Company relocations for large businesses often look a lot different than small business moves. Large moves come with large fleets of moving vans and large movers to handle everything. Small business moves often come with employees exchanging their time to help move for a couple of pizzas. Small furniture gets packed away into small boxes, and moved onto small U-Hauls.
What a small business lacks in wallet-size, however, it more than makes up for in heart. Employees are likely to be willing to help make the move easier, especially if you’re going to a nicer location or are offering up some pizza and beer. With a little incentivizing, you can make even the least dedicated 9-to-5-er help out.
But — what’s the best way to utilize employee help? Following are four areas where they’ll be able to pitch in.
You likely have just as many office chairs as you have employees, and they’ll all need to be disassembled for the move. Treat it like an exercise class — have one employee stand at the front of the room and demonstrate each step while employees follow along. You’ll want to distribute tool kits packed with screwdrivers, hammers, wrenches and small, labeled bags for screws. After the chair demonstration, employees can move on to group sessions where they disassemble desks, shelving and more.
Some employees will have a knack for judging how heavy to make a box and how to fit the most into it. Packing superstars can give short demonstrations and have everyone else follow suit. Put each employee in charge of packing up their own area and one common area, like a single kitchen cabinet. This will let everyone contribute to packing without feeling overwhelmed by it. You may have volunteers keep packing any remaining items while others start cleaning.
Cleaning isn’t fun, but it’s a necessary part of any move. Employees can each be put into groups and assigned a spot. Some can work on cleaning the walls, others the windows, still more can do floors or baseboards. Post-move cleaning doesn’t have to be 100 percent thorough, but it shows courtesy to your landlord and saves them time later. If you had to pay a deposit, it could also mean the difference between getting that money back and having to pay even more. If there’s a cleaning fee already attached to your lease, skip the actual cleaning and just tidy up.
Packing the truck
You may decide to hire actual movers to do the packing. The risk for injury is somewhat high, especially if employees are unfamiliar with carrying heavy loads or putting things on a truck. Some other options are to hire college students, hire professionals or hire your own friends. You still have legal responsibilities should any of these movers become injured, but there will be far less implications down the road than if one of your own employees sustained an injury in the move.
Moving doesn’t have to be complicated, and you don’t have to handle it alone. Your employees want your business to succeed, and they’ll likely be willing to help with the moving process. Just order some takeout and you’ll have as many helpers as you need.