With most businesses anchored in routine, it is no wonder that an office move has the potential to shake up everything from productivity to employee satisfaction. After all, moving is synonymous with change, and change is notorious for cultivating feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. The good news is that while these negative feelings are often associated with moves, this isn’t true for all—and it certainly doesn’t have to be true for yours.
Readying your employees for a move in a way that ensures that they are both informed and happy can negate negative feelings and create a positive moving experience. Here is what you should consider:
Tell Your Team ASAP
If your employees hear the news of the move through office gossip or another source, chances are their minds will automatically jump to the worst-case scenario—not the way you want to start off.
So even if you don’t have all the details ironed out yet, giving your employees a heads up should be at the top of your office move checklist.
Set Up A Meeting
The initial news of the move should be delivered through a meeting. This is not only respectful, but it will also allow you to field any questions as they arise. Your employees will want to know what this move means for the company, and what it will mean for them and their job. Is this a downsize? A upsize? Will departments remain the same?
Make sure to leave time for a Q&A session at the end to cover any information you may have missed and to address any concerns. Some employees may not feel comfortable bringing up their questions in a group setting, so consider leaving a bit of time after the meeting for any one-on-one concerns.
Address the Commute
Studies show that commute time can dramatically impact employee retention and satisfaction, so you want to make sure that it is a priority—and that your employees know it’s a priority. How do your employees get to work? Do most of them drive or do a good portion take public transportation?
Have a discussion with your team to make sure you know how they are getting to and from work each day. This is a great way to show you care and ensure that the new location doesn’t negatively impact their commute time.
You may not have all the answers or information in that initial meeting—that is both okay and expected. But let your team know that you will keep them updated with any new information. This may be in the form of subsequent meetings or email updates. Either way, just make sure that you are giving them information and key dates as they become available.
Have an Open Door Policy
Let your team know that their questions and concerns are important to you and that your door is always open. If you find that there are more questions and concerns than you anticipated, it may be time to set up another meeting or hire some professional help.
Hire Professional Help
There are only so many hours in a day, so if you find that fielding questions regarding the move, or the move itself, is eating up a lot of your time, it may be time to hire an office move manager. An office move manager will not only help keep employees in the loop and tackle any concerns or questions, but a good one will also ensure that the move is as minimally disruptive as possible.
Keep the Flow
Whether you hire an office move manager or not, you are going to want to try to keep the work environment as regular as possible. Ideally, employees should able to do their regular jobs without being bogged down by extra moving tasks. Beyond decluttering a packing their personal belongings, moving tasks, like packing boxes, should not be added to their list of responsibilities—that is what professional movers are for.
Give Them the Lowdown
Once you know more information about the new location and its setup, let your employees know. Include any amenities or features they may enjoy, but also be sure to give them basic information like how much work space they have. If their space is going to be smaller, knowing ahead of time can help them begin to pick and choose what their new space will include, as well as ensure they are not blindsided.
Get Them Excited
You let your employees know what the new office offers, but don’t forget to look outside the building as well! Surely the surroundings of the new location offer some new and exciting things, so do some research on the neighborhood and see what you can dig up. Perhaps there is a good assortment of restaurants for lunch? Or a pub that would be perfect for grabbing a cold one after work?
Show You Care
Your team is the pulse of your company, so you need to let them know that you value both them and their well-being. While this should be something that is ingrained in your company culture, it is especially important in times of change.
Change can feel overwhelming and frightening, but by keeping your employees included and informed during the move, you can help create a positive experience, safeguard employee morale, and get your new location off to the start it deserves.
Nancy Zafrani is the general manager of Oz Moving & Storage. A day-one employee of Oz, she has 25 years of experience in the moving industry. As a New Yorker, Nancy also has lots of experience dealing with small apartments and organizing.
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