Office Relocation Planning Guide: Relocating High Tech Equipment

Office MovingAn office relocation is an extremely complex task, and no component of this process is more challenging than moving your high tech equipment. You can hire a specialty technology mover, but they can be expensive. For those companies that wish to manage this task in-house, we offer a checklist with some sound advice for the relocation of high-tech office equipment:

Planning

  • Request a detailed copy of the floor plan that includes proposed furniture orientation.
  •  Review final space plans, including electrical and furniture placement.
  •  If modular furniture is being used, run the network cabling before the furniture is installed.
  •  Determine PC and printer locations in the new space.
  •  Determine the location of fax machines in the new space.
  •  Identify personal printers on the floor plan.
  •  Identify analog lines on the floor plan.
  •  Determine jack locations (on the furniture plan) for voice and data.
  •  Obtain bids for wiring (once floor plan is approved).
  •  Check to see if the doorways, access hallways, ramps, and the elevator doors are wide enough to accommodate your moving equipment.

Organization

  • Establish move teams. For each team leader, establish a backup in case the original team leader is unavailable.
  •  Desktop team: Break down unused PCs and equipment and rebuild in the new location Or contact a computer relocation company like PC Disconnect.
  • Testing team: Visit each workstation after it’s assembled and verify that everything is operational.
  •  Printer team: Install and configure all printers.
  •  Backup team: Take responsibility for the data (perform backups).
  •  Network team: Build racks and configure switches and routers.
  •  Review space plans and jack locations for all equipment with team leaders.
  •  Create an outline for each team member and vendor, as needed.

 Labeling

  • If you use both analog and digital phone and network lines, make sure that everything is clearly labeled with an “A” for analog, “V” for digital phone lines, and “D” for network lines.
  •  All wiring should have permanent labels at both ends with information like room plate and jack numbers. Post a set of floor plans next to the patch panels with all of the room numbers and wall plate locations clearly identified.
  • Label computers, boxes, binders, switches, keyboards, mice, etc., with destination information like room numbers and office locations. The information should be detailed enough so that whoever is installing the items can place them without having to ask where they go. One idea is to use different colored labels for each major location at the new office. At the new location, place the appropriate colored labels on the doors, door frames, and cubicles. If the building has several floors or wings, put groups of labels at intersections, stairwells, and elevators, with arrows pointing the way.

 Cleaning

  •  Moving is a good time to give your computers, keyboards, and monitors a good cleaning. Just prior to or right after the move, open the computer cases and blow out all the dust with a reversible vacuum cleaner. Use a compressed air bottle for keyboards and a safe screen cleaner for the monitors.

Network Cabling and Wiring

  •  Schedule wiring according to the construction timeline for newly built structures
  • Identify the telephone and data cabling closet/room within the space.
  • Identify the server location on the floor plan.
  • Verify that the location of the server room is centralized to avoid the 100m Ethernet UTP length limit.
  •  Confirm minimum requirements for the server room, including room dimensions, electrical requirements (30 amp dedicated circuit), floor coverings, HVAC with alarm and separate thermostat, and dedicated space for tech equipment only.
  • Evaluate cost and lead time in providing additional electrical service in the new location.
  • Test all network and phone drops as soon as possible. This should be done before the arrival of any equipment.
  • Test all power outlets using a tester as well as plugging something in.
  •  Map the locations of the new desks-or new locations of existing desks-with your office manager(s) and use a mapping tool to estimate your cable sizes to avoid too-long or too-short cables.
  • Plan for extra wiring drops. Put at least two to four drops on every wall of an office space. Run four strands of Cat5/5E cabling to every wall and terminate with RJ45s in a wall plate. In the computer room, group the four strands that correspond to the four jacks on the wall plate and then punch everything down on Cat5/5E patch panels.
  • Be sure the backup batteries for phone switches and servers are all accounted for and installed according to schedule.
  • If you have an 800 number, make sure your vendor is aware and ready for the cutover date and time. Test the new phone line several days before the move, leaving some cushion time for problems. The more complex the routing programming is on your 800 numbers, the more time and testing you need.
  • Disconnect all leased lines, such as T1s, at the old location.
  • Review programming/routing on the voice mail system. You may need to make changes there.
  • Determine what type of Internet access is available at the new location. (Note: Lead time for a T1 line is often six to eight weeks.)
  • If you have to change your ISP, you must also plan to change the DNS resolution for your company’s Web addresses if you host it internally. If you change ISPs you’ll have a change of IP addresses, so you will have to register the change with the DNS registry companies and time it right so that service is interrupted as little as possible. If your server IP addresses are not updated with the new DNS information, then Web and e-mail servers will have problems.

