The Covid-19 lockdowns dramatically altered how we went to work. Prior to 2020, around 5.7% of the UK population reported working exclusively from home – a figure that inevitably rose dramatically to 41.3% during the enforced lockdown period of Spring 2020. However, trends show that people are ringing the changes, with many either stating a preference for continuing to work from home full time or – more interestingly – adopting a hybrid approach with some days spent at home and others in the office. Employers have had to react to these changes and adapt their working spaces to accommodate this new trend. As such, office relocations have been high on the agenda for many organisations up and down the country.
Hassle-free Office Relocation
As with any project of this size, the secret to success is all in the planning. The goal should be a swift, straightforward office relocation that results in as little interruption or delay to day-to-day business operations as possible. Key to this is a clear focus on transferring business IT support services successfully so that all systems relying on the technology can undergo a smooth transition. Here are six essential areas to cover :
The very first question to answer, once you have decided to go ahead with your office relocation project, is how much is it going to cost? Establishing costs and working out how you are going to pay for it all is vital, to make sure that you don’t lose control of things further down the line. Draw up a budget and work out where the main costs are going to be – and how you are going to cover them. Once the budget is decided, stick to it. If possible, factor in a little extra for unexpected surprise costs., such as required IT upgrades or increased lease agreements for equipment.
It’s no good relocating if no one knows where you are going. Most businesses need to inform a wide group of stakeholders if they move physical locations. These can include clients, service providers, remote employees and local communities. You can let people know in a number of ways, from physical flyers or change of address cards to website changes, email footers or mailshots and digital advertisements. Update any entries on Google, social media or online directories too. Above all, let key contacts know of any IT changes, such as IP address, website and telephony details, any scheduled IT downtimes, cloud storage arrangements etc.
IT and Computer Layout
Having to move IT equipment, including computers, printers, electric sockets, desks, etc. gives you a great opportunity to assess your current IT provision and work out if anything needs upgrading or changing to suit the growing needs of your business. It
could be a convenient time to work with an external business IT support services supplier to see what they suggest. IT is critical to the running of most modern businesses, so this aspect of office relocation needs to be given top priority. Make sure all employees moving with you to the new location have a say in what they need regarding IT and how they would like it configured.
Data and Servers
As well as moving physical equipment, businesses that rely on critical data also need to consider how to transfer this safely and securely. Downtime needs to be kept to a minimum and migrations must be done securely and with full confidentiality. It is not only expensive to repair a data leak, but it can compromise sensitive customer and financial data and cause serious problems around security, integrity and business operations for a long time after. It is well worth outsourcing this aspect of office relocation to a trusted business IT support services supplier to ensure a seamless and secure transition.
Phones and Internet
Ideally, you want your phones and internet to be up and running from the moment you step foot in your new office. This is especially important if your workforce is operating on a hybrid basis so that people can stay in touch with each other throughout the moving period. Take care that you do not lose connectivity if you are switching online, telephony or IT services suppliers. If you are moving to a VoIP telephone system, this needs to be linked to your new location straight away, so you don’t miss any important calls or sales leads in the process. If you are changing telephone numbers, this information needs to be well and widely communicated too.
An office relocation is not just about the main moving day. It can take a while to bed into the new premises and get all systems back up and running as they should be. This is where ongoing support can be invaluable. Engaging a specialist business IT support services specialist to see you through the first few weeks or months can help you achieve a seamless transition and save you valuable time that you might otherwise spend handling any IT problems that crop up. Investing in 24/7 IT help desk facilities will also help your employees settle in faster and provide a useful resource for remote workers if they find their access to IT or telephone services is affected by the move.