Business growth and change can drive an organisation to look for new office space. Though a new office may offer more space, better location, and other perks, the office relocation process can be unsettling and disruptive to your workforce. To successfully navigate an office move, successful businesses take the time to thoroughly plan the entire process and develop a communication strategy that minimises employee uncertainty. Discover how to keep employees engaged with four practical tips for effective communication during an office move.
The impact of office space on employees
Good workspace design has the power to engage your workforce, especially if you can highlight the positive factors and associate it with your company’s brand, mission, and goals. However, if your company is planning an office move, the change itself can spark fear and uncertainty—resulting in dissatisfied employees. A move can exacerbate some of these signs of disengagement including frequent complaints, excuses, refusal to help, and increased mistakes. Successful businesses put employee experience at the centre of the office relocation process.
Why you need employee buy-in for an office move
An office move costs your business money and results in some down time when equipment is packed, transported, and set up in the new location. Keeping employees engaged throughout the entire office move process can minimise the impact this down time has on your business. With proper planning and communication, your business can ensure employees feel informed and part of the move. Research shows that higher levels of employee engagement translate into increased morale, performance, and productivity.
Four ways to keep employees engaged during an office move
Competitive organisations ease office moves with strategies that improve the employee experience. Here are four ways to keep your employees engaged during your next office move:
1. Get your staff involved from the beginning.
Before you decide on a new office location, be sure to ask employees to voice their opinions and share their ideas. You can send out polls or surveys to gauge interest in office locations, various office amenities, and workspace layout preferences. Ask your HR team to set up a series of workshops to identify workforce attitudes and encourage honest and open feedback about a potential move from employees.
2. Keep the lines of communication open.
Research shows that a crucial factor to building trust and loyalty with employees is clear, open, ongoing communication. This is especially important during times of change and uncertainty, including an office move. Proactive and open communication prevents hearsay and gossip among employees. Be sure to make your workforce feel involved in the decision-making process and establish a continuous dialog throughout the relocation process.
3. Address transportation issues—they’re more important than you think.
Before your office relocation plans move forward, be sure to address the elephant in the room: commuting. No matter where you’re looking, chances are that any office relocation will affect your employees’ transportation choices—positively or negatively.
- Consider the effects of the office move on employees’ work/life balance. Will mass transit be available for workers? What about parking?
- Help workers who are negatively impacted by the move. Consider subsidising transportation and parking costs or providing flexible schedules and telecommuting.
- Host tours or other events for employees to learn about new sustainable transportation options that will be available or help them with potential carpooling matches.
4. Inspire your staff and support well-being throughout the process.
Be enthusiastic and provide positive messages about the benefits of the office move, including changes that support employee wellness initiatives. Create and distribute an information package that eases the transition to the new location; include maps and reviews of local businesses your employees would need or enjoy. At the end of the process, show your gratitude to employees for their support with a launch party to celebrate a job well done.
Ensure office move success with a focus on your workforce
Office relocation can be an exciting sign of growth for your business—but without proper planning and effective communication, it can also be unsettling and disruptive to your workforce. Use these best practises to keep engagement levels high during the relocation process. Asure Software supports move management with solutions that offer floor plan scenarios and data tracking to ensure smooth transitions.