Office Relocation Expert Gives Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Moves

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Karen Warner, author of Move Your Office, provides easy steps to reduce stress when businesses relocate around the holidays. Her simple, straight-forward tips help keep the peace when planning an office relocation at the end of the year. Warner is author or three books on commercial real estate.

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Karen Warner, author of the newly released book on office relocations, Move Your Office, gives advice to employers planning to relocate around the holidays.

"Office lease expirations occurring at year-end add extra pressure to employees and employers during the holidays," says Karen Warner, a office relocation expert at Colliers International. "Businesses using the calendar year as their fiscal year often end up with leases that begin on January 1. While this makes it simple for the accounting department, it creates stress when it's time to move at the end of the lease," Warner adds.

According to Warner, there are several steps you can take to help keep peace and sanity around the office:

1.    Plan ahead - the earlier you identify the new location and sign a lease, the more time you will have to arrange the physical move.

2.    Know the timing peaks - most office leases expire at the end of the month and it is even more likely that a higher percentage will expire at the end of the year. Schedule your moving company early to get on their calendar before their availability fills up. Remember that several working days are lost toward the end of the month due to Christmas and New Year's Day.

3.    Order furniture as soon as your space plan is complete - typically furniture orders will take eight to twelve weeks for delivery. Add an additional three to four weeks for moves that occur at year-end to compensate for the shipping delays that can occur during the holiday season. If it looks like your furnishings won't arrive in time for the move, check to see if your furniture dealer offers short-term rental desks and chairs that can get you by until your order arrives.

4.    Hire help - there are companies that provide various office relocation services. For example, your moving vendor may offer a packing service to help relieve staff time. An archived storage firm may be able to assist with file purging and offsite storage.

5.    Engage your staff - provide employees with boxes and packing materials well in advance so that they can begin packing items that are used infrequently. Frequently utilized items and files can then be packed quickly a day or two before the scheduled move.

6.    Prepare for setbacks - it is difficult enough to stay on track during other times of the year, but plan on additional setbacks during the holidays. Be prepared that you may need to ask staff members to work late and/or on weekends preparing for the move. Coordinate time-off to be sure you have coverage during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.

7.    Have a backup plan - consider what the outcome would be if your final move was delayed until the first week of January. You may determine that delaying the move into 2007 will ease stress and not cause undue harm to your business.

8.    Don't forget to celebrate - ensure that office moral remains high by celebrating the season in spite of the move. Plan a holiday party; give a special gift or bonus to those who put in extra time and effort to make the move successful.

It's easy to get caught up in a project and to disregard the individual efforts that are required for a successful office relocation. Appreciation goes a long way, be sure to recognize and value the staff members and remember that every relocation is a team effort.

About Karen Warner:

Karen Warner is the author of three best-selling commercial relocation books gives her the tools and savvy to formulate effective moving strategies. Warner's books include:

  •     Winning the Office Leasing Game, 2001

  •     Office Relocation Planner, 3rd Edition, 2003
  •     Move Your Office, 2006

In her third and most recent book, Move Your Office, Warner clearly details all the needed steps to make office relocation effective and efficient. The book contains innovative tips and strategies that are essential information for anybody considering an office move in a booming market like the Treasure Valley. Move Your Office is available in both hard copy and as a downloadable "e-book" at http://www.moveyouroffice.com.

Warner, one of only a handful of commercial real estate brokers who are women, is also available for media appearances as an expert on commercial real estate. She can speak engagingly and with authority on:

  •     Commercial real estate market conditions
  •     Effective office relocation strategies
  •     Commercial real estate brokerage services
  •     Office lease negotiation tactics

To book an interview or appearance with Karen Warner, please call FusionSet, Inc., 208/343.6225.

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DONNA GEISLER

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