If you are about to or in the process of relocating your office, chances are things are going well and that it means your business is growing. Congratulations! Moving your office is a great opportunity to continue that growth and to inspire your employees.
Relocating an office can be a stressful task. You have to keep business as usual while organizing and coordinating plans for your new location.
Depending on your relocation, it may entail your employees deciding whether or not to relocate to follow the company. For some, it may not mean a personal move but a longer commute. Others simply don’t like change and will have trouble adapting to a new working environment; especially if they’ve been in the same location for a long time.
To maintain the success of your business you need to properly brace your employees for an office relocation. Your investment in the way they feel will let your team know that you respect them, value them and help you retain as many as you can during this chaotic time.
This article delves into how you can prepare your workforce, the right way, for an office move.
What to Consider
Create a Moving Timeline
The anxiety of an office move is compounded by the responsibilities of your normal business. Your employees have things to do and deadlines to meet so when you are creating a timeline for your office move, be sure to factor in important business events and due dates like recurring supplier deliveries or major client projects.
Forming a well-thought-out timeline will also give you time (or the movers) to come in and pack and load everything. Of course, the most definitive aspect of your office move will be when the actual building lease expires so that would be a good place to start when creating a moving timeline.
Talk to your Employees
First of all, you should notify your workforce as soon as possible regarding a relocation. This will give them time to process and prepare. You don’t want there to be too much water-cooler chatter before you properly inform your employees otherwise employees will feel left in the dark.
Be sure to keep an open line of communication with them throughout the entire process and keep them updated on the timeline and progress of the move.
Explain to them what this move means for the company and for their jobs. Be available for questions and addressing the concerns of your employees to give yourself the best chance at retaining them.
Let your Employees Contribute
Collaborating with your employees during an office move is a great way of getting them to focus on the positive aspects of relocation rather than just the stressful. You can do this by establishing a dedicated team that will work directly with your employees. This offers them a platform to contribute their thoughts and ideas to the new facility.
You may even want to consider including your employees on the design process of the new office, if possible, so you can create a space that fosters great ideas and a happy workforce.
Trim the Fat
Moving into a new office is a great opportunity to clear the clutter of your old office and increase space and efficiency. What about that old, outdated copier that is just collecting dust in your office? An office move presents the perfect chance to get rid of it.
Getting rid of useless office equipment, supplies, and other materials will maximize your new working space and give your employees a sense of a fresh start in a new building.
You can also encourage them to pack their own supplies efficiently and to consider leaving behind any unneeded items. To make the process seamless and minimal effort provide your staff with moving and packing materials to do this.
Plan your Office Layout
This is a very important tip that will require as much foresight as you can muster. We know you can do it! Before the move actually goes down, visit your new office space and examine it carefully.
Be aware of where the power outlets and the bathrooms are located and start to envision an optimal office layout for your employees.
Consider the needs and habits of your employees or departments and try to give them a space in which they can work comfortably and efficiently. This will also allow you to spot any repairs that need to be done in the new building before you occupy the space.
Give your Employees Time
If you are relocating your business to a new city you should give your employees the time they need to make important decisions. Some employees may be totally on board with the relocation but will need time to sell their current homes and look for new ones. Be sure to give your employees the proper time to address their important personal matters that come along with a large move.
Hire a Professional Moving Company
If you have it within your budget, hiring a professional commercial moving company to handle the nitty-gritty of the move is preferred. This will at least let your employees focus on their actual daily tasks instead of moving heavy office equipment or packing office supplies.
Let your employees pack up their own desks so they feel better handling their personal items or don’t worry about something they need being left behind. During a chaotic time reducing the amount of stress your workforce faces is usually best.
Consider your Employees
Your employees are the backbone of your business, so do your best to consider how your office relocation may be affecting them. This will go a long way in showing your team how much you appreciate them and value their contributions.
You can’t afford to have a jilted workforce at this important time so making the transition to a new facility as easy as possible for your employees will give you the best shot at hitting the ground running in your new office.
We hope you will find these tips useful and if you have any ideas or tips of your own, please let us know about them in the comments section below!