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Simon Lewsley

ICU IT Office

New office on the horizon – part 5

By | Blog, Business, Case Study, Office Move | No Comments

We Are Moving – For Real This Time!

Our Office Move is Back On Track!

If you’ve ever moved to a new house, you know that there is a completion process and an exchange date. Luckily with a business move the worry of not knowing if you can move on that day is removed (and no one has to sleep in a removal van or at their parents!).

 

Don’t Neglect Legal Advice

Due to the change in our office move circumstances, at the last minute we arrange to have an impartial solicitor to swear a statutory declaration. Fortunately, we have a few solicitors as clients and one of them happily helped out with this process.

We also learned something fun during this process. Apparently, it is an old solicitor’s tradition that you pay your solicitor £5 and cross their palm with silver. Luckily, we had enough change to hand & were able to keep the tradition alive! Don’t forget to bring change to your solicitor when it is your turn for an office move!

 

Signing the Lease

When we were signing the lease, we had our solicitor tell us all the areas in the paperwork which needed to concern us. Fortunately, we had already seen most of these and addressed any concerns, so we were happy to go ahead and sign the lease.

There were a couple of snags that had been found, although they were relatively small and the financial exposure if these had been missed would have been minor. This is why is it so important understand what you are signing up to in the lease.

 

After You Sign Your Lease

The first thing that we organised after we signed our lease was to organise a move in date. Then we were ready to contact any parties who were interested in our move (customers, insurance & utility companies etc.).

We had our internet company and electrical cabling contact on site the following working day, organising the routes that cables can follow and configuring the network for our use. Our internet is due to go live a few days before our move in date, although we do have a Plan B in the form of 4G in place just in case there are any issues.

 

Our Office Move

Now that we have our office move date and our plans are in place, we cannot wait to get moving! We are looking forward to getting settled and working in a space that makes our business work even more efficiently. Watch this space for our updates on the office and don’t forget that if you need any help or advice, we are happy to pass on what we’ve learned!

 

 

ICU IT Office

New office on the horizon – part 4

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What To Do When Your Office Move Falls Through?

When Your Office Move Doesn’t Work Out

 As with anything in business, sometimes the best laid plans can go awry. It is important to stay positive and act quickly to assess what steps could have been missed and adjust your plans. Often office moves don’t work out through no fault of your own and it may not be in your power to fix them.

 

Why Our Office Move Fell Through

 Unfortunately, at the eleventh hour of our office move, we had to step away from the deal. We couldn’t agree terms with our potential landlord and there seemed to be a mismatch in fluidness of those involved in the potential future relationship. We made the decision to step away rather than enter into a deal in which we would be unhappy.

 

The First Steps to Take When Your Office Move Falls Through

It is important that you remain calm and make no knee jerk decisions at this time. The first thing that you should do is to speak to your current landlord to ask if you may stay in your offices for longer. If this isn’t possible, you should seek short term office space, there are many companies who provide this service.

You should have allowed for contingencies in your office move budget, although you may now end up with abortive costs from suppliers such as solicitors. You need to ensure that you include any costs from the fall through, such as the short-term office rental (if necessary) and work out if these costs can be absorbed in your budget.

You should ensure that you notify any interested parties that your move will not be going ahead. These can include insurance and utility companies, particularly if you have installation dates booked in.

 

Speak to Your Estate Agent

 You should speak to your Agent as soon as possible to see what other, if any, long term office space options are available. We spoke with the Agent who we used to find the office space that had fallen through. Despite there being a lack of business properties becoming available due to economic uncertainty in the UK, she was able to find a range of options for us to consider.

 

Re-Adjust Your Office Move Plan

You may need to readjust your budget to consider any costs that your business has incurred due to the unsuccessful office move. We ran our numbers for each of the potential options and decided upon one that fit our business needs and budget the best.

 

Communicating With Your New Landlord

Considering our experience with the unsuccessful move, we felt that we had gained more experience and used this as a positive in our dealings with the new Landlord. We felt that we had a lot more synergy with the new Landlord.

