Moving. You either love it or hate it. In the nonprofit world, it can mean a ton of hassle, and lengthy disruptions. I knew someone who had moved her organizations three times in two years due to changing lease terms, and she never wanted to go through that again.
A huge benefit to sharing space with other organizations is that there is someone to show you the way. The wi-fi and copier are already set up. Whether you own a large multi-tenant shared space or you are just renting out a corner of your office to a partner organization, here are a few things to think about.
- Set up an introduction to the space: Don’t just settle for pointing out their desk, take some time to give them a tour and point out what can be used when. From conference rooms to cleaning products, you can set your new roommates up for success.
- Go through the building norms. There are all kinds of different ways to work. Some people embrace the vibe and constant drone of coffee shop culture, while others are used to the silence of a library. As the SketchPad opened, they co-created their community norms by putting up flipchart paper with key questions like “What makes a good coworker?” “What are communal responsibilities we can share?”
- Make and share maps. If your partners are working with a commercial moving company, a map directing them to the specific space and storage areas in your building can be a great asset. It can also help cut down on damage to your building. At the Sobrato Centers for Nonprofits, they show movers exactly where they need to put down visqueen or Masonite to protect the floors and corners using a copy of their building floorplan.
- Share inside tips and service providers. If you have preferred handy-people, caterers, IT people or other vendors who are familiar with your space, let your new roommates know. This can be a huge time saver.
Make move-in day go as quickly as possible. Some of our members have this down to a science, so within hours, tenant partners are up and running again. Thanks to Irene Lehrer Sandalow of the Sketchpad in Chicago and Remy-Anne Viajar of the Sobrato Centers for Nonprofits in Silicon Valley for their input into this blog.