11 April 2013

Planning an office move: advice from the experts

Advice on planning an office move and why it may be better to call in the experts, from Andrew Porter Limited, business relocation service specialists.

Our official removals partner is Andrew Porter Limited, who provide full business relocation services, whether they are moving into one of our business centres, moving to a larger workspace within a centre or expanding into a secondary location. They can also provide office setup and fit-out services, sourcing cost-effective furniture and equipment for your workspace.

Here, the firm’s national accounts manager, John Best, discusses why it is important to call the experts in when planning any type of workplace move or reworking of space.

Investing in expertise

Many companies are understandably looking to make savings in the current economic climate and I have heard numerous examples of businesses asking their staff to move furniture and equipment during a business relocation. This is even more common when a company is relocating to a different space within the same building or complex, rather than to a whole new premises.

The reason given for doing this is always the same: to save money. But what many businesses overlook is that this ‘money-saving’ exercise could actually end up costing them dearly, for numerous reasons.

Health and safety in the workplace

  • We hear the phrase time and again, but so many companies still do not appreciate the full implications of health and safety in the workplace. Managers need to be very careful about asking employees to move furniture and other heavy items, because under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 all employees engaged with moving heavy items need to have professional training in manual handling.
  • Full risk assessments need to be carried out before an office move. A professional team can do this quickly, with the minimum amount of disruption to you.
  • Injuries to employees resulting from conducting this type of work without formal training can lead to litigation, and even legal action, by bodies such as the Health & Safety Executive.
  • Taking shortcuts by using employees who then injure themselves means you lose work days, which results in a financial loss for the company and over-burdened staff covering for their colleagues.
  • Injured employees may also be able to claim for compensation from your company – and a successful claim can lead to an increase in insurance premiums.
  • It is possible that a member of the public, or a member of staff at a different company within the business centre, could become injured. This is even more likely if your move involves carrying heavy items up or down stairs.  This is another scenario which could leave you open to compensation claims.

Business insurance

  • What would happen if a member of staff dropped an expensive piece of furniture or equipment and it broke?  In the short term your business may be put out by being short of a chair or telephone – or worse, may have lost some vital computer data.  But in the longer term you may find your insurance company will not cover damage caused in this way, leaving you with an expensive bill.
  • During a move it is easy for a business centre itself to suffer damage, particularly to areas such as lifts and stairways, at the hands of untrained staff.  Again, such damaged caused by your employees may result in you being liable to pay for the repairs.  At Andrew Porter Limited we carry professional protection equipment to ensure the fabric of commercial premises is kept safe during relocation.

The solution

  • Andrew Porter Limited provides nationwide coverage to all Bizspace business centres and gives a Bizspace customer discount.
  • We can provide two-man crews for on-site relocation, or a full service provision with professionally trained crews for larger works.
  • We use specialist equipment and vehicles and will specify the required level of insurance cover to protect your goods.
  • Our crews are vetted to standards higher than a CRB check, so you can be confident to allow them to handle sensitive data or work with lone members of staff at your commercial premises.
  • We are celebrating our 40th year in business in 2013, so you can be assured that we are a long-standing, reputable firm with the skills and knowledge to handle any of your business relocation needs.

Contact Andrew Porter Limited for more information or a quote on 0800 389 1222 or email [email protected].