By Reagan Nickl
Enterprise Customer Success Senior Manager
Uprooting your office and transplanting it to a new location is no small feat. There’s a lot that could go wrong. There’s a lot that will go wrong without the right plan. Below are move management tips to reduce the pain and mistakes of a workplace relocation.
Move management planning tips
No matter what phase of a move you’re in, planning is key. Never make a move unless you’ve thoroughly vetted every scenario and identify all objectives of your move.
- Identify goals—What do you want to get out of the move? How long should it take? What specific things should be accomplished before, during, and after the move?
- Create a timeline—Timing is everything when relocating, especially for larger workplaces. Build in buffer time between phases to problem solve. As your move takes shape, you’ll find clarity in how goals fit the relocation plan.
- Develop a contingency plan—If something goes wrong, how will you adapt? What can you do to minimize problems and deal with their effects? The goal is to never need a contingency plan. But if you do, you’ll be glad to have one.
Delegate move management tasks; Create accountability
Relocating an entire workplace is hardly one person’s job. It should fall on the shoulders of a well-appointed team. Putting together a move management team is an important step in delegating various aspects of the relocation (also read, What is Move Management?). Delegation also creates accountability.
- Appoint a strong leader—Choose leaders with a track record of responsibility and effectiveness. Look for managers who can internalize goals, think outside the box, and meet deadlines, all while properly managing staff.
- Delegate tasks—As we’ve said, one person can’t do everything. Assign tasks to people who can quickly and effectively complete the work. The more responsibility a person normally has, the more likely they are to embrace tasks and see them through to completion.
- Get feedback—Make sure you’re getting input and involvement from all business areas affected by the move. For example, accounting may not have much to do with move logistics, but it will still be involved in the final relocation. Tap someone from the department to help keep employees apprised of expectations.
The key is to keep your circle tight, yet inclusive. The fewer the people charged with move duties, the less room for error. But you need enough decision-makers to ensure plans are executed in a timely and appropriate manner.
Centralize communications and keep talking
Communication is paramount during relocation. When everyone is well-informed, fewer issues tend to arise. To that end, we’ve got a few essential workplace move management tips that revolve around communication and how to manage it:
- Use a dedicated messaging platform—Instead of email, use a system with organizational capabilities. An app like Slack allows you to create content-specific channels where information is readily accessible and always on-topic. It’s easy to create and browse channels such as #MoveTimeline or #CommunicationPlan channels to find information.
- Conduct weekly check-ins—Schedule meetings with your core move management group to ensure everyone is on the same page. Encourage decision-makers to bring questions and concerns to the table, so they can be appropriately planned for and addressed.
- Create a move process document—A living document that outlines the entire relocation is key to helping teams stay on task and educate new team members. Centralizing information (preferably in a cloud document) also makes it easy to reference and pull information from for additional planning and communications. Make sure the document has a dedicated owner to make updates and mark off tasks as they’re completed.
Go over all variables
The worst part of any move is stumbling awkwardly over the variables you didn’t account for—sometimes literally. During the planning and collaboration phases, be sure to reflect on all contingencies and variables:
- Conduct a walkthrough—Before packing a single box, walk your facility and take extensive notes. What’s staying? What needs to move? Whose responsibility is it? How is it being handled? Forgetting something simple like delegating a packing chore means having to deal with it during the move or after—a sure way to slow things down.
- Map workplace items—Create a map every piece of equipment, furniture, electronics, etc. Take the copy machine, for example. How is it getting from your old facility to the new workplace? Mentally outlining the step-by-step process means you’re not accidentally overlooking important duties.
- Create individual action plans—During the task-delegation phase, create action plans for every person involved in the move and have them review their assignments. A second set of eyes and an accountable individual will uncover missed elements in your plan and make sure it’s as thorough as possible.
It’s nearly impossible to account for every variable, but you can at least cover the major ones. Getting granular with your move management approach will leave you more prepared than most when it comes to execution. Learn more about move management software.
Stick to your plan
The best tip for moving your workplace is a simple one: Stay true to your plan. All the tips above contribute to preparedness. If you’re taking the time to prepare and formulate a plan, have the sense to stick to it. Upending your entire workplace and moving it is chaotic enough—don’t introduce any more uncertainty than is necessary.
Want more tips on a great move? Check out our guide: Best Practices for Relocating Employees.