 Equipment

  • Inventory existing equipment and hardware, including computers, monitors, printers, modems, servers, surge protectors, fax machines, data cables, network switches, copiers, firewalls, and the DMZ port.
  • Evaluate the need for new equipment.
  • Make a note of the lead time required for new orders to be filled.
  • Donate or make a plan to properly dispose of equipment that is going out of use.
  • Often, laptop users who disconnect their PCMCIA network cards will leave them behind. Be sure you have spares at the new office.
  • Review service calls for the past year and identify likely-to-fail parts. Have several of those parts on hand. Have spare cables and hard drives on hand.
  • Have a physical backup (bootable media) for all servers. Plan to transport the backup media separately from the truck moving the servers. It’s not a bad idea to have two copies in two separate cars.

Communications

  •  Identify key contacts at new and old locations.
  •  Prepare a list of contact names, phone numbers, pagers, e-mail addresses, and cell phone numbers and distribute the list to all responsible parties. The list should include property management contacts, local telephone company, long distance telephone company, local computer support vendor, local telephone system vendor, telephone/data cable vendor, shipping representative, and Web site Webmaster. Store a printed copy in a safe, easily accessed location, like your car.
  • Ensure that the local staff contact will be onsite for deliveries or vendor access to the space prior to office opening.
  • Establish and inventory every telephone number to be moved.
  • Schedule a meeting with the local telephone vendor.
  • Schedule disconnects or additions of phone lines.
  • Transfer any ISDN lines.
  • Make sure that there are at least three analog lines available in the office on the day of the move.
  • Schedule activation time for new site.
  • Reconfirm move date with all vendors one month prior to move.
  • Have a team meeting to confirm roles and responsibilities.
  • Update all pertinent information with your company’s backup alarm system, office security systems, etc.
  • Remind users to back up their own files onto the network or disks before the move.
  • If any reconfiguration is necessary at the new site, script all steps whenever possible. Test the steps before the move. In writing this list, assume that end users will be doing the changes and make the script foolproof.
  • Script the shutdown steps of all equipment.
  • Check to see that service contracts on fax machines, PCs, servers, copiers, etc., are not voided if someone other than the contractor moves the equipment or preps the equipment for moving.

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2 Great Milwaukee Office Space Designs

Have you ever been in an office that you thought was incredibly well-designed with amazing features you wish you could have in yours? The truth is, it took some serious effort to get that office to look the way it does. A great office space design doesn’t just happen on its own. It requires a great deal of thought and planning to get it to come out just right. We’ll help you out with some awesome ideas and tell you about some great Milwaukee office space designs.

Corporate Image

Harely DavidsonA great office space begins with the image that your company portrays. An awesome example is the Harley-Davidson corporate offices in Milwaukee. Harley’s are all about chrome, leather and steel and those same elements permeate their space. They even use full-size motorcycles, strategically placed throughout the office as decorative elements and they’re even used as furniture. Motorcycle engines hanging on the wall and vintage memorabilia keep the theme from the lobby to personal office spaces. Perhaps most importantly, the Harley-Davidson logo is everywhere, on furniture, walls and even laptops.

