A little over a year ago, the Managed by Q headquarters team moved across Manhattan, into a new building in Soho. Our future headquarters on the 11th floor was just a slab of concrete at the time, so we moved into a temporary space on the 2nd floor while we waited for our new office to be built out.
This past weekend, we finally made the move up from the 2nd floor to the 11th floor. Having handled dozens of cross-town office moves for our clients, we’re excited to share the process we went through for our own.
Layna Germino, Office Manager at Q, has been working nonstop since she joined the team at the beginning of the year to get both our new and temporary space ready for the move. Layna shared how she planned for and oversaw our much-anticipated office move.
Was this your first office move?
When I joined Q I knew there was an office move coming up, but I’d never taken one on before. In my previous role as Office Operations Associate at ZocDoc, we had offices on four different floors, so I’d done a lot of moving desks between floors. But I had never tackled a whole move — let alone a gut renovation of an entire floor.
What stages did you go through to prepare for the move?
When I arrived at Q, about 80% of the planning stages were complete. I first caught up on the vision for the space, the key players for the move, and what decisions had been made. Q’s former office manager passed me all the information she had, and then I met with our architects and designer to learn more about the plans.
Next I needed to get everything in place so that the move was actually possible. I got to do the fun parts like picking out furniture, planning seating, and figuring out storage. The hardest part of the move was making sure the actual space was ready to use: the bathrooms, electrical inspection, plumbing, and HVAC system. The non-glamorous elements of the space were the most crucial.
I worked to stay extremely organized, delegating tasks to the to the correct people and staying on top of all the moving parts. I also made sure I was as optimistic as possible and kept a positive attitude throughout.
What unanticipated challenges have come up and how did you handle them?
Our move date got pushed several times because our bathrooms weren’t ready, which we definitely couldn’t move in without. The most important thing for me was not to panic when issues or delays came up, and to evaluate each change and come up with a plan.
Throughout the process I worked to be as transparent as possible with the team about when we were going to move and any setbacks we encountered along the way. I said, “We’re doing our best to get you in there, this is our goal date, but we’ll have to see what happens.” When we finally had a move-in date, I let everyone know as soon as I could and gave them a rundown on how the move would work. No matter what, I communicated as much as I could.
What did you take care of in advance and what did you handle day of?
I was able to order and move most of our furniture into the space in advance, since we were taking only about 25% of our existing furniture with us — we had a lot of used furniture that we inherited from the previous tenant on the 2nd floor that we had always planned on replacing.
While I tried to move as much as I could into the new office in advance, we’re a 24-hour business. It’s impossible to take our operations offline, so I needed to find a way to move us while keeping disruptions to a minimum and our business up and running in the space everyone was working in. For example, we have Operators coming in and picking up keys and supplies around the clock, so they still need to have access while we move.
I worked with different teams to understand their operational needs, and we modified our original plan based on their feedback to ensure everything would keep running smoothly.
Did you use Q to help orchestrate the move?
Yes, we didn’t use an outside moving company — the move was done using Q Services. I scheduled Q Helpers to move items into the new office and Q Maintenance Operators to set up furniture, install appliances, and mount whiteboards and televisions.
I also relied on our office team to help out with the move. At Q, everyone is an Operator, so each employee in our New York office packed and moved their own desk.
How did you handle planning a move while Q’s headcount kept growing?
We had to adjust the original seating plan because we’ve grown so rapidly. In the past three weeks alone, twenty people have joined our New York office team. We added a section of desks and a second seating area that we hadn’t planned for, but everyone was really flexible and we figured out a way to make it work.
Now that you’ve successfully completed your first office move, what advice do you have for other office managers who may have a move in their future?
Be ready for a lot of bumps in the road, and know that things will not go as you expect. Embrace that uncertainty and don’t let it get you down. If things don’t go the way you originally planned, you have a chance to make them even better. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and if you work hard to get there it will pay off.
If you have an office move coming up, download our free guide, Office Moves Made Easy, for a 6-month checklist and step-by-step instructions on how to plan your move.