Moving shop can be a stressful time for a business. When you run a retail establishment, warehouse, or maintain an office, moving isn’t as simple as packing up your stuff and relocating like moving house; there’s a lot more to consider, like maintaining a revenue stream, scheduling staff, accommodating change, and - last but not least - reducing downtime.
Occupational downtime has the potential to derail any progress you and your staff have been making on projects, and can halt revenue, and limit motivation leading up to the day of the big move. To combat downtime, it’s critical for management to implement a type of downtime strategy to help minimize the amount of time it takes to accommodate a commercial move.
In this post, we’ve compiled some helpful tips and tricks for reducing downtime that are geared at helping you get back to work as soon as possible.
Modern managers and owners have to be much more than hierarchical commanders - good bosses are leaders who value and engage their employees, so do just that! Beginning any commercial move with an open-ended stream of communication is important to the success of a move because your employees are the lifeblood of your business. Allow them to contribute their ideas, voice opinions and state any inconsistencies that could be avoided or addressed prior to packing up and hitting the road.
Host a meeting a few months prior to your intended moving date and open the floor to thoughts on how to reduce downtime. Chances are, one of your staff members could have some experience in a previous move and can offer some valuable insight. Aside from rallying the troops, so to speak, communication is great for unifying your staff and helping them to feel like their opinions matter.
When considering a commercial move, consider that strategic scheduling is a great way to help minimize downtime between offices or storefronts. As well, focus on issues - not your organization. The issue at hand will be moving, not how effective your staff can be at closing deals in a hurry or with limited resources/time.
Typically, strategic scheduling is best completed by allowing personnel to work during times that cater to their strengths. If you have a divide in the office between parents and single employees, consider strategizing a temporary moving schedule to reflect availability and ability to get to work earlier/later than later. Next, identify any projected differences to supply and demand and work with your staff to close any potential gaps.
High-impact staffing strategies always begin by setting new goals for your business - the goal is to build a situation where good decisions can be made as your move progresses - and let your staff know that if these new goals and staffing solutions happen to yield good results, that they could even result in longer term agreements; the alternative in short-term solutions is too much pressure is often placed on those responsible for implementing the proposed changes.
Encourage Remote Connectivity
If you anticipate having a chaotic move with a considerable amount of downtime, consider allowing your staff to operate remotely in their home offices, cafes, libraries, etc while the bulk of the move is completed by your moving company. These days, there’s a huge amount of remote technology that can help sync and equip staff for a virtual office scenario including live video chat, hour-clocking software, task management apps, etc.
Give your staff enough time to get familiar with their new tools and setups, and encourage them to interact and reach out with other members of the staff to help maintain a stable office atmosphere. Tackling your move by preparing for downtime with remote capabilities can hugely improve your chances of staying productive during a move. Also, there’s significant evidence to suggest a remote workforce is a more productive workforce than a crew anchored to a physical office.
Tackle the Move in Stages
Don’t count out the possibility to move your commercial space in stages. It may be effective in more ways than one to move certain departments or groups of your staff first, to assist in tech setup’s, or to finish off a proposal, sale, deal, end-of-month reporting, etc.
This momentary separation of staff can be great for reducing downtime if you consider that some staff can’t operate without internet connectivity for example; the moving staff can supervise the connectivity or your new space, and the remaining staff can stay connected and move when the period of disruption has been reduced.
Rent Alternate Workspace
If none of these other suggestions are doable, there’s always the option of renting a temporary space, or subscribing to a shared office space to operate from while your new space is prepped and service for your occupancy. You may be able to rent fully furnished and connected office spaces at a week or so at a time, allowing your staff to simply pick up where they left off at your old office - this is a particularly thrifty and smart choice if you have a smaller team that could run the show. From there, the transition to a fully equipped new office space will be easy.