’ve done your planning well, communicated with everyone, coordinated with your moving committee and have engaged us well before your move then the move won’t be painful at all.  You won’t be running around overwhelmed. You’ll be able to be present at the office on moving day to direct where things will go. We’ll setup and test all computers to mark sure every system is running properly.

5. Post Move

On day one, walk the employees through the office and visit with them to make sure that they are welcome and in the right mindset for adjustment. Hang your artwork, put plants in their places and arrange seating areas that make the office welcoming to your client. Then celebrate your long hard work! (Call us. Really. We love to celebrate a successful office move).