Moving An Office: There is more than meets the eye!
Over the past year or so, we have witnessed an increase in the number of office moves our customers are initiating. I love seeing this, because it tells me that our customers are doing so well that they have outgrown their spaces and need more room to service their growing customer bases. I'm no economist, but I think that the success and growth of our customers is a good leading indicator for the state of the local economy!
We at P&L Technology recently went through an office move ourselves (come visit us at 4211 S 143rd St, Omaha, NE). While we were able to successfully move offices within two business hours (we shut down on a Friday at 3PM and were "business as usual" by 7AM the following Monday), even we underestimated the amount of planning it would take to enable a smooth transition. We'd like to share the things we've learned from our move, as well as our customers', that will give you the best chance of pulling off your office move without a hitch:
Your timeline depends on a successful lease or purchase agreement for your new space prior to anything that follows. This may sound fairly obvious. However, everything else below has certain minimum timelines in order to get accomplished, and if you’re not absolutely certain of when you’ll have the keys to your new place, you can expect frustration, delays, and increased costs.
Give your IT provider ample time to ensure a successful move of your IT infrastructure. A minimum of one months’ notice is ideal – especially if you need assistance in planning any of the above, or if you need help liaising with your telecom vendors. If you are a P&L Technology customer, we can assist you with many of the logistics discussed here and can help you ensure your staff remains productive throughout your transition to a new space.
Cabling (for computers and phones) is the #1 thing that gets overlooked before moving to a new office. If you don’t have proper cabling in place, your employees will be dead in the water and unable to use their computers or place phone calls.
Having the proper cabling in place requires you to know exactly where each of your current (and potential) employees and networkable devices will be located. If you don’t already have a floorplan with detailed locations of where workstations, printers, phones, and wireless access points will be located, this should be one of your first priorities after signing a lease or purchase agreement.
We recommend that each “drop” (location of a networked device) have a minimum of two computer data ports in addition to any needed phone ports. This gives you maximum future flexibility. Also, all cabling should run to a centralized location, which is typically where your additional IT equipment will be located (AKA a “network closet”). You should be sure that this environment is suitable for the equipment you’re using. Regarding cabling: it will almost always be cheaper in the long term to run cable prior to moving in compared to doing it after the fact. Lining up a cabling contractor and having the work performed can typically take between 2-4 weeks, so this needs to be planned well in advance.
"Telecom" includes not only your phone system, but also your Internet lines. To be sure that you will be able to communicate with your customers in the same way you did before your move, be sure to notify your phone and Internet vendors of your office move at least one month prior to your move date. The modern office is crippled when the phones and/or Internet aren't working. When these vendors aren't forced to meet a short timeline, they will be more likely to complete your request successfully.
It is important to check your Internet invoice to see if you are currently paying for what's called a “Static IP Address” (you probably are). You’ll want to request the same IP address that you were using previously. Otherwise, the chances are greater that something won’t work right at the new office.
Pretty simple here. If the furniture isn’t exactly where you want it prior to moving your PCs, phones, printers, etc., you’ll be faced with a lot of re-work (read: time and money).
These are the most important logistical milestones when it comes to getting your new office up and running smoothly. However, there’s still a lot more to it. If you are anticipating an office move in the next 12-18 months, give us a call! We’d be happy to assist with your planning process.
written by: Jake Molko - 3/22/2016