Moves are an important part of facilities management. They support the ever changing operational and structural needs of companies as they adapt to business opportunities and challenges.
Supporting your corporation with smooth, efficient moves is critical to ensuring minimal disruption or loss of productivity.
Moves generally require an enormous amount of communication and a clear understanding of the logistics involved. If you have a large, complex relocation and you’ve never done it before, it may be a good idea to hire someone to manage the move for you.
Even a simple one-to-one move requires coordination, with delivery of boxes, packing, dismantling / reconfiguring / installation of furniture as needed, move and set-up of the computer and telephone equipment, electrical wiring, lan connection, phone connections, update of the company directory, etc. More complex moves may need to be staged due to overlapping floor plans or number of workstations and require quite a bit more work during the layout phase.
Regardless of size, your success depends on effective communication and a great deal of diplomacy. Space is very personal to everyone, so you will need to deal with workstation size, configuration, ergonomics, enclosed vs. open plan, window or interior, who needs to sit near whom due to business efficiencies, how far the photocopier/fax/printer, etc. is from the workstations, etc. An effective way to deal with this is to ensure that the department or departments affected appoint a move coordinator to deal with the politics and synergies involved so your involvement can be reduced (but never eliminated) and you can concentrate on the move details and logistics.
Beyond this, it is important to discuss each step with your suppliers, or if the move is large enough, with your project manager. This includes lead times and actual set-up time required for each phase, availability of IT resources for computer / lan set-up, the local telephone company, the building owner for elevator access, extra cleaning after the move, etc.
Ensuring that the people you move understand what is expected from them is also important. This includes telling them what needs to be packed or emptied, how to pack, when to be finished, how to mark the boxes or moving bins, when their new workstation will be ready and even when to expect their telephone and computer to be up and running. Setting reasonable expectations and then meeting or exceeding them will ensure a successful move. For any move, a simple flyer or brochure that outlines everybody’s roles and responsibilities during the move will improve communications. For larger moves, regular updates during the design process- either from you or the departmental coordinator – will keep everyone up-to-date and clarify issues that come up along the way. Meetings with the coordinators is critical, however updates for everyone being moved can be done either with meetings or emails. If the departmental coordinators are involved in communicating to the employees in their departments, be sure the right information is being communicated.
Finally, be on site during the move. Problems are inevitable and by being on-site, you can solve them quickly and prevent a small problem from causing a large issue the next day when everyone shows up at their new workstations.