You may not be a world-renowned brand like Harley-Davidson, but you can certainly take cues from them. Your company name and logo should be prevalent on the exterior of your building, so visitors know they’re in the right place. If you manufacture a product, highlight it by creating interesting displays of past and current versions. For service related businesses, show off the equipment you’ve used through the years. Keep your logo and color-scheme consistent and incorporate them everywhere.

Teamwork & Creativity

Tech companies like Corvisa Services rely heavily on employee collaboration to create innovative products. It’s no surprise then, that their offices are fun, exciting and full of color. Amenities such as a coffee bar and hanging chairs draw employees away from their desks for a change of scenery. Meeting places scattered throughout the building allow team members to work together on projects in a relaxing space. Nerf wars, foosball games and huge screen TV’s for gaming all work together to keep the energy levels up. The idea behind their office design is clear, to create a fun, creative space that encourages staff to work together to solve problems.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you own, teamwork and a creative workplace are keys to happy employees. Giving them the opportunity to get up out of their chairs, away from their desks will help them get more done during the day. Playing a game, laughing with colleagues, or even taking a nap are all great stress relievers too. Although you may not be keen on seeing your employees play, it’s been proven by Corsiva and others that it works. Consider creating flexible work stations, get-away rooms and fun activities that employees can access when they need to.

These are just two examples of great office spaces that can be found in Milwaukee. Although each one is completely different, the do have one thing in common, they’re perfectly suited to the company. Keep these designs in mind as you decide what to do with your office’s interior design. Want more information about Milwaukee offices? Please, contact us. We know of some great Milwaukee office spaces that you can make your own.

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4 considerations in Leasing Medical Office Space in Non-Medical Offices

999 Peachtree Atlanta Offixe spaceIf you’re running a medical practice and decide for some reasons to relocate to a non-medical office building, then there are a few things that you and your landlord will need to clarify. This article discusses what you should consider before leasing medical office space.

The medical practice industry is changing

Over the past few years, there has been an ongoing trend in the medical practice industry with more and more physicians renting large traditional office space to open their practice. Although this move started out slow, partly due to the complexities of lease agreements, it’s becoming increasingly popular.

Safety & regulation concerns

One of the main problems that you’ll meet when leasing non-medical space is to satisfy the safety and regulatory standards outlined by your state of practice. For example, you will need to model the office space so that it doesn’t pose any safety risks to incoming patients.

Should you make any structural modifications?

When negotiating on the terms of your lease contract, you should ask the landlord about the possibility of changing the structure of the space. Depending on your area of specialization, you might have to perform surgeries on patients transported by ambulance services. Similarly, if you’re planning to offer late-night consultations, you should first consider the location of your medical practice especially if the unit is in a multi-story apartment or condo  building.

Long-term lease contracts are more practical

As you might know, the overall cost of medical equipment is very high. This is because such equipment features the latest technology and needs frequent maintenance. Signing up for a short-term lease contract doesn’t make much sense in this type of situation since you’ll likely still be making payments towards your medical equipment by the time your lease has expired, which is why long-term contracts should be the way to go.

Make sure you take all these factors into consideration before signing your lease contract. Please contact us for more information about medical office space.

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Using Colors to Create a Feng Shui Office

Color PalletBefore you move into a new office space, deciding what colors to use for walls, furniture and accessories is important. Although it’s easiest to do, stark white walls and minimal decorating create a cold, institutional atmosphere. Instead, create a feng shui office to create a calm, welcoming environment that helps employees, clients or patients relax and feel comfortable.  Here are some ideas for colors that will make your office space feel less institutional and more welcoming.

Greens

Green represents the wood element in feng shui. It is a healing color and it represents renewal, growth and fresh, new energy. Using pale green paint on walls in the waiting room is a good idea. If you’d rather keep the walls a neutral color, bring in green elements such as furniture and window treatments. However, the easiest way to bring green into your office is with plants. Plants also create a warm, home-like environment that puts patients at ease and they also help purify the air.

