Moving yourself to a new home is hard enough. But imagine moving about 100 employees to a brand new office.
The logistics of moving a company from one office to another are similar in some ways to a residential move, but on the other hand coordinating such a move has its own set of complications.
SpareFoot recently completed its own move, from Downtown Austin to a new spot closer to the University of Texas. It all went off without a hitch (for the most part) thanks to the fearless leader of our people operations department, Jonathan Lewis.
Here are just a few things Lewis learned in the process, to help you plan your own corporate relocation:
1. Have a Plan for Oversized Items.
Moving desks and chairs is easy enough, but what about a shuffleboard table?
Lewis said he didn’t consider that getting the company’s shuffleboard table into the office would be a Sisyphean task. Lewis said he and movers tried every possible way to get the 20 foot table into the new building, but due to the orientation of doors and hallways it proved to be failure.
“There was no way to do it,” Lewis said, “It was physically impossible.”
Lewis’ advice: Save yourself the trouble and formulate a plan for large objects ahead of time and determine if your plan is feasible before you are on site.
2. Use Appropriate Labels.
Another lesson learned?
“Don’t use masking tape for labels, it will melt to fabric,” Lewis said.
Labeling workers’ chairs by name using masking tape seemed like a good idea, but if you leave it on for more than a week it can leave hard to remove residue behind. Instead use labels designed specifically for the task, or at least blue painters tape.
3. Know the Height of Your Loading Dock.
Not all trucks are the same height, and the same goes for loading docks. Lewis said the first moving trailer that the company rented was too short to the ground. Suspecting that might be the case, he had the trailer backed up to the dock to see if it lined up to double check.
Checking the dock height before loading the trailer with furniture from the old office saved a lot of time. But Lewis said they could have saved more time if he had measured the dock in the first place, before picking up the trailer.
4. Preparation is the Key to Everything.
Movers charge by the hour, so you want to have a plan in place to make sure that their time is used efficiently.
“If it is a large move, you need to make sure spaces are labeled so movers know where things go,” Lewis said.
To make sure everything ends up in the room it is supposed to be in, Lewis recommends giving the movers a good walk through prior to unloading, as well as providing a map of the space.
5. Take Care of Yourself, and Each Other.
Moving offices is hard work, especially when you are doing it with a small team. Lewis said the employees assisting with the move were working 10-hour days.
“It is a stressful experience, so you had to psych yourself up and get through it,” Lewis said.
Things that help include ordering food, playing music and joking around.
“You just got to work together as a team,” Lewis said.
Want to see more of the new office?
Check out recent coverage of our move:
- Austin Business Journal
- 512tech by Austin American-Statesman