Synergy Codes

4 tips on how to manage a relocation to a new office

The year 2020 is slowly coming to an end. It’s time for a little summary, then. One of the milestones that we’ve achieved is moving to a new office. The day had come at the beginning of August 2020.  It’s a very mosaic task, which, like most of our activities, we realized as a project. Magda Skubiszewska, our Office Manager, was the project’s leader. She shared her ideas and approach to this complex undertaking. Thanks to a partnership lined with the will to change and looking for new solutions, we were able to start a new chapter in Synergy Codes history. Read Magda’s tips on how to manage and finalize the moving project and the best practices for doing so.

Tip # 1 A well-coordinated team is essential

Each project should have a leader. Such a person must have several features that will guarantee not only the success of the project but also affect the positive workflow. According to Magda, an ideal leader in a moving project should be multi-tasking and dynamic person. ‘If you possess good organizational skills, aren’t afraid of challenges, and at the same time, you react and make decisions in a snap, the entire project team follows you’ – Magda says. The leader’s role is to support the choice of people who will be engaged in the team. Such a person thinks of assigning the roles and managing the various stages of the project. ‘Ideally, the team consists of people who have various interests or professions. A man with a technical sense came in handy, but also people with an understanding of aesthetics were great. Thanks to this, I was able to allocate tasks more efficiently due to members’ competences’ – Magda admits. As she claims, the initiation of the move was also closely related to the personal development element in the form of expanding competencies in the field of Project Management. The project team met or communicated cyclically, providing information and feedback on the stage at which particular tasks were. ‘I appreciated the honesty and open communication the most. We have adapted the information exchange channels so that they fit perfectly into our organization’ she comments.

Tip # 2 – Plan your minimum and maximum budget

The real logistic and organizational fun begins with the consideration and approval of various types of budgets. ‘Close cooperation with the CEO helped to organize the financing of each stage of the project. From the raw interior to the work schedule’ – Magda says. It’s also necessary to plan the budget for the must-have purchases, pay for additional contractors, but also have an appropriate financial buffer for ‘surprise expenses’. According to Magda, it’s best to start budgeting as early as possible. There’s always a chance that we may forget something. Then it’s good to make appropriate notes so that you overlook nothing. There’s the risk of incurring higher costs when even the smallest details are left out. During such a large project, it isn’t possible to foresee every purchase, so it is wise to consider what additional costs may arise at different stages of the project. ‘The lockdown, which has accompanied us from key moments in the project, has had a surprisingly good effect on our activities. What I mean here is, it enables us to think over what actually takes place in the project and what can be included in its costs. Our flexible approach to the topic allowed us to overcome the obstacles related to the difficulties encountered during the COVID-19 outbreak in the first quarters of the year’ – Magda comments. It’s also worth adding some extras to the pool of budget-related tasks. It includes an additional expense in the form of employing an architect with whom you can consult your vision of new office space. Such help is valuable when it comes to designing rooms based on the requirements of daily work. ‘The architect turned out to be a bull’s eye because she helped choose and plan the right arrangement of the space so that each of us felt good and at ease here’ – Magda says.

Tip # 3 – Look after your items and equipment

Once we have the space concept developed and the budgets accepted, we can start packing. Faced with COVID-19, both the project team and the leader had to make decisions on the safest and most comfortable way of starting the process of moving things to a new space. The state of epidemy made the task easier due to the limited number of people in the office. Thus, the packing of the necessary equipment was much more efficient. ‘We didn’t want to take all the equipment with us. Therefore, we decided together which to leave and which to sell – Magda says. The choice of moving company was also a joint decision. As Magda says, it’s best to have a choice, including the recommended offers. ‘We used the recommendations of Office Managers and HR specialists employed in various companies. These organizations have already moved and provided advice and assistance on many issues. We could rely on opinions related not only to the company itself but also on how to do it best’ – she adds. Since the equipment we use daily isn’t the cheapest, Magda decided to allocate part of the budget to removal insurance. To reduce the costs, and take care of the environment, it’s good to decide to rent cardboard boxes to transfer the necessary things.

Tip # 4 – Take care of relationships with subcontractors

After choosing the right company that will efficiently transport the necessary equipment, it’s time for seemingly tiny, but important things. ‘While working on the project, I noticed how important is to have proven contacts with people who deal with finishing works. So it is worth having a good carpenter, a handyman, appropriate distributors of additional equipment, suppliers of small household appliances, and the like. Building a lasting relationship with such people may result in the fact that in an emergency, they won’t refuse to help’ – Magda says. When planning individual tasks, you should also think carefully about all issues and not put them to the last minute. Therefore, daily planning, verification of progress, and efficient communication help to finalize each stage of the project. ‘It’s important to prioritize and sequence actions. Without it, it’s easy to lose essential things along the way’ – she adds.

What to be prepared for?

As you can see, moving an office is a serious logistic and organizational undertaking. The more we focus on determining the individual stages of the project, the easier it will be to manage it. As Magda admits, it’s crucial to focus on goals and the way of achieving them. Be prepared to act as a living call center, receiving and making countless numbers of phone calls. Effective communication was also proven. ‘How not to go crazy when moving? My advice is to establish a good relationship with the building manager, work as a team, discuss and not to be afraid of confronting the challenges’ – she advises.