Let’s start with this: what many people around the country call winter is balmy, almost tropical compared to what happens in and around St. Louis from about Thanksgiving to late March. In fact, it’s not uncommon to be scraping off ice and shovelling snow into April (although this hasn’t stopped the fine folks at Riverfront Times from finding 20 reasons to love winter in St. Louis).
However, many businesses can’t put their office relocation plans on hold just because “the weather outside is frightful”. Take it from us: we’ve been around for more than three decades, and business moves happen throughout the year – even in the dead of winter. We’ve even moved several businesses during snowstorms!
Of course, just like relocating in the spring, summer or fall, a successful winter business move takes careful planning and the right strategic approach. To help point you in that direction, here are 5 tips to keep in mind:
1. Clear traffic areas and pathways of ice and snow.
Snow and ice are a hazard under normal circumstances. However, during a business move they can lead to everything from severe injuries to damaged items. It’s essential that all traffic areas and pathways are clear of ice and snow.
While your property manager should do this for you as part of your rental or lease agreement, you may need to hire a private contractor – or if it’s safe to do so, handle the clean-up yourself – so that they aren’t any delays when your movers arrive.
2. Hope for the best – but plan for the worst.
With all due respect to meteorologists: winter weather in and around St. Louis can change quickly; and by that we mean it can change for the worse! In a proverbial blink of an eye, an ordinary cold, clear day can turn into an ice storm, snow storm, wind tunnel – take your pick!
As a result, while it’s important to have a realistic schedule and moving plan in place, be prepared to go to the back-up plan – or the back-up plan’s back-up plan – if Mother Nature is in a bad mood and decides to get involved, and your office relocation takes longer than projected under (incorrectly!) forecasted winter conditions.
3. Watch out for frostbite!
Even the most efficient and professional business move will take several hours – and for some of your employees (i.e. team leaders or coordinators who are working with your moving team), this could mean that they spend a significant amount of time outside. It’s vital that all such employees take precautions to avoid frostbite and other weather-related hazards. For example, they may need to be outfitted with industrial-grade weather gear, supplied with hand and foot warmers, or reminded to limit their exposure by going back indoors every few minutes.
4. Give employees extra time to get to the new office and unpack.
You’re likely counting on employees to arrive early at your new location, so they can unpack their office supplies and setup their workstations. However, the winter weather may slow this process down. For example, there may be fewer parking spaces if side streets need to be cleared of snow, or if certain parking spaces aren’t available during winter months to make room for snowplows. Give your employees enough time, which is good for them – and for you!
5. Call the Precision team!
And last but not least: the smartest winter business move tip we know is to give the Precision team a call! As noted above, we’ve moved thousands of businesses over the past 30+ years, and many of those were in winter. We’ll help you plan your office relocation, advise your staff, and ensure that you’ll enjoy a successful experience – no matter what cranky Old Man Winter or moody Mother Nature have in store!
For more information about the ultimate checklist for moving your office, download our FREE eBook: