Chances are, most Executive Assistants will have to deal with an office move at some point in their career. Here’s a few useful tips I’ve gathered over the years that will hopefully help you if you get given this joyous task! By all means send me any that you have.
- Failure to plan = planning to fail. You have to plan every last thing, down to the smallest detail. This is the single most important think that I’ve learned over the years and I cannot stress how important it is.
First of all, you should get a plan of the new office. Get all the measurements to make sure all your furniture will fit in, or to make sure any new furniture you buy will fit. Make sure there are enough desks for everyone (obvious, I know but I know someone who didn’t check this!!) and draw it all out on a plan. Give everyone a copy a day or two before the move so that they know where their desk will be. Numbering any meeting rooms is also a good idea so that the removal company (if you’re using one) know where to put the boxes. If it’s a large area, try “zoning” the areas
- Communication is key. Make sure everyone knows what their job is if they have one. Make sure you’ve communicated every detail to the removal company, staff, landlords, etc. Clearly label all boxes with room numbers, floors, zone etc to make sure they get dropped off in the right places.
- Designate a Supervisor. This needs to be someone senior who can have some “punch” when it comes to dealing with difficult people. Sometimes people dont listen to us “mere assistants” and need someone higher up the pecking order to get them to do anything. You might also need someone to sign off any invoices or costs associated with the move.
- Pack a “Moving Day box”. This is going to contain all the essentials you’ll need on moving day. Make sure you’ve got several copies of the office plan since there’s a good chance that the photocopier isn’t going to be plugged in. Tea, coffee and milk is also a must, as is a few biscuits for the removal people to keep them in good spirits. Make sure you’ve got plenty of pens, tape, scissors, spare labels, notebook, and a copy of important phone numbers (Supervisor, landlord, removal people etc)
- A week before the move, you need to arrange to have your mail re-directed. The post office offer a business service for this, but remember that it takes a few days to get set up so do it in plenty of time. You’ll also need to notify your key business contacts of your new address. This will include suppliers, accountants, customers, clients, etc etc.
- Review your suppliers.Moving office is a perfect time to review all of your suppliers to make sure you’re still getting a good deal. You’re going to have to contact them all anyway to let them know that you’re moving and make sure everything is set up and ready on the day you move in. You could save your company thousands by carrying out a review and making sure you’re on the best tariffs or using the most competitive companies.
- Start Early. I genuinely cannot stress how important it is to plan early. I’m not talking a couple of months before you need to be out of your current office. I’m talking about at least 6 months. MINIMUM. You’re going to know when your lease runs out so, unless the building falls down, there really aren’t many reasons why you can’t start planning this early. 6 months before move day is when you should have sourced your new office (or already have a shortlist) and started de-cluttering so you dont end up taking a load of rubbish with you unnecessarily. You should also be instructing archiving companies (either permanent ones, or temporary while you’re moving) so store all those old files and documents that you don’t actually need day-to-day, but have to keep for legal reasons.