Are you opening a new business or moving your office? Our office moving tips will help you tackle this massive project with expert insight to make things easier for you. We’ve broken down these tips into a timeline to help you visually digest the info and apply it to your unique office move.
Location Search Phase
Internet Speed In Commercial Locations
Before you start to seriously consider a location, call internet service providers and ask about what internet infrastructure is available in the area. Please do not assume the office space you are ready to sign on has a decent internet connection. We’ve seen this problem many times.
As an example, a company moved to Woodbine, north of Steeles, to reduce their property costs for their manufacturing plant, as land in Markham is more affordable than land in Toronto. After investing hundreds of thousands of dollars, they have discovered that the internet infrastructure on their street is outdated and slow. Internet service providers have no plans to upgrade infrastructure in the area.
Slow internet has negatively impacted their day to day work life with constant troubles getting online, checking email, downloading attachments from clients which are critical to their central business, and more. They are now strongly considering moving to a new location with upgraded internet infrastructure. The lesson here is to find out about infrastructure in the area before you start to seriously consider a location.
As another example, a team of 20 people planned a move and new VoIP phone systems on their own, only to call us in a panic 2 weeks before their move in date because their new location has old, slow internet which can not support their VoIP plan or their team of internet dependent professionals moving. A Rogers fibre option was available but install would take more than 2 months. The scramble for solutions was on – and stress was high. They did suffer painful productivity delays due to no/poor internet and phones.
Office Lease Negotiation Tip – Abandoned Cable Fire Hazard: Did you know that the National Fire Code of Canada (2005 edition) requires old cable and wiring to be removed when located in the plenum of a building / office space? Did you know it is a fire risk and possible health risk as old materials break down? Did you know there are thousands upon thousands of feet of abandoned cable in Canada? If the fire hazard or health risk doesn’t motivate you, just think, with old cable obstructions removed, your own cabling needs can be installed more quickly, and thus, more affordably.
Poke your head into the plenum of your potential new space, and talk about what you find there. Ask your landlord about having old or abandoned cable removed before you come to lease terms.
Server Room Air Conditioning
Is your new proposed server room equipped with air conditioning? Server rooms need air conditioning because servers and network switches generate a lot of heat. Without air conditioners in your server room, you can expect server malfunctions, and even failure. This is a large expense, and you don’t want it to be a late in the game surprise. Plan for it in your budget and timeline.
And be sure to get a complete floor plan from your general contractors. Your IT team and cabling team will need it once you have possession. It will also help you coordinate the move of staff computers and phones.
90 Days Before Your Office Move
Moving is an expensive undertaking. It’s in your best interest to get your team involved to clear clutter and dispose of unnecessary weight and bulk to lower your moving cost. Now is the time to be ruthless.
Start clearing every cupboard and closet. You will be surprised at the old unused stuff you will find.
Recycle or shred paper according to PIPEDA guidelines.
Donate or dispose of unwanted binders, desk organizers, office supplies, desks, chairs etc.
PIPEDA & Old Electronics:
Hard drives, and digital photocopier hard drives fall under PIPEDA compliance, and you are required to undertake secure data destruction to avoid any liability. We wrote about digital photocopier data leaks here – because many people don’t realize that digital photocopiers have hard drives, and store an image of every single copy ever made. Prepare a destruction plan for any equipment you don’t plan to move to your new location. Have your IT employee or tech support company properly destroy or wipe and recycle all old drives.
30 Days Before Your Office Move
Setting Up An Internet Connection In Your New Office
Internet Service Providers can be unreliable in their installation dates and you could end up with an office full of people with nothing to do. Limit your risk of downtime by making sure your new internet connection is scheduled to be live in your new office before you dismantle your network in your existing office. It is best to plan your move date a few days (at minimum) after you’ve taken possession of your new space. These few days allow Internet Service Providers to bring in your connection and then have your IT team build your network. Without an internet connection, your IT department or tech support company is unable to set up your servers, network or workstations. Since that set up alone will take several days, you definitely don’t want to fall behind because an Internet Service Provider didn’t install when they said they would.
Making these arrangements at least one month prior to moving, also allows you to cancel old internet service with notice to avoid cancellation fees.
- Moving IT Equipment: Some companies have their furniture movers also move their IT equipment. This is fine, but can set you back a few days of time. A better option may be to have your IT company move the IT equipment themselves with a rental van. This allows them to get started on the same day the internet is brought in.
- Planned Work From Home Day: You may want to plan a scheduled work from home day for your team, to limit downtime during the move. For example, you can schedule your movers to pick up from your old office on a Thursday, have your team work from home on a Friday and return work in the new office the following Monday. This gives your movers and IT team and extra day to set up the new office, servers, network equipment, all computers and phones. The extra scheduled day of set up time created by the pre planned work from home day will really help to limit downtime and interruptions for the entire first week back to work after the move.
1 Week Before The Move
- Access: Make sure your IT staff or tech support company have security passes and keys, as they will likely be working after hours and over the weekend to set everything up.
- Server Room Map: Moving your server yourself? Take photos of your server room prior to dismantling it, including close-up photos of cabling and interconnects so you can set things back up more easily (or better yet, hire a professional tech support company to handle server moving for you). You may also want a diagram of these cable connections. You can hand draw one or use a program like Visio to create your diagram.
- Equipment Documentation: Record all your model numbers and serial numbers for all computers, servers and networking equipment in case it is lost during the move. This way, you have accurate info to report to the police, and to your insurance company, if you need to make a claim. At this time, you can also take a copy of your floor plan which you got in your pre-construction phase, and label it with suite numbers and desk numbers. Assign each team member their suite and/or desk number in the new location as this will come in handy the day before your move
- Office Plants: Do not water office plants for about 1 week before moving. If they are knocked over, wet soil spills more easily, stains, and is more difficult to dry out. Wet soil and water can also leak on to other items on your moving truck. Dry soil will stay put a bit better. Label each pot with the suite or desk number it belongs to so movers put it in the right area.
- Personal Items: All employees should take home all personal photos and trinkets to safeguard them.
The Day Before Your Office Move
- Computers & Phones: OK, got that floor plan labelled with suite and desk numbers we mentioned above? Good. When packing up computer workstations, have team members put all peripherals and cables in a bag labelled with their suite and/or desk number at the new location. Have desk phones put in another bag, also labelled with the new suite and/or desk number. This allows the IT team or movers to quickly place everything where it belongs.
- Laptops: Laptops should be taken home both to reduce risk of damage during a move and to provide employees with a device to work on during an often required work from home day during your move.
- Filing Cabinets: Lock all filing cabinets and tape keys for each cabinet to the outside of said cabinet.
- Fridge: Empty the office fridge before moving, or you will open your fridge to quite a mess!
- Load IT Equipment On To Moving Trucks Last: If you did not arrange for your IT company to move the IT equipment themselves in order to start building your network as soon as internet service was brought in, then be sure to have the movers load the servers and infrastructure devices (server racks, network switches etc) on to the trucks last so that they are the first things accessible, allowing your IT team to quickly get to work on building your network. And remember, mounting a server into a server rack is a 2 person job. If you only have one IT person on your team, you may want to hire IT support for your office move.
So there you have it. Insider office moving tips from our team of pros. At least one tip is sure to save you from a headache. Good luck!
Computer Network Relocation Services in Toronto
If you need help with your office move in Toronto, please call us for a free consultation. We are TUCU, an IT Support company offering computer support, network maintenance and IT relocation services in Toronto and the GTA.