Recently, we moved our office 1.3 miles down the road. This move, though not sizable in distance, forced us to change zip codes and phone numbers. But that was only the beginning. I was put in charge of the office move, and, going into the experience, I had no idea how many pieces there would be to coordinate.
We are now 4 months into the new office space, and upon reflecting back, I have come to the conclusion that a successful move comes down to the 3 T’s: transition, timing and technology.
First, transition. This move is a transition. For the employees, for patients and clients, for vendors. The key to a successful transition is communication. It is never too early to begin discussing the possibility of an office move with employees. This will give them ample time to mentally prepare for a move. It is also a great opportunity to review and update company policies. Since you are changing locations, why not revamp processes as well? And for a physician’s office, the moving process does not end once you have the sign up at your new location. Patients need to be reminded of the move for a long time after. When a patient schedules an appointment, they may not have been to your office in months, or even years. To avoid confusion and missed appointments, employees should be instructed to confirm the new address with all patients when they schedule appointments for a significant period of time after the move.
Next, timing. The goal of the move is to give everyone ample time to pack and prepare , while also minimizing the downtime for the company. For a physician’s office, this is trickier, because you need to have a physical office in order to operate. As consultants, most of our team worked remotely on moving day, so that they could continue to be productive while the moving company took care of the heavy lifting (literally). It is important, also, to consider the time of day when you need to move. Some leases do not allow you to move in or out during normal business hours. Therefore, you would have to find a moving company which would operate after hours. After a long Thursday of moving, I assumed that we would be up and running on Friday morning, in our snazzy new space. Which leads to my final point…
Technology. This process has shown me that no matter how prepared you think you are, technology can throw some wrenches in the plan. When we came into work on Friday morning, we could not access our secure server, because we needed a static IP address. Looking back, I would have had our IT company setup the internet account. I am sure they would have ensured the correct settings, and therefore we would not have incurred the down time on day one in the new space. Although I was the point person for the move, I think that when it comes to technology, sometimes the point person should delegate to those more knowledgeable on the subject.
The move was worth it, because now we have a fresh space for our growing company. Let’s just hope we don’t outgrow it too soon – moves, no matter how prepared, are a lot.