How Can You Prepare To Move A Paper-Heavy Office?
If your workplace is like many, the move toward a more paper-free environment may have been a slow one, with many employees continuing to print out documents they need rather than displaying them on a projection screen or simply making changes within a word-processing system. Without a regular purging process, this paper accumulation can slowly eat up your available storage space, and when rental rates rise or your staffing needs expand beyond your current location, the prospect of shipping tens of thousands of pounds of likely-obsolete documents can seem wildly inefficient. Read on to learn more about preparing a paper-heavy workplace for a move to another building.
Begin paring down early
It can be hard to coordinate even a typical move without shutting down your business, so it's important to press upon your employees that they should begin paring down paper early. By spending just a few minutes each day sorting through old files and setting aside any documents that can be destroyed, your staff will be able to put a major dent in the amount of excess paper cluttering your office without disrupting their daily workflow.
In other cases, it may make more sense to designate two or three days each month as "office cleanout days" and rent some heavy-duty shredding bins to be disposed of in an offsite facility. By spending an entire shift sorting through papers and shredding thousands of pounds of paper at once, you'll have a better idea of the total amount of paper you'll end up moving.
Invest in some scanners
There are only a few situations in which having the original version of a document is crucial to its authenticity; in just about all other cases, the documents you need to keep can be scanned and shredded rather than transported from one office to another. Investing in some "smart" scanners before your move can allow your staff to begin scanning the documents they need and arranging to destroy the originals.
While scanning and converting to a paper-free office can bring many benefits, it's important to ensure these documents are secure and backed up—scanning and destroying documents only to keep them on a single physical hard drive can make them vulnerable to loss or damage. Backing up your documents on an offsite server will ensure you and your staff can always maintain access even if your office or computers are damaged.
Plan moving day
When it comes to planning and coordinating moving day, you can't go wrong by overplanning—especially if your goal is to minimize disruption to your employees and avoid any long-term closures while you get the new place set up. Having both a main plan and a few contingency plans in place will ensure you're able to tackle any complications or problems that may arise.
Depending upon the customs in your industry, your state's labor laws, and your employees' willingness to assist in the move, you may ask your employees to handle packing themselves or instead pay a moving company to perform this service. If your employees are able to have their offices packed up on a Friday evening, you'll be able to perform the move over the weekend and open in your new location by Monday morning.
Weekend moves may be a bit more expensive than midweek moves, but they are often the best way to avoid an unplanned closure. Your employees may also appreciate the simplicity of being able to leave their old location on Friday and simply report to their new building Monday, rather than trying to change their morning routines in the middle of a busy and unusual week.