Magazine article Management Today

When It's Time to Relocate

Magazine article Management Today

When It's Time to Relocate

Article excerpt

It took an hour to get to work today, because of that snarl-up at the underpass. Your cramped office building looks oh-so '80s, and HR say they can't recruit because nobody will work in such a scuzzy neighbourhood. It's time to relocate.

CHOOSE YOUR SPOT. Identifying a new location is the first task. The Association of Relocation Agents (08700 737475) can help find an area and premises. You will need to consider accessibility to customers and suppliers, availability of skills, and rental costs.

DO A FEASIBILITY STUDY. Once you've fixed on some potential locations, carry out a feasibility study. According to Stuart Mitchell, senior partner in Business Moves Advisory Centre, such a study will invariably include an appraisal of likely fallout among employees, as well as a cost-benefit analysis. It will also look at the resources needed to make the move. Ideally, have this work completed at least six months before your planned moving date.

IDENTIFY KEY PERSONNEL. It's no use deciding to go 50 miles up the road only to lose the two linchpins of your business because they don't want to move away from their favourite football team. Mitchell says it's common to segment employees into those who are absolutely vital; those you really want to keep: those you would like to come: and those you could afford to lose. 'You can do an analysis by postcode to give you a good idea of who will be able to commute from their existing home,' he says.

INVOLVE YOUR PEOPLE. You should get employees involved early on, says Anita Dicketts, of logistical planning specialists MovePlan. 'Make sure they know what's happening and what's expected of them,' she says. Initiatives might include a countdown newsletter and appointing departmental representatives who will keep their colleagues informed of the move.

ORGANISE A VISIT. The first thing people do when they're going to be relocated, says Mitchell, is to jump in the car and have a look. …

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