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Melbourne Office Moving – Tips to Manage

Moving Office – Time Line

OfficeCrates Pic 4

Melbourne Moving  – Managing Your Companies Office Relocation

Start with an Office Moving Checklist

When you have to move your office there are two main elements to remember. Plan your requirements in advance and call in the professionals. If possible, up to nine months prior to moving office you should create a comprehensive checklist that includes the suppliers that you’ll need to work with and the tasks you will need to complete. This is also the time when to let staff know to start a basic clean up.

Convince your office staff to begin disposing their excess files, broken desk parts, unwanted chairs and other miscellaneous items that will cost you extra when relocating. Prior to the move, ask your document storage provider to remove all the storage cartons currently at your office, off site. This will also save you time and extra resource which in turn will save the company money.

Checklist to consider once a new property is secured:

Melbourne Office Relocation – Time Line

Six to Nine Months To Go:

  1. Depending on the size of the office relocation, consider establishing an internal “relocation team”. Brief the relocation team on your expectations. Different staff may be able to assist, such as your IT department may help with the telephones, computers, electrical work or help prepare the quotes for you to consider.
  2. Select an employee to serve as the “move manager” during the relocation effort, managing the removal process with the “relocation team.”
  3. Look at your infrastructure and telecommunications needs and this is the perfect time to consider upgrades for copiers, phone systems and other office equipment.
  4. Re-evaluate the furniture and workstation needs of the office. If you have a large number of staff to relocate, consider using an office planner. Your office planner can assist you in determining needs at your new location, as well as introduce furniture vendors for new purchases. Maybe your new premises already have workstations and bookcases allowing you to sell off the existing office furniture?
  5. Identify furniture and office equipment that will be sold, tipped or donated. Begin to identify companies that can accommodate for surplus items that will not be relocated or perhaps consider offering some furniture to existing employees.

Four Months To Go:

  1. Have an updated briefing with your “move manager” and “relocation team”.
  2. Consider any purchase orders for paint and carpet, new equipment, as well as furniture, may necessitate lead times of up to eight weeks for delivery.
  3. Start to clear the office of non-essential furniture, unused storage records, files and misc office clutter.
  4. Contact all suppliers, clients and partners that need to be informed of the office relocation.
  5. Confirm the number of employees that need to be relocated.
  6. Start compiling a seating chart for your new office space and have this completed finished 30 days prior to the move date. If possible collect the plan from the new premises (to scale would be perfect) and draw the position of each staff member, remembering to work the equipment (example: standalone photocopier) into the puzzle too.

Two Months To Go:

  1. Your move manager can now start receiving quotes from relocation companies as there is a good understanding of what needs to move to the new premises and when. If needed, get relocation quotes from three moving companies and make a final decision based on experience, accreditation, testimonials, procedures, equipment, insurances and overall better project management capabilities. In the end your move manager should be handling all aspects of the relocation and interfacing with the moving company, phone companies and other suppliers.
  2. Select the Valuation Coverage of the furniture, electronics and contents that will be relocated by your office removal company. Consider insuring your office effects for damage and/or transit issues. AFRA (Australia Furniture Removal Association) accredited removal companies may have the ability to offer this insurance service.
  3. It is important to arrange with building managers for exclusive use of all elevators during the days of the move. The elevator maintenance company should be on-call to repair elevator breakdowns or assist in moving oversized items. Ask them to organize protective covers for the inside walls of the lift(s).
  4. Evaluate if parking permits are required or if you have clearway times to consider. Remember foot traffic from other parts of the building and other offices nearby may affect the move day. Is it better to make your office relocation on a Saturday rather than a weekday?

Two to Three Weeks To Go:

  1. The relocation company should supply “Certificates of Insurance” to Building Managers.
  2. Parking permits, if needed should have been booked with the local council.
  3. Have the move manager review all aspects of the move with employees and office management.
  4. At this time the relocation company should supply you with labels for the move, cartons, relocation crates, packing paper and miscellaneous packing materials. Ensure goods going and not going are clearly marked for the office movers.
  5. The relocation company will review with the move manager the procedures and schedule for the move, and layout of the new office’s floor plans.

One Week To Go:

  1. Have all furniture items, shelves, compactus, boxes and office crates to be moved labeled as per the delivery floor plan remembering to make several copies and place them strategically around the new premises. You should also have destination (A4 sheet is fine) paperwork at the delivery end for each individual location assisting the removal team to place your office goods in the correct place the first time.
  2. Tidy up any final issues with the relocation company and make sure that you understand the scope of work that they will be providing. Your move manager should have had this all already co-coordinated.

