Low impact office relocation: what you need to know
Moving your office or business to a different building can be a huge upheaval but it can also be a terrific time to initiate some green initiatives. In this article, I hope to offer some assistance to you when preparing to move your office with as little hassle as possible and the maximum benefit in sustainability and profitability. You may also be interested in the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines for moving your office.
Your first steps should be to plan your move, that is, plan where you are moving to, research the measurements and practicalities of moving your equipment up stairs or through doors and corridors. Also be sure to actually plan the layout that you wish for your new property, as this will drastically increase the speed of the moving process.
Comparing the spacing you currently have to the future will be a great opportunity to de-clutter your office. Getting rid of unwanted furniture and machines simply because you won’t have room for them will be a smart way to force yourself to act. This can also play into making your office greener. Ridding of bulky printers and scanners can be space, energy and paper saving.
You will also need to give plenty of time to your workforce, and inform them on how you plan to move and give them dates that they can expect the move to occur. Be sure all employees are familiar with the move or business plan once things get underway. If you are looking to occupy less square footage in total, employees should know that some personal effects should be left out. Also if you are looking to make your office a green machine then having all hands on deck will surely help. In the event that you are unable to monitor the move personally. This can be done by putting regular meetings into your projected time-line to discuss the progress of the move.
If your company is large enough, odds are this move won’t happen over just 1 weekend and if that is the case there could be a temporary disconnect between the two offices or during the supervision of the move. Think about how delegating tasks to trusted members of your team will also ease the process, and take some of the stress off of your own shoulders. Delegating jobs such as checking that each employee of a particular section is packing all that is needed from their desk is a simple, yet time consuming job.
Contacting other companies, such as movers for the actual movement of your equipment, electrical, water and gas companies to check the utilities of your new office as well as projecting any estimated downtime to customers or consumers that use your company, so as to make them aware of the possibility of missed deadlines. When looking for companies to help you with your move, be sure to do your research (such as seeing how bigger corporations have done it, some will even offer guides, such as on the Microsoft website, they have articles based on experience for tips on keeping productive during your move), hiring reputable companies and hiring movers that can supply large temporary storage units that will ease the moving process, and help keep things easily categorized. Adjust your budget accordingly to enable you to maximize efficiency of the move, without spending a fortune at the same time.
Preparing for the short term effects of a move can be difficult as a business owner or CEO. There is an almost certain chance that some things get forgotten or some work doesn’t get done in time because of the move. Moving towards a green office can also present challenges as people get used to the new workflow without scanners and printed reports, but if there’s a better time to declutter than during a move, I’m not aware of it!
Moving box picture from Shutterstock
Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride. Find Scott on Google Plus
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