Pinks

In feng shui, pink is representative of the fire element. It is a good way to bring a soothing energy into any room. A very pale pink paint color on examining room walls or restrooms is a simple, yet effective way to incorporate this element. Other ways this to do this is by adding artwork, flowers and other simple accessories with a pink tone to them. You don’t have to overwhelm the space with pink to take advantage of its soothing effect.

Purples

Purple represents the fire element in feng shui. It’s a high vibration color that improves the mood and energy level of those that encounter it. For this reason, it’s wise to limit the use of purple to lighter tones and only use it in moderation. The best way to do this is to choose artwork, accent pillows and smaller accessories that have elements of purple in them.

Yellows

In feng shui, yellow is the Earth element, representing sunshine. It’s a cheery color that increases self-esteem, improves health and give an overall sense of well-being. If your office is on the dark side, consider light yellow walls to brighten the space with a warm, sunny feeling. Another simple trick is to add a vase of artificial yellow flowers on a waiting room table.

Whites

In feng shui, the color white is the metal element and it represents purity, innocence and cleanliness. The crisp, fresh feeling it can bring into a room are perfect for a medical office, but should not be the main color. Use pure white as an accent color around door frames, windows and accessories such as window coverings and accent pieces.

Blues

It’s no surprise that blue represents the water element of feng shui. Associated with the blue sky and clear, refreshing waters, it’s a calming color. An easy way to bring blue into your décor is by adding artwork that depicts ocean waves on a beach or a serene lake scene. Blue carpeting, accent pillows and window dressings with blue elements are other ideas. A small fish tank is another simple, yet effective way to bring the water element into your office.

If you’re planning on moving to a new office space, either conventional, executive suite or medical office space, in the near future, contact us. Our experts understand how important the right office can be. We’ll be happy to help you find the perfect location and offer some more great decorating ideas.

Article: How To Apply Feng Shui in Your Office

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New Trends in Medical Offices

In a recent issue of Building Design + Construction magazine, senior editor Julie Higgenbotham outlined several ways that future medical offices will differ from typical medical offices of the 20th century. According to the article, the development model is shifting toward a leaner, greener and more digital medical facility. Architects and designers are eschewing typical cookie-cutter outpatient facilities in favor of medical complexes where patients can receive a continuum of care.

Modern medical offices will be more than a waiting room connected to a series of corridors and examination rooms. From now on, medical office space will be more collegial and diverse. Physicians of multiple disciplines will share expansive spaces where patients can access urgent care, primary care, specialty clinics, social services, medical advocates, a lab and a pharmacy all at one conveniently located facility.

Brad Cardoso, AIA, Senior Healthcare Architect at Margulies Perruzzi Architects, had this to say about the trend toward more complex medical facilities:

“Market analysis and community demand are factors that drive the services offered within an outpatient center. Often, care can be more efficiently provided by co-locating diagnostic services with primary care and specialty groups.”

Well said, Brad. We completely agree. Another new feature that’s sure to become more common to future medical office spaces is something called a shared medical appointment, or SMA. Held in a comfortable conference room, several patients can receive information and instructions from a specialist at once. In cases where the same information is presented to every patient, a shared appointment saves time and energy. After an informative Q&A session, patients who require individual evaluation can move to exam rooms while the remainder of the patients are free to leave the facility.

SMAs have been in existence albeit on a very small scale, for at least ten years. Now that the Affordable Care Act is in place, and more Americans have medical insurance, the trend toward more efficient doctor-patient visits will continue. Shared medical appointments are sure to be part of that new efficiency and convenience. When several patients with chronic conditions are seen together, the patients get more time with the doctor and the doctor makes more money. Designing at least one SMA conference room into new medical space makes perfect sense.

If you’d like to know how to rent medical office space for your private or shared practice, contact us. We are OfficeFinder Information and Referral Network, and we look forward to hearing from you.

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