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Whether you’ve outgrown your current space or have decided to reduce your real estate footprint, the time has come for your enterprise to relocate.
Move management is no easy task. Fortunately, you can take advantage of the lessons other companies have learned while relocating their organizations.
The way we work is constantly evolving, and so are real estate strategies. As a leader, you need to forecast the needs of your workplace and develop a plan to respond to them. That might include an office consolidation, renovation, or relocation. It might also involve updating your workplace strategy to move to a hybrid model where employees spend part of their time at home and part of their time in the office.
Move management is the process of planning a move and developing a timeline for all the steps you need to take to put that plan into action. It requires staying within your budget, working with internal stakeholders and vendors, and managing expectations along the way.
While this looks different for every organization, there are some common best practices smart enterprises follow.
Relocating an entire business is difficult, no matter the size of the company. In a growing enterprise with hundreds or thousands of employees, it’s especially challenging.
An effective way to simplify the process is to approach the move in phases. Rather than attempting to relocate every person and asset simultaneously, divide the move into several smaller projects that are each managed individually.
Start by bringing a single department into the new space. Having fewer people and assets to coordinate makes it easier to reconfigure layouts and adjust plans if necessary. It also allows you to identify and resolve potential issues more quickly than if the entire workforce was involved.
Once the first department is settled in the space, discuss what went smoothly and where there were stumbling blocks. Use what you’ve learned to develop a plan for avoiding these hiccups in future phases.
Pro Tip: Our space planning feature, Space-Right™, makes it much easier to take a phased approach because it uses an algorithm to automatically generate different floor plans based on the size of the space and the number of employees. It also ensures there are safe distances between spaces.
As a result of COVID-19, the size of your on-site workforce may be in flux for the foreseeable future. Some employees who previously worked in the office may now exclusively work remotely. Others may prefer to take a hybrid approach and work some days on site and some days remotely. If you plan to increase your headcount or anticipate the number of on-site employees will decline, those are additional variables that will affect your space requirements.
Instead of committing to a long-term lease for a property that may not suit your needs, consider renting a flexible office space, such as a serviced office or coworking space. This move management strategy prevents you from being locked into a lease for a property that is too small or too large and gives you the ability to more easily adjust your real estate portfolio as needed in the future.
An office relocation or expansion is the perfect opportunity to implement agile working.
In an agile work environment, there are no assigned seats and often more flexible scheduling, which gives employees greater freedom to choose where, when, and how they work. This improves employee engagement and productivity.
Transitioning from a traditional office layout to an agile workplace prior to a move enables you to decrease your property footprint, along with your real estate and facility management costs. It also makes it easier to accommodate a hybrid workforce of on-site and remote employees as well as temporary and contract personnel.
One of the most essential aspects of successfully adopting agile working is ensuring your employees have the tools to stay connected to their colleagues no matter where they are. If making the shift to an agile work environment is part of your relocation plan, then your move management strategy must include an assessment of your workplace technology to determine if your move budget should include funds for additional tech investments.
While it may be feasible for a single individual to shoulder the responsibility of managing a move, a better idea is to create a move management team.
Although they were intended as guidance for building a taskforce to manage the implementation of new technology, Dorothy Leonard-Barton and William A. Kraus's recommendations can also be applied to establishing a moving committee. According to Leonard-Barton and Kraus, your team should have the following members:
It’s important that these team members have the organizational authority to make vital decisions about the move to avoid delays resulting from the need to regularly “run it up the chain.”
When distilled beverage producer Beam Suntory was planning a move from the Chicago suburb of Deerfield to downtown Chicago, the company’s leadership team made it a point to maintain open lines of communication and be as transparent as possible.
In the weeks leading up to the relocation, executives invited employees to attend one of several company-wide town hall meetings to ask questions about the move. The executives were open and honest and admitted when they weren’t sure about something or couldn’t answer a question.
Similarly, when Polycom, a telecommunication and collaboration technology company, started the process of relocating from Pleasanton, California to San Jose, then-VP of Talent Management Daniel Sonsino hosted one-on-ones with employees. Sonsino listened to their concerns and worked together with employees to alleviate any apprehension regarding the move.
An integral element of a move management strategy is first recognizing that employees may be anxious about the relocation and then committing to honesty and transparency.
If you don’t have the bandwidth or resources to manage a move in-house, you can enlist the help of a corporate move management service.
Professional move management providers can assist with nearly every aspect of the move. For example, they can help you plan a new office layout and obtain new furniture or equipment. They can also handle logistics, such as utility installation and IT implementation, and help you stay within your budget and timeline.
In addition, corporate move management providers will communicate with your workforce at every step of the process to ensure employees feel heard. They will also correspond with other vendors, landlords, construction managers, and interior designers on your behalf.
Hiring a professional move management service is a good idea for companies with a sizable workforce, multiple locations, or a large volume of assets that need to be relocated. It’s also recommended for enterprises that will be moving especially sensitive equipment or potentially hazardous materials.
Space and move management solutions take the guesswork out of planning and executing a relocation, renovation, or expansion.
With space management software, you have complete visibility into important information about your current and new space, such as total square footage and capacity. It provides valuable insight that enables you to make data-driven decisions about how best to allocate space in your new location in order to maximize utilization.
Move management software allows you to try different scenarios before you commit to a plan. Once you have a plan in place, it acts as a project manager, helping you stay on top of every task.
Our move management software is closely connected with space management software so you always have access to your floor plans and the most up-to-date information on which spaces are occupied.
You can use drag-and-drop features to create move scenarios before touching a single piece of furniture. If you want to see how many people you'll be able to accommodate by reducing the number of desks in your workplace and increasing the distance between them, you can see it right within the software.
You can also categorize employees by department or how often they plan to use the office. You may have a number of people who only plan to come in twice a week, making it easier for them to share desks. You might also have some employees who live far from the office and only need to come in once in a while. To make it easy for them to find a place to work, you could categorize some desks as reservable.
Our move management software also makes it easy to track move-related tasks and send reminders to the people responsible for them.
This can significantly reduce the time it takes to plan your moves compared to using spreadsheets or printed blueprints, as Sephora discovered.
Managing a move for a growing enterprise can feel intimidating. However, with the right strategy, the right tools, and plenty of preparation, the process can be much less daunting than you think.
Take a tour of our move management software. Schedule a live demo today.
Hai worked in the corporate real estate division of BB&T for 10 years focusing on facilities management, vendor management, and IT systems before coming to work for iOFFICE. With extensive experience in the IWMS software industry, where he served many years in sales and as a solutions engineer, Hai knows his facilities management stuff.