The last thing you need when you get to your new office, as you’re unpacking your carrier bag of cables, is to find there’s no electrical point at your desk, the Wi-Fi isn’t working and there’s nowhere to plug in a kettle.
If you’re moving offices, perhaps to downsize or relocate to private premises at home, you may understandably be anxious about IT. One of the main reasons businesses put off an office move is worry about IT, because they rely on it to operate.
Planning is everything
It’s never too early to plan your office relocation. Here are some pointers to help you:
- You can’t go wrong with mapping out a basic, to-scale floor plan and marking each workstation, cable and piece of kit. A visual plan will help you get familiar with the space and bring to mind any issues. For example, desk and screen placement; it may seem a small point, but do you really want your screen facing a sunny window for three hours of the day? Do you need to order blinds? Think about comfort and ease of working – you’ll need it right from day one.
- Will you take your existing IT equipment with you, or will you take the opportunity to upgrade?
Do you simply want to pick up what you’ve got and get it in the new place? If not, now might be the time to upgrade to a hosted cloud solution and save a lot of effort moving any servers. A reputable cloud provider will be able to advise you on migrating your data and systems, and get you set up.
- Is the broadband in your new premises sufficient for your business needs?
It depends on the type of business and operation you are running, but the speed of your broadband connection is vital when it comes to functions that move substantial data around. If you transfer and collaborate on large files, particularly video, you may even require your own network, dependant on what the broadband supply is at your new premises.
- Do you need to transfer any landline numbers to a new provider?
If you are using the same provider, your numbers will stay the same, if not, you may need to transfer them. Get clued up about the process. Alternatively, you may wish to consider a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) option for your telecommunications.
- If you are moving servers, you need to plan this carefully to ensure maximum safety and integrity of the equipment. You cannot afford any of your business data to be compromised, and you must have a backup and business continuity/disaster recovery plan in place as a fallback. If in doubt, speak to a data migration expert.
- Plan each workstation requirements. If it’s just you moving to your home office, you’ll still need to plan your space out, electrical supply, broadband and any AV or special equipment placement. If you’re moving a team, every individual will have unique desktop requirements, according to the role they carry out and any personal health and wellbeing requirements.
- Are you moving any leased equipment? Consider that you may need permission, or to give notice that you are moving it. The vendor may have requirements you need to abide by in order not to break the terms of any lease agreement. Check with your vendor there isn’t any specific moving process you need to follow.
The point of planning your office move thoroughly in advance is to fix any problems before they arise on the day. For instance, recommissioning new equipment before moving is sensible. Checking it works will save you worrying. Or, if you aren’t receiving it until moving day, build in time to make sure it works, and put plans in place for your business continuity in case it doesn’t.
If this still all seems overwhelming and you don’t know where to start, especially when it comes to IT and telecommunications, consider a specialist in relocation management. People who are used to moving entire operations for businesses, like us, know the pitfalls, what to guard against, and how to plan a seamless, stress-free move with no downtime and minimal risk to your operation.
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