How do you move a remote worker office?

I’m moving house tomorrow.

Normally this wouldn’t be relevant to a work blog, but when your office is in your house then then unfortunately it is. In the past moving has been a fairly positive thing for me: travelling the world, exciting new areas, a bigger house, nearer to x, y & z. However here are two issues that aren’t making it so great this time. 1) I’m now a real adult with a real family in tow. 2) Unfortunately we have sold our house (I shouldn’t be complaining about that in this property market) and we haven’t found anywhere to go – mainly because my husband’s newish job sits right in the middle of one of the priciest areas in the country! So we’re moving to a rental property, a perfectly nice but much smaller rental property. When I say small what I mean is tiny. Not necessarily tiny for everyone but tiny for us: a 5 person family who find it hard to throw stuff away. I mean you never know when stuff might come in handy!? I keep having nightmares about us not being able to shut the front door. Anyway that’s all irrelevant here, the main question for this blog is How do you move a remote worker office?

Time

The first issue that becomes apparent is on whose time do I do it? Moving office would normally take place in work time but my office is in my home, and not all the contents are work related. I don’t have the answer to this but my current estimations are that I’m doing this 75% in my own time (after hours and lunch breaks) and 25% in work time – not sure if this blog post counts.

One of the problems with not doing it in work time is that sorting out piles of papers invariably leads to me doing work. I tend to have the PC on while I’m sorting (usually so I can listen to the radio) and what happens is I file something which then leads to me writing some notes or sending an email, which then leads to me doing some work. I’m getting distracted by work!

Cost

Naturally I am paying for the cost of moving but there are still a few fuzzy areas. What about changing broadband provider? what about any line connection costs? I’m sure there are more that will come up.

There is also the issue of broadband. What if we end up in a notspot rather than a hotspot. The more rural we go the more likely this is to happen. Our rental property is on the outskirts of the town we live in and BT have told us that broadband is likely to be 4 Mbps rather than the 6-8 Mbps we are currently used to.

Work

Can I just carry on as normal while we move? I work part-time so am off the day of the move but I intend to work the day after. Some messing up by BT (them, not us, honest!!) means we won’t have broadband till the saturday (fingers crossed on that one!) so I’m Internet connectionless for a day. I’m planning to work at my parents house for the day, but a lot of people won’t have this option. It’s also going to take me time to set up my PC and find all my bits and pieces. I know I’ll be saying “where did I put that *** again?” for weeks.

As I mentioned earlier we are going to have a serious space issue at our rental property. This is making me pretty ruthless with ‘stuff’. I have spent weeks freecycling half of our belongings and I am being equally merciless on paper copies of work materials. I keep wondering if there are there some preservation issues here? Is it all available online? Will work need any of it back? What about equipment? I’ll probably just bung all that in a big box because I haven’t really got the time to sort it all out.

Conclusions

It’s back to those blurred boundaries again, and as is the case with many remote worker issues you just have to get on with it as there are no guidelines out there for you. I’ll let you know how the move went once we are settled in our rental place. I’m not too sure what my new office will be like, it may well be just a lap top on the kitchen table!

One last thing, I can honestly say that I never want to move again, though we are likely to be doing it again in the next 6 months when we find somewhere to buy (fingers crossed). Once I’m in my final destination I intend to hoard so much stuff that it makes it impossible for us to even contemplate such a thing. Hmmm, I have a feeling I said this last time….

2 thoughts on “How do you move a remote worker office?

  1. I feel for you ;( I would say don’t have high expectations about BT connection times – it took 10 days when we moved at the end of 2009, in which time I camped out in two different friends (who work from home, or who’s houses are empty in the day) houses in order to work – lucky me to have such lovely friends. But my fingers are crossed for you🙂

    And I agree totally about whose time, cost etc – it ate massively into my working week as when I don’t work I have two small children (at that time two under 3’s) to look after – so moving logistics also got loaded into “work” time, as I was the person who was there to do things.

    Hope it goes well!

  2. Thanks Caroline – the fact that you survived has inspired me!😉

    My main concern is getting it all packed up before the removal people turn up at 9 tomorrow! Visions of me stuffing it all into carrier bags!

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