Successful Business Relocations

May 17, 2016

Carmen Cecilia Castro
Associate Project Manager
CBRE Panamá

Relocating or moving an office has a significant impact on the organization and its employees. It requires significant planning -- from between one to twelve months in advance of the move -- in order to properly manage the stress caused by the entire process of a successful transition to a new facility.

For this reason, it is extremely important to select a moving company with ample experience in corporate relocations to ensure the proper control of all details and information, and to avoid any problems during the move. The decision to move to new headquarters should be handled at the highest levels of management within the organization, but the responsibility for successful execution lies with the appointed middle-manager, who is empowered by the confidence of the organization’s leaders. This middle-manager should have sufficient skills to protect the interests of the organization, team up with the selected relocation company and manage communications with coworkers.

Like any big change, moving an organization is a highly sensitive process for the team. The challenge is to achieve a successful transfer without impacting productivity or the internal climate of the company. Efficient and effective communication that emphasizes Change Management, where the author is familiar with the features of the new space and the moving process, is critical. This minimizes anxieties, reduces internal conflicts and generates a positive atmosphere that benefits the change process.

There are many logistics variables to consider: Gathering information about people and equipment to be moved, managing files and documents in accordance with available space, communicating with employees about the process, timing of the completion date, visiting to new facilities, and allowing for testing and stabilization periods. Therefore, a plan must be developed with specific steps to prevent the interruption of business operations, that also strictly coordinates the data security, transfer of equipment and set-up of servers and technical equipment. The plan should identify all the important elements of the move, and its implementation should be easily understandable to all employees of the company.

Among other important factors to consider, the relocation should be done outside of normal working hours. Many moving companies will work different hours. Similarly, it is essential to label all boxes, furniture, equipment, and other items with clear information indicating where they should be placed in the new office, and plan locations for any new staff that the moving team can manage. Additionally, progress meetings with all affected parties should take place throughout the entire process to ensure an effective start of operations in the new location. After the move, a thorough cleaning of the new offices, and a follow-up during stabilization period, managed by the move coordinator, will be necessary.

In conclusion, we assert that the coordination of corporate moves will be most effectively handled by an expert because this provides client benefits such as: leveraging experience and data for multiple purposes (including post-move analysis), and coordination of work teams (client, moving company, contractors). Additionally, this can establish a neutral source for communicating within the organization and for facilitating the process of familiarization with new facilities (access, workspace, etc.), which is very valuable to the business operations during its period of transition.

Others News