Internal facilities management processes that can simplify your office move
For facility managers tasked with orchestrating an office move, it’s the effective coordination of small details that will determine the job’s overall success. Whether disassembling a Billy bookcase or rewiring a motorcycle, it’s crucial to know where you put the pieces for when it’s time to put your shelving—or sweet ride—back together. The more complex the task, the more important it is to keep track of all the moving parts.
If you’re gearing up for an office move—or are putting processes in place for the future—consider the following tips.
1. Rally your allies
You may be the point person when it comes to your office’s move, but to carry it out, you’ll need input, advice and support from others in your organization. In the early planning phases, determining who will be most involved in the move can help you figure out who to turn to when situation-specific questions inevitably crop up. Assembling a move task force can also make delegation of responsibilities easier before, during and after the move. While the situation will vary from office to office, HR and IT are natural candidates here.
When checking in with your move stakeholders, don’t spring a laundry list of tasks or questions on bewildered colleagues. Planning ahead and setting expectations early is a lot easier: organize cross-departmental meetings well ahead of the official move in order to generate buy-in. Give everyone an opportunity to raise concerns, and make sure that roles and responsibilities are clear.
Similarly, make sure that the details of the move are effectively communicated to all employees, even those who might not be directly involved. Office moves can be confusing and disruptive if not handled correctly, and clear communication is arguably the most important element of a successful move. Implementing a strong internal communications plan in advance of a move will benefit your workforce, leading to a stronger company culture and increased productivity. Communications plans promote employee engagement, spur opportunities for feedback and help team members to feel respected, valued and heard. The right system for sharing information also encourages better management, as leaders have efficient pathways to communicate with their teams and other managers.
2. Consult the numbers
A big office move promises to cost your organization both time and money—and there is nothing worse than realizing after the fact that a new layout isn’t working for your office. To avoid pricey missteps, focus on the strategic heavy lifting in advance.
Leverage your facility management software to optimize the locations of teams and resources in your new space. Take a deep dive into your existing analytics: the metrics your IWMS generates can be of great value during a move. Space utilization reports, for instance, can show you what is and isn’t working in the current office, making it easier to determine priorities in your new location. Utility usage, move requests and even end-user complaints can also factor into your decisions as you plan. Knowing what’s used when, and by whom, can get your new space off to a running start.
Scenario-based strategizing, made possible through a comprehensive move management solution, is perhaps the single best way to remove what-ifs and reduce the incidence of mistakes when it comes to planning a move. Create hypothetical floor plans in advance to narrow down the options generated from your data insights. Mockups generated in a move management tool make it easier to revise and refine a proposed floor plan—and are a breeze to share with IT and HR, keeping stakeholders looped in to the planning process.
3. Streamline requests and plan ahead
How do you currently handle requests? Are you using multiple channels, like email, phone calls and tracking ticket threads through a complicated IT system? Are you experiencing dreaded "drive-by" requests from senior leadership? If so, it’s a good idea to re-evaluate your system before an office move, as the quantity of requests is likely to increase significantly as you change offices.
Implementing a request management tool that is designed specifically for facilities management is an easy way to simplify extensive moves and everyday requests. Employees can complete a form detailing their problem or need, and a customized workflow allows your team to track work, send updates and ensure no requests slip through the cracks. A software solution can also ensure that, regardless of who is in charge of approving a request, all stakeholders are notified instantly when a change takes place. An auto-decline feature can even be incorporated to streamline processes and remove questions you already know the answer to from your workload.
At a higher level, you also need to consider the direction your organization is headed.
What are your company’s goals for the next quarter? The next year? The next decade? Keeping tabs on this information is key to a successful move, since employees will ultimately use the new space to meet those same goals. Knowing what’s coming up next for your organization also helps you designate space—if your company is projecting a big year for the creative team, for instance, you may want to allot that department more space for new employees and equipment. And that’s just one example of the ways future plans can impact a pending move: new products, policy changes and projected overall growth are three more.
4. Consider your seating philosophy
Facility managers don’t need to be told how much a smart seating philosophy can contribute to productivity and tranquility in the workplace. However, it’s also important to remember there’s no universal “best”philosophy, just the one that works best for you and your company.
Will your new space be employing hot desking?
Do communal spaces need to be booked in advance, or can they be reserved at a moment’s notice? Are seating arrangements solely the domain of facilities management, or are department heads involved in the assignment process? Build scenarios that can help management and employees pre-visualize a variety of office layouts. You could present a solution that seats new hires next to veterans, for instance, alongside one that takes a more regimented departmental approach. Whether you’re collecting input or finding a scheme that works best within the confines of the new space, take the opportunity a move affords to find an optimized seating plan.
Do sweat the small stuff
Depending on the size and complexity of your organization, an office move can be a daunting prospect. It does not, however, need to be an insurmountable one. A smart plan, executed using the right tools, can make the actual day of a move a matter of following the steps you’ve already laid out.
For most companies, a comprehensive move management software solution is a must-have. And then there are the extras—while not strictly necessary, offices with access to high-tech tools like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can take tool-assisted planning even further, making scenario planning and other visual strategizing even more realistic and useful.
Whatever your specific situation, your ability to manage details and leverage technology will determine the success of your plan—and from that perspective, even the biggest office move becomes more manageable.
Floor plan scenarios, space utilization reports and real-time seating visibility are yours with OfficeSpace’s industry-leading IWMS solution. We can get you up and running within 48 hours, meaning that no matter when your move, we can make it easier.
Photo Credits: Shutterstock / baranq, Shutterstock / LightField Studios, Shutterstock / Aila Images