Day(s) of the move
Your move manager will meet with the moving company’s supervisor and “walk over” the move site. Discuss any existing damage to the old and new offices. This will be of use if there are claims of building damage during/ after the move.

Day after the move

  1. Prepare coffee, pastries and juice to welcome your employees to their new office.
  2. Set-up date with the moving company to removal of empty cartons/packing materials.

Move Manager
If you’re moving a smaller office (less than 25 people) you’ll need to designate an employee to develop the checklist and oversee its execution. That employee will be your “Move Manager.” The move manager is typically an office manager (or whoever is responsible for tasks handled in larger organizations by a facilities manager or operations manager). Your move manager should be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time planning the move and dealing with service vendors. They need to be present during the entire move.

Packing
The checklist should address the issue of packing. Decide the level of office packing you expect to bare before calling the moving company. Do you expect your employees to pack their offices, workstations and common areas? If so, you can purchase packing cartons, packing paper, tape and other materials from a moving company. Do you expect the moving company to provide the packing? If the office mover provides the packing you minimize the risk of damages. If your workers provide the packing labour it will reduce their productivity but may save you on moving costs. What about packing storage areas, bookcase, computers, filing rooms, libraries, artwork, pictures, paintings and other expensive items? The general rule is the more valuable the item to be moved the more you should rely on a moving company. The primary reason is liability. If insured, the mover will generally not compensate your company for loss or damage for items packed by your employees.

Project Manager
If you are moving a large office, it’s often best to contract with a professional Project Manager. They bring years of office moving experience, including dealing with contractors and vendors. Due to their experience, the Project Manager will be able to draft a comprehensive checklist and create a calendar to make sure each step is executed in an orderly fashion. Once on board, the Project Manager will coordinate the relocation effort, overseeing the efforts of various support staff such as movers, electricians, furniture dealers, cabling, phone companies, copier vendors, building managers, etc. The Project Manager will be present before, during and after the office move. An experienced Project Manager can anticipate and prevent problems before they arise, manage the move, and allow your employees to manage the day-to-day operations of your firm. Office relocations often occur after normal business hours or on Saturdays, so be aware of conflicts of time, as well as need for overtime pay for employees.

Finding a Professional Office Mover
Your checklist will conclude with the hiring of a professional mover. Finding a reliable mover can be arduous. If you scroll the internet, there are many thousands claiming to move offices so please rely on professional references and ensure that they are part of AFRA (Australian Furniture Removal Association). On larger office relocations, be sure they are willing to provide you with an in-person survey of the items to be moved, a comprehensive written estimate, and an in depth pre-move meeting with your move manager.

Liability during the move
All AFRA members must have public liability (up to 20 million) which covers damages to buildings and common areas which will be part of the quote

These members typically can also offer accident damage insurance whilst loading/ unloading and in transit. This is charged based on the value and the items that you wish to cover. More information can be found on Insurance Details.

Final Preparation
Get in touch with vendors from whom you lease equipment. They may require that they move any leased equipment such as copiers and internet servers. If you have the moving company move the equipment, you may unexpectedly void your warranty and/or service agreements.

Verify with Building Managers the “Moving Rules and Regulations” for their building(s). Most building managers require advance elevator and loading dock reservations before you exit or enter a building.

After the Move
Your first day in your new office can be full of turmoil. Here are some suggestions for making it a little easier:

The last item on your checklist is often “unpacking.” If the office mover isn’t going to provide the unpacking, your employees will have to the job. Be sure to set aside enough time. Depending on the volume of contents, it may take longer to unpack then it did to pack. Ensure that the office movers place all items where they are meant to be including separating the boxes and/or office crates and placing them near the designated workstations or shelves.

Don’t let empty cartons pile up in hallways and cubicles. Employees should deposit packing materials a predetermined waste area.

Schedule the office mover to take all of the empty packing materials out of your new office.

Conclusion
As with any task or project, the success of your relocation is in the details. Don’t take the process of moving your company lightly. Getting your employees back to work Monday or the next available morning without downtime requires preparation and attention to detail.

I wish you have a safe and hassle free office relocation.

John Christoforidis
Transcorp Removals & Storage
1300 466 838 – Moving Melbourne Offices since 1987.
AFRA and TOLL Accredited Removalists

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