Moving offices? Here’s our five-step guide to doing it the right way…
I’m going to come right out and say it: an office move is up there as one of the most potentially stressful events there is.
In fact, if you check out a ‘life events stress scale’, moving is always on there, and while moving house is probably worst, moving office isn’t much different.
But it’s not all doom and gloom – office moves can be exciting. Often it means that you’re moving into bigger premises, which usually means that you’re expanding.
But before you can get cracking in your new work environment, you need to get there first, which is easier said than done.
However small your operation is, you’ll have hundreds of things on your to-do list, mostly centering around the actual practicalities of moving.
Choosing the moving company, patching up the old place, packing up the furniture, office supplies and computers, the list goes on…
And here’s something you might not know:
Most people forget about their telecoms until the very last minute.
They’ll confirm their moving day, book everything else in and then think, “Oops, I forgot that we actually need to be able to communicate in the new office”.
Whether you’re a one-man band with a call-answering service or a huge call centre, the fact of the matter is that there is ALWAYS a lead-time on moving telecoms.
More often than not, new phone lines need to be ordered and installed in the new premises, and – because this process relies on BT – it can take a very long time to actually get the phone lines in and active.
So here’s the problem:
You could end up in your new office without broadband.
Without a phone system.
Without a phone line.
In essence, when you’re moving offices, it’s very easy to find yourself up a certain creek without a paddle, and the ramifications can be significant.
How easy would it be for you to run your business without a phone? Or without the internet?
Pretty difficult, right?
It’s not all bad news though. We’re not going to keep laying it on thick and giving you more and more reason to never move office.
Because the reality is that while the worst that could happen is – well – pretty bad, all that pain can be easily avoided, as long as you put in place the right plan.
And that’s what we’re going to help you with today, with our five step guide to a smooth office move:
The good news is this can all be avoided. Follow our top tips below and we guarantee you will have a much smoother office move.
Boosh Step #1: Give plenty of notice
Always give your telecoms provider plenty of notice. The more notice the better, but as a rough guide follow these guidelines:
If you are moving a telephone system, then 4 weeks’ notice should be given as a minimum.
Your provider will need to do a site survey at the new office, ensure it’s got all the required cabling and connectivity and book in a time for the engineers to physically move the telephone system.
For broadband, you need to allow 6-8 weeks’ notice.
If the new office doesn’t have any spare phone lines then you’ll need to allow time for BT to send an engineer to install the new phone line, and only once that’s in can the broadband be connected.
BT are notoriously unreliable so you should always give extra time in case they miss appointments or cancel. This will also give your provider time to arrange ceasing the line at your old office to make sure you have a smooth transition with minimal crossover charges.
If it’s a leased line you want moving, you need to allow 8-12 weeks.
As you might know, a leased line is a dedicated connection to your premises, so if you want to move that then it takes a lot of work and time. Both BT and the network will need to do site surveys as well as carrying out all the necessary work to install the line.
Boosh Step #2: Check broadband connectivity at your new site before committing
Sounds simple, right? But it’s so easy to overlook this point.
Getting your current telecoms provider to do a product suitability check at your new site to see which broadbands are available and right for you isn’t just sensible, it’s vital.
The very worst thing you can do is assume that you’ll get the same speed, as speeds vary wildly, even if you’re not moving too far.
These days, the speed of us getting things done in our businesses is largely down to the speed of our internet, so it’s vital you find an office that allows you to get things done as quickly as you want and need to.
If the office is perfect in every other aspect, it may be worth considering a leased line, but this will come with an associated cost.
Boosh Step #3: Site surveys
When moving a phone system, 9 times out of 10 it will be more cost effective in the long run to pay for a site survey at your new office, especially if you are moving a communications cabinet and VoIP telephone system.
Lots of people don’t take into account the cabling that may or may not be present at the new office.
For example, if an office is CAT 5 cabled, then it would make moving a VoIP telephone system a much smoother process, but if it’s not, then the process will be more challenging.
Other considerations also include whether you need to hardwire in PCS, printers and other office machinery.
A site survey helps you with all of this – an engineer will come to the new office and assess what is already in place and if there is anything else you need to ensure a smooth move.
Boosh Step #4: Always book an install
Here at Boosh we highly recommend you book an install, especially if you are not technically minded.
Moving your broadband, router and phone system can be a minefield if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Plugging just one wire into the wrong port can mean that nothing will work, but the thing is: if you don’t know how it all works, then it’s going to be very difficult for you to fix it.
Is it the broadband connection?
The ports and cabling in the office?
The way it’s all been plugged in?
If you don’t know, you don’t know, and if you’re looking to avoid stress and pain at a time when you’ve got a million and one other things to think about, then our advice is just to steer clear of this whole process by booking an install.
Oh and one more thing: if you choose to do a self-install, it also blurs the lines with your broadband and system provider. It’ll often be made clear that it is your responsibility to make sure all equipment is set up properly, and as a result, you won’t be able to hold your provider accountable if the system doesn’t work. This could end up costing you much more than an install would cost and you’ll have to pay for an emergency appointment to get it all sorted.
Boosh Step #5: Don’t forget the teabags and biscuits
Every office move is at risk of ending in disaster if you lose the kettle, tea bags and biscuits. Always make sure you label your boxes carefully and make sure the kettle goes on the van last so that you can find it easily at the other end!