COVID downsizing office moves-1Over the last year, one of the most unique in recent memory, there have been a number of companies who have either temporarily or permanently downsized their office space usage. Due to COVID-19 and related health and safety measures, work-from-home setups have been common across numerous workplaces around the country, and this has led to many offices consolidating, changing locations or performing related tweaks.

At Mesa Moving and Storage, we’ve been happy to help with any and all of these sorts of commercial moves during the past year, and will continue to do so moving forward. Some offices have realized over the last 12 months that certain employees working from home is actually more efficient for their operations, and some of these companies will continue to downsize or move to new spaces in the upcoming months – here are some general tips on arranging an office move, both in terms of keeping yourself organized and ensuring staff are properly informed and able to assist with the process.

General Scheduling

The first big task here is determining your specific time frame and scheduling out the moving process. The first major date to set here will be the final move-out date, or the one where all of your items and equipment must be out of the old office – these tend to be hard and fast dates, and many commercial property landlords will ding you pretty heavily with fees or fines if this is not complete, so be sure you set a date that’s realistic here.

From here, work backward and list out all the major elements you should be thinking about. This is an area our pros are happy to help with – we’ll assist you with organizing when certain major items should be moved and which order you should go in. And of course, we’ll assist you with any COVID precautions that must be taken during scheduling for the move, such as allowing certain segments of the office to move their personal belongings at advanced scheduled times so there’s never too crowded a space within the office.

Staff Communications and Organization

Speaking of staff, it’s vital to set up an internal communications plan that will keep all your employees and building staff apprised of your plans in this area. This should include all the relevant dates and schedules you’ve come up with above, plus any other important details. There should also be an external moving plan you put out to various clients, suppliers, vendors and others to inform them of major changes.

For larger companies, or even for some smaller ones, it pays to set up a moving committee or some related group that can be in charge of this process and assign tasks. For smaller companies, this might even just be a single individual.

Hiring Professionals

Especially for larger office spaces, but even for smaller ones as well, hiring the right professionals is a huge crux point in a major move. The first step here should be budgeting for your movers, after which you should have one member of your moving committee, or whoever is in charge of this area, make a list of at least five good local moving companies. Research each of these, including calling them for price quotes and looking at reviews. Based on factors like your budget, expected costs and more, hire reputable movers like ours who have experience with your types of equipment.

In addition, for offices that have the budget, hiring professional packers is also a great move. Employees won’t have to pack up common areas of the office, leaving them free to focus only on their personal belongings – this tends to lead to a more complete, cleaner move that leaves no chance of you leaving items behind or losing anything.

New Layout

One major area to be thinking about as the move approaches, especially once you’ve determined your new location: What the layout will be in the space you’re moving to. This is one area where having a dedicated committee or even a single employee in charge of the move is really beneficial – while employees who have a full day of other tasks on their plate won’t have much time to think about details like this, those who are focused on the move will.

Be sure you consider first where the largest furniture items will go, such as a lobby desk, conference table and more. From here, setting up a seating plan for the employees who’ll be joining you in the new office space is vital, as it allows you a baseline for all the other details of the space. Once everyone has a seating spot and workspace, you can get into detail areas.

Vendor Changes

Finally, one group of people you should never leave out of your moving plans as a business is any vendors or service providers you work with. One major area for some companies here is telephone lines – will your current provider be able to continue serving you robustly in your new area, or will you have to look for a new option? The same goes for things like internet and utilities.

If you’re leasing any equipment, call the dealer and inform them of the move, plus ask about best practices for moving their equipment. Finally, speak to your new landlord and any expected new vendors to ensure there’s no gap in coverage or service once you move into the new location.

For more on how to properly go about moving offices, whether due to COVID downsizing or any other need, or for information on any of our residential or commercial moving services, speak to our workspace solutions staff at Mesa Moving and Storage today.