They are piled up. They are stuffed in drawers. They are collecting dust in an “out” bin. One of the least favorite administrative tasks is filing but imagine the massive piles of paper and manila folders that need to be safely transitioned to a new office space during a relocation.
There are many things to consider before dragging those heavy filing cabinets across town. Think about the files you need regularly; do you have space for them? Or is it time to call in a document company to shred the excess files so you won’t have to worry about them being moved to your new space?
The first thing to do is consider your options for file retention. Young offices that are relocating may not even need to think about file retention or shredding documents. Offices are required to keep accident reports and injury claims for approximately seven years. Simple things like pay records must be kept for at least four years. Always check your local regulations on private legal documents for the file retention rules. If you are in the medical field, you will need to keep patients’ files that have not been transferred to another physician for seven years after the last visit. Different types of information have different file retention dates so carefully research before calling a document company.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to waste valuable office space on files no one needs, consider off-site storage. It is recommended that you try this out early in the relocation process. This way if you find the off-site storage does not work for your company, you can still include moving them to your new office space during the office relocation. Off-site storage is a minimal cost based on the number of boxes and your file retention space needs.
If you end up bringing everything with you, make sure you gather all the “loose” files and properly pack them during the office relocation. This will ensure they do not get mixed up with other materials. Having all files in one location prior to the move will keep your files organized. When moving the files, make sure you have the same amount of office storage space, if not more, in the new location. One office we spoke with purchased all new filing cabinets for their new office space, but once the files came to the new location the company quickly noticed there was not enough space. Sometimes this issue can be resolved with the rush order of a single cabinet, but it could also alter the comfort of the office plan that you have meticulously planned for months.
Last, make sure to keep your file retention system organized or put them out of sight and out of mind. This minor detail often gets overlooked in many office relocations. To keep your office relocation organized don’t just file this tip away!