By Lee Newell, online marketing assistant at ESE Projects
It can be difficult for your company to find pre-built offices that fit the exact requirements of your business. However, it is possible for you to lease out a large open plan office and break down the space using the wide variety of different products available to get it into a good working shape for your staff and business needs. Of course, with the fast paced nature of the modern business world you may well need to relocate this office – which can be a simple and easy process, if you make sure that you get a number of factors right both during the move and when you purchase your office essentials.
There could be a number of reasons why you might need to relocate your business’s office. It could even be that you offer business consultancy where you go into a large company as a satellite unit, and help them improve their work-flow and quality auditing process – thus when your work is done you move onto the next company, which may be in another part of the UK altogether. It may well be that you’re a rapidly expanding business, who have managed to get the formula right in these tough times, and you have to take on a number of new staff periodically to meet the demands for you products or services, thus forcing you to move to new premises to provide your new employees with adequate space. Finally, if you rent an office, then there are a number of reasons why you might have to move out – from the sale of the building, to rent increases, where leasing the space ceases to be economically viable.
Plan for every contingency
Before you even start putting things into boxes or moving in the vans, you’ll need to have a good plan for your relocation, which should allow you to visualise how everything is going to be taken out of your unit and re-installed in the new space. One of the most vital aspects of this should be your time-scales – you’ll need to ensure that you create the minimum amount of downtime for your workforce, as this can significantly impact your productivity and your ability to communicate with your clients. This is a vital consideration if you are running a service orientated company.
If your business keeps a lot of small stock items in your office – for instance high cost computer packages or luxury items – or if you need to store large amounts of documents, then there are a number of modular shelving and storage systems that can both maximise your space and are easy to relocate in an office move. It is even possible to get systems that use special rails, allowing you to slide all your shelving into one compact space that can be opened out when your workforce need to get something from them, which usually come with special modular flooring systems that have the rails built into them. These allow you to move the shelves as one lot in the event of an office relocation.
Most open plan offices are supplied without any kind of flooring. There are now a number of different flooring solutions available that use special interlocking carpet tiles, which can be relocated at the drop of a hat. We’d always recommend that you buy an excess of these tiles, as they’re great for dealing with spills and wear – you only have to replace the damaged tiles instead of the whole carpet. Having an excess will also help you out when you relocate your office, as you will be able to cut these tiles to fit any kind of space.
Gone are the days when every company had to have a large server and a number of backup devices to make sure their vital data was always stored safely, waiting to be recovered in the event of a major system crash. These vital systems could take days to set up, and moving them could be a real nightmare – they’d have to be the last thing to leave the old office and the first thing set up in the new space. However, storage is now so cheap it is possible to store hundreds of gigabytes on the internet, or the cloud as some professionals like to call it. By storing your data in this manner, it can be accessed by your workers at any time, meaning that if necessary they can work right through the move, and then all their work will also be available from the moment they set up their laptop.
If you have the type of business that needs to frequently relocate then you may want to consider one of the large number of office partitioning systems that are now available. These range from full glass and classy timber constructions, through to lightweight aluminium structures. Many of these are designed to be put up in a matter of hours and can be de-constructed in a similar amount of time. You can even get heavy duty units that can support kitchen space and even toilets – although these will require all the necessary plumbing work to get them in place. Partitioning is the perfect choice for large open plan offices where you need to segregate space for different purposes – business meeting rooms, sales floors, accounting departments – and it can be relocated both quickly and easily too.
Get the right people
Obviously your business will not be able to actually handle the logistics necessary for a full office relocation. It is important that you find a company to work with who are proficient in this line of business and can handle all your needs. They should use all their own equipment and workers – avoid those who use subcontractors. Ask how your equipment will be stored if it is not going to be immediately taken to your new office – will it be locked overnight in secure storage? Finally and most importantly try to use a company that offers a one stop shop service where the workers can at least help set up a large proportion of your partitioning, desks, shelving and other vital parts of the business when they get to the site.
Keep one eye on the future
Even if you don’t think that you’ll be moving your office in the future and you’re quite happy with the space you’ve got for your office, if you lease then it may still be prudent to purchase systems, flooring and shelving that can be moved at the drop of a hat. With the current economic climate you never quite know when a building might get sold and converted into luxury flats, so you’re protecting your investment by making sure everything your business owns can be relocated – it might cost you a little more in the first instance, but you’re guaranteed to save money in the long run.
Lee Newell is an online marketing assistant at the office design, supply and install experts – ESE Projects. When Lee is not busy blogging, he enjoys cycling and regularly participates in charity bike rides.