Having just been through another merger, we’re just now beginning to see things settle down following a big move day last week. During 15 years in this business, I’ve been through about a dozen office moves, mergers, etc., Earlier this year, I had one of my new staff members ask me what the plan was for bringing his office online with the rest of our Agency, and I had to chuckle since it always seems as if we’re making up as we go along.
I certainly don’t enter into these things without a plan, but I honestly don’t think that any two of these moves have been the same. There are certain things surrounding moves which happen every time, but it seems like the differences far outweigh the similarities. For example, the biggest issues surrounding our move earlier this year involved telecommunications and actually turning up the connections between sites. In last week’s move, the single biggest issues involved the physical move itself. We actually had two moves to deal with, first an internal reshuffling of our offices, followed by the move-in of nearly 45 people a week later.
There are certain things you do for just about every office move, and I’d probably put communications at the top of the list. One of the keys is letting employees know what’s happening and when, whether it’s about who will actually be moving their computers to what their new phone number will be. We’ve also assembled a pretty good team of people who’ve been through this a few times, and that doesn’t hurt either.
Finally – flexibility is critical. You can’t get too hung up on that whole planning thing. As much as you may want to have a certain phase completed at a certain time, you had better be prepared for changes and schedules that slip. There are a lot of things surrounding moves which you can’t control, especially the vendors. Things will get delayed. You just deal with it. That’s part of the plan.