Most businesses, especially when they are starting small and expanding, will undergo an office relocation at some point. However, most companies will not find themselves in the position that Foursquare was in after Hurricane Sandy struck the East coast – forced to relocate almost overnight. The company moved from its 56,000 square-foot office in Soho to a temporary 16,000 square-foot space provided by a company called Quest Workspaces and continued work with relatively little interruption. In fact, it released two products during its stay at the emergency office before returning to its permanent location.
The secret to this feat of survival (many larger companies were affected much more seriously by the storm) was Foursquare’s size and flexibility as a startup. Let us take a look at the considerations a company must make when relocating – in emergency situations or othewise – and examine why it pays to be lean:
- A company must make sure it can access its most important IT infrastructure. Moves of on-premise hardware can be a challenge: server racks, for instance, are not trivial to relocate and often must be disconnected, configured, and tested after the move.
- Office equipment and assets must all be accounted for. This will likely mean a good amount of downtime spent performing physical inventory.
- Facilities management may have to make sure it can easily transfer information about personnel access to the new location, if security concerns exist.
- Phone infrastructure is crucial. Traditional PSTN lines are difficult to account for in relocation situations. Fortunately, hosted VoIP telephony solutions are readily available and allow a business to pick up its phone system from any location with relatively little effort. This is especially crucial for any business in which the core revenue stream involves a customer contact center.