An office move is either of two things: exciting or downright frustrating. It’s the former, as it marks a new season in your company. It’s the latter, as it’s often riddled with logistics issues, not to mention disengaged employees (who sometimes are tempted to leave a few weeks into your new office).
Either way, whatever the climate in your organization, one thing’s for sure: you need to prepare your team. Remember that relocations disrupt the status quo, thus affecting your employees’ lives. That said, here are the steps to preparing your team for the big move:
1. Announce the relocation
As soon as you finalize the details, inform the employees about the move. The earlier that they know, the better they can wrap their heads around the reality of it, and make adjustments. In fact, if you can get the word out, at least informally, while you’re at the phase of scouting for office spaces, that would be better.
Talk about the plan to move even in passing at brainstorming sessions or team huddles to ease employees bit by bit into the idea of relocation. Perhaps you can involve some key workers in looking at business districts and Wall Street office space for rent.
This would help you gain insights as to what employees need in the new space, as well as jumpstart the conversations among social circles about the move. At your formal announcement though, you have to include at least these details: building name of the new office, moving dates, a reason behind the move, and key features of the new office.
2. Arrange documents well
The files in your office are assets, that’s why they take special priority in this transition. You can’t afford to lose or misplace some. Of course, professional movers can take good care of this stuff, but remember that such documents may contain confidential information.
So, it’s always best to have an in-house team who will oversee the packing, moving, and transporting of such items. Involve department supervisors and managers in this. Instruct them to make an inventory of the files if they can do it digitally, better.
If they can create electronic back-ups for the documents, much, much better, in case there would be untoward incidents in transporting the items; you can still have that peace of mind that you have duplicate copies.
3. Amp up the excitement
As mentioned earlier, office moves are either exciting or frustrating. What you then have to do is to highlight the positive, the exciting part. You can do this in a lot of ways. Start by creating an information packet about the community you’re moving into.
List down commercial establishments, such as cafes, bars, restaurants, gyms, museums, and malls nearby. Include there as well the public transportation systems available. Your employees’ commute will definitely change along with the move, and that would be one of their main concerns.
So reassure them with transportation (or parking) information to take the worry out of the equation. Help them visualize the new office, too. Perhaps you can flash some sneak-peek photos of your space in your town hall, kind of like a teaser for what they can expect. This will surely drum up the excitement.
Office relocations require lots of preparation. Not just in manning logistics, but more importantly, in setting your employees’ perspectives right. Get them on board with you with this milestone by following the mentioned strategies.