Although moves can happen with minimal planning, having adequate time to plan your move can be the difference between a well-orchestrated relocation and a complete fire drill. Ideally, planning should begin when Architectural & Design planning activities do. This can save you time and money by being able to address your relocation needs in parallel with your design requirements.
While the A&D professionals focus on space surveys and programming, relocation planning will identify the hundreds of business transition issues that need to be decided. This integrated process provides more effective planning and better results, without the costly pitfalls that can otherwise arise.
For example, during design programming and planning, the decision might be made to reduce the square footage of the future workstations. A relocation plan will identify the various impacts of smaller workstations. Ultimately, a smaller workstation means less storage, requiring a more aggressive purge campaign. Smaller workstations increase population density – more people in less square footage – so people need to modify their behavior a bit, resulting in new office etiquette – like discontinued use of speakerphones, the introduction of headsets, etc.
Details matter. Critical details need to be determined early in the relocation planning cycle and communicated to employees to successfully prepare them for a smooth relocation. Detailed communications about the move process and the new space will create excitement and anticipation rather than uncertainty, disappointment and time-wasting, water cooler speculation.
Based on our vast experience in relocation management, planning should begin at least 9 months out, but should be further out for larger or more complex projects. Experience shows many people focus on relocation activities way too late, resulting in a chaotic move – not to mention significant risk, business disruption and unhappy clients/employees – not a good recipe for success.
Understanding the hundreds of decisions required for a smooth, successful relocation – and the unique challenges related to your line of business is what determines the quality of your relocation. Review our common pitfalls list to understand what to avoid in order to provide the best possible results for your company’s relocation.
Helen Dennis is the President and co-founder of 300 Decisions, a strategic, full-service business relocation management company specializing in helping organizations transition into new work environments without disrupting business operations.