Tips for successful move planning | Macro

Tips for successful move planning


By Lindsey Palmer, Space Planner and Moves Manager

A move has gone well when people come to work on Monday morning and say “I was able to just sit down and start working straight away”. That’s our Nirvana, and in this blog I share some of my top tips on planning for and running a successful office move. 

90% of the job is in the planning – start planning well ahead of the move itself. If you get this right, the hard work will be done when move day comes around. You need detailed information for each person that is moving, from their IT spec through to their specific wants and wishes. This needs to be captured in a spreadsheet and shared with a variety of departments including: the move team, IT, telephony, reception, the mailroom, etc.  Space plans may need to be drawn up and agreed. Furniture may need to be relocated or purchased.  Printers and faxes may need to be installed and set up. Vital changes can be received throughout the process which can cause a ripple effect through every aspect of your planning. So the earlier details are discussed and agreed, the more robust your plan will be and the more time you will have to accommodate the curve balls. 

Communicate – let everyone know what’s happening and don’t assume that because something makes sense to you, that it will be understood by everyone else. If it’s a big move, engage communication champions who will relay information with their teams and capture and feed back their concerns.  If you’re planning to include something controversial into your move, such as introducing centralised bins, or reducing storage, tackle this head on and include the rationale for the initiative in your briefings. 

Listen – take the time to listen to people’s questions and concerns.  It’s not always about being able to resolve their issues; it’s about showing people that their comments are valid and are being taken seriously. Everyone likes to feel valued and heard, and if they feel this, you’ll find they will be a lot more understanding, whatever the outcome. 

Focus on the end-user, always – it can be easy to get caught up in the process and forget the ultimate goal of making the move smooth for the end-user.  Always put them at the heart of the project, keep an open mind and be prepared to make changes, however last minute they may be.  If you get ‘jobs-worthy’ you’re not focusing on the people that matter most. 

Don’t fight human nature – people like their own space, arranged in a way that makes them feel it is theirs.  Privacy screens and strategically placed planting go a long way to achieving this.  Overlook it, and they’ll create it for themselves; I’ve seen barricades created with rows of bins!  Give people what they need to feel good about their workspace. 

1% is where the magic happens – I’ve said that 90% of a move is in the planning, but time spent on attention to detail will make a huge difference to how people feel as they move into their new space. People can forget to pack important personal items. Relocating a forgotten photo left behind on an occupant’s desk, whilst this takes mere moments, it’s what makes a good move, great. Position clocks on the wall so that when people turn their head it’s where they expect it to be. Think about how you would use the space, what would make you happy, look at it through their eyes, and deliver it. 

Use feedback forms to inform your next move – poll the employees to understand what did and didn’t work for them. You might be surprised by what people feel is important; comments such as: ‘my belongings were in the right place’, ‘it was easy to start work again’, ‘I had plenty of labels’, are common responses.  Use this feedback to adjust what you do next time and to improve the information you circulate in your communications. 

Remain organised and upbeat – you will need to juggle many things at once, often under pressure, so staying organised is key.  It’s a role that best suits a positive, people-person, who can focus on small details whilst keeping sight of the big picture.  

If you want more information on our moves and planning services, please contact Richard Hale, Senior Workplace Consultant –, or telephone: + 44 (0) 7919 894630. 

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