 

Use Your Experience as a Learning Curve & Stay Positive

Maintaining a positive outlook when things go wrong is something that is important to ICU IT. This attitude certainly helped at a time when it could have been easy to panic. Just remember that the old saying “sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together” is absolutely true!

 

Simon Lewsley At Desk

IT jobs taking up staff time? Get an IT professional

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Often IT is seen as a black hole for costs with no tangible direct benefit to the business, more a necessary evil than a key tool of business! To help with these costs, often certain roles will be assigned to an admin person or often someone who knows a little about computers at home. These people generally don’t have an interest or experience in IT, but because they are salaried, the cost of them doing the IT work is hidden. Not only this but people are generally employed with a specific role, if the accounts manager is setting up a new user, which accounts jobs are not being done as a result?

 

Getting an IT professional to complete these tasks is more efficient and will ensure compliance for your IT systems. Although human error exists, it’s less likely to happen with someone who is frequently completing these required actions. It will only take a setup being done incorrectly to grind the network to a halt. The cost for this downtime is usually not calculated and it will only take one to justify the cost of an IT professional.

 

Contact us if you want to have a chat about freeing up your staff today.

Five people working at a desk on laptops

It pays to know your backup position and disaster recovery plan!

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In most organisations, the backups of the IT system are often handled by an administrator who will often change a tape or storage device. This is often done in a well scheduled manner and without fail. Because the tape is changed, that means you’re protected right? Wrong! What if your backups go into the cloud, does it means it’s someone else’s responsibility? No!

Who actually has responsibility for the backups? Who has visibility of the backups? If the answer is ‘no one’ or ‘we don’t know’ then you may be at risk!

As a decision maker, you may ultimately be responsible for the backups completing, and aside from this, they should form part of your disaster recovery plan. These plans don’t have to be expensive, and can be more a proactive set of processes of how to deal with minimal or no system access. At the very least, ensure your backups have test restores completed so you are sure they will work if and when you need them.

Speak to us before it’s too late!

Image of staff working

Do your staff know what they are doing?

By | Blog, Business, Productivity | No Comments

Everyone can benefit from a few tips to help on those repeatable tasks, but do people always say when they don’t understand? They don’t always do this, and they may be taking long winded approached to formatting a 50 page document taking up hours to complete and may include human errors, when a function like ‘format painter’ would do the same job in seconds. Investing in training may have some initial costs associated to it, but the longer term picture should show improvements to staff efficiency.

Contact us if you want to have a chat about helping your staff with IT training.

Business Process documents on a wall

Are business processes longwinded or system speed affecting your staff performance?

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We all have systems that we moan about and wish they would do X, Y and Z, and sometimes the requests just aren’t feasible. But long winded processes and slow computer systems can be soul destroying to an employee who just wants to get on with things. Slow computer start up may give time for a coffee making session before starting with work, but slow performance over the day can have drastic effects on the morale and output produced. Every so often, the task of asking your staff how their machine is performing could pay dividends when it comes to helping productivity. Business processes should also be reviewed regularly, just because something worked 10 years ago, doesn’t mean it can’t be streamlined for the technology advances which have occurred over the last decade.

Contact us if you want to have a chat about improving performance.

Image of an empty office

Do your staff have the flexibility or access they need to finish jobs after the office closes?

By | Blog, Business, Productivity | No Comments

Monday to Friday 9 till 5 isn’t always the normal hours of work in today’s business world. Flexi time is often available to staff along with obstacles that may prevent a staff member from coming to the office, or just not having enough hours in the day. To help assist staff, it pays to make sure they have the resources to have a flexible approach to working outside of business hours. This may be in the form of anything from remote access to email, to a complete remote desktop services solution. These two ends of scale can provide the ability to simply catch up on emails to being able to access all their systems from the comfort of a sofa at home or a hotel room. You may event want to consider a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) policy to enable staff with suitable devices not company supplied to be able access company IT resources.

Contact us if you want to have a chat about making the most with IT and flexible working.