Snapp & Associates is thrilled to be settling in to our new office just a few miles down the road from our old spot in the heart of San Diego’s Mission Valley. Bright, airy and spacious, our new 10,500 square foot space offers plenty of room for our entire staff to work together in an open concept layout full of natural light and great sight lines.
Our team is scattered across a number of clustered work areas with groups of commercial and personal line teams now able to all be together in a workspace that encourages collaboration. Individual work pods are interspersed with co-working stations and offices for visiting brokers, client meetings and flexible uses.
A central conference room can accommodate a much larger group, perfect for presentations or all-department meetings. Around 40 team members are usually in the office on any given day and the new office has space for up to 65 individuals to be working all at once, giving us many more options for staffing and work schedule needs.
In addition to providing great access to San Diego’s three busiest freeways, our new building features an additional large communal conference room (for even larger meetings or needs), a fully renovated and modern atrium, patio dining areas, easy access to the San Diego River Path for lunch break or after work walks, opportunities for outdoor signage, lightning fast wifi for enhanced connectivity and full ADA compliance with quick elevator access for all levels.
So what did we learn from this process? Seven tips below from our experience as you prepare for an office relocation of your own:
1. Take Advantage of the Purge — The same advice you might follow when moving your home or remodeling a space: As you take things out of closets, storage and cabinets, examine and evaluate it before bothering or paying for it to be moved from one place to another. If you haven’t needed or even looked at the item in a year or more, it’s definitely worth examining whether it is worth keeping; if it has been more than a year, and closer to 3 years or more, you most likely don’t need it any more. Time to purge and/or donate!
2. Pack and Move by Function — Relocation is also a perfect time to re-organize your office and space planning. It is inevitable over time — Supplies get stored in random locations, team members are added and may be officed in areas far from their other co-workers. As you pack and space plan for your new spot, take the time to examine where things will be placed in the new space and also try and pack ‘like with like’ — it will expedite the process as you settle in.
3. Update All your Local Resources — Whether you are moving your business to a new state or relocating within an existing neighborhood, there may new resources and community associations available. Spend a little time to investigate any new chambers of commerce, networking groups, professional association chapters, etc. that are worth either joining or sponsoring as a way to entrench your business in its new community.
4. Introduce Yourself to Your New Neighbors — Say hello! Join regional or local Facebook groups or online resources specifically targeted at your micro-community; subscribe to any local media outlets or newspapers if you haven’t already done so. A press release to local media is a great way to alert the neighborhood to your move as well. Don’t forget the simple concept of face-to-face networking; especially if your business relies on walk-in or local customers. Have employees carry business cards or an announcement postcard with them when they visit local restaurants, service providers or community facilities and try and spread the word about your new office as much as possible.
5. Protect ALL Your Assets — Likely when moving offices or location, you are most concerned with physical damage to valuable office equipment such as computers or inventory. While it is critical to ensure these things are not damaged during moving, it also critical to ensure that your digital assets and data are protected as you relocate. If you have not done so, be sure to complete a full system backup of all data before anything is taken off line; investing in redundant physical backups (such as external drives or off-site storage) as a fail-safe to things like cloud data storage are also a good idea while you make the switch and beyond.
6. Plan Early and Plan for Delays — Moving always takes longer than you think; budget for more time needed to pack, prep and physically move and plan more time than you think you need for office setup and a restart of operations. IT systems frequently require more time to work out kinks and any physical space, whether new construction or existing facilities always have systems or elements that are malfunctioning or need to be modified to fit your needs. Whatever amount of time you are expecting to be ‘down’ during the move process, double it to factor in a cushion to absorb these setbacks.
7. Prepare for IT Issues — Any owner or manager will tell you it is essential to protect your productivity. Email, phone access, internet services, connectivity and use of specialized software or apps needs to be as operational as possible on day one. While it is inevitable there will be hiccups, talk to all your providers in advance and plan on having tech support on site for those first few days as you attempt to get everything up and running. Pre-booking a tech support team will ensure your challenges can be dealt with efficiently and get your team on the road to success quickly!