Pull Off an Office Move (Without Alienating Your Employees)
You’ve made the decision to relocate your business and you’re excited about it. But what if your employees don’t feel the same way?
Your employees depend on your business for their livelihood, but it’s also where they spend the majority of their waking hours. Doesn’t it make sense to keep them happy and engaged during the transition to a new business location?
In this article, we’ll take a look at the ways you can help your employees through an office move so that everyone is excited to come to work.
Break the News ASAP
You don’t want to put off telling your employees that you’ll be moving. Secrecy only feeds the rumor mill (and increases employee dissatisfaction).
Tell your employees as soon as possible and be as honest as you can about the reasons why you’re moving and how involved they’ll have to be. If you know where you’ll be moving your office to (or even what zip code), let them know so they can start planning for a different commute. If you know that you’ll be switching from cubicles to separate offices (or vice versa), let them know as soon as possible so they can make adequate plans.
Even if you’ve thought out every logistical probability and the move goes over without a hitch, your employees will need some time to mentally transition to the idea before the first day at the new office. Keeping your employees well-informed about the company’s future will help them feel like it’s “their” move, too.
Ask For Their Input On the Office Move
Let’s face it: you wouldn’t have a business if it weren’t for your employees.
They’re the ones crunching the numbers, selling the widgets, and shaking those hands day-in and day-out so that your company can remain successful. So why not loop them in to the office move?
Before you sign a lease on a new location, take some time to ask your employees about their opinions for the new office. The easiest way to do this is to find out what doesn’t work in your current one. Not enough parking? No loading dock? Is the ugly wallpaper too depressing?
You might find out that a simple rearrangement of desks will increase collaboration. Or that the “open office” concept you originally settled on is met with frowns and threats to quit.
Your business is run by humans, and humans are profoundly affected by their environment. Finding a way to truly optimize your new office for the people that actually keep it moving will make sure that engagement stays high (and resigning stays low).
It would be unreasonable to assume that an office move will be easier on everyone. And the truth is, many of your employees will be inconvenienced by the new location.
But you can keep those valuable employees engaged by offering a little flexibility in their work schedule. Will they need to come in a little later to make up for the longer commute? Perhaps they could work from home a couple days a week?
Whatever your employees’ complaints are, make sure that you have an honest, open conversation with each one regarding the upcoming move and do your best to ensure that everyone feels heard.
Once the move is complete, be realistic about your employees’ productivity. It takes some time to get settled in to a new environment, and people might be either overly excited or down-in-the-dumps.
Expect some late arrivals the first day as people work out the kinks in their new commute (whoops! wrong exit!).
Assume that your employees are going to need some extra time to set up their new work space the way they like it. Let them know that there’s a fully stocked supply cabinet at their disposal.
Expect that production might dive before it gets better, even if you’re in a new location with all the swanky equipment. Your employees will need some time to get acclimated to the new setup first.
Your office move is an exciting time, so people are bound to be both excited and nervous about it. Whether or not they stay engaged depends on how well you respond.
A boss who’s open, flexible, and understanding about their employees’ transitional needs will have a much easier time managing their team than one who’s demanding, and unsympathetic.
Whether you’re moving to a new house or moving to a new office, relocating can be stressful for everyone involved. So make sure you take some time at the end of the office move to celebrate a job well done.
This can be as simple as cupcakes in the break room (with a heartfelt speech thanking everyone for their cooperation) or as big as taking the team to Disney for a day. The type of celebration doesn’t matter as much as the thought you put into making your employees feel appreciated.
Because, in the end, an engaged employee is a respected employee.
Your employees are great at what they do, but they’re not moving professionals. If you’re thinking about relocating your office or retail store, start by getting a free moving quote from Cento Family Moving and Storage to help get you through the office move without a hitch.
Whether you’re moving across town or across the state, we can help get your office from Point A to Point B.