When an organisation grows (or shrinks) and workforce needs change, it may become necessary to move offices. Sometimes an existing workplace can be redesigned for improvement, but other times, only a new location and space will do. If your company is considering an office move, read on for tips to help ease the transition for your employees.
What is at stake in an office move?
In order to move organisations to new locations, businesses must consider the potential strains and stresses on employees. A recent survey found that office moving has both positive and negative effects on employees. Of employees surveyed, 68% felt that office relocation had a positive effect on them, by providing a more comfortable and visually appealing place to work, better location, or extra space to accomplish tasks. At the same time, 67% reported they faced some challenges when moving to a new office, including distractions, reduced productivity and longer commutes.
Assemble a team for office relocation planning
Relocating the office is a big project that requires careful planning and good execution. Working with the right team will be essential. First, you’ll need to designate a strong project team leader. For help finding the right location and negotiating the lease, you’ll want to work with commercial real estate professionals and your legal counsel.
Engage with a designer to help you create functional, appealing workspaces in your new location. Department heads will help ensure the new design fits their employees’ needs and also help reduce disruption during the move. HR and marketing can help with internal employee communications. IT will need to help move systems and equipment and design the right technology set up for the new location.
6 office moving tips to ease your transition
With so many moving parts in the project, here are six practises that can help create a smooth office relocation:
1. Create a timeline.
Office relocation can take six months or more, from the time you begin researching new spaces and reviewing your lease to the time you finish unpacking in the new office. There are a lot of steps and tasks to track, so it’s helpful to create an office moving checklist.
2. Delegate tasks.
The project champion should divide up the office moving checklist into functional parts and give responsibilities to members of the moving team. Conduct regular team meetings to update the status of items, discuss the timeline and share any roadblocks or challenges that arise.
3. Communicate frequently with employees.
Your communications to the staff will make the difference between a successful move or a chaotic, disruptive one. Define key messages and paint a picture of how the new space will be better for everyone. Draft internal communications that explain why the organisation is undertaking a move and include these items in your communication plan:
Overview of the office move timeline
Advanced schedule of any office closures
Advanced IT schedule if major systems will be taken down
The new office layout, including how their individual workspaces may change
Packing instructions and checklist
Maps and directions to the new office location
Parking and transportation options
4. Distribute a packing list.
Every employee should receive packing instructions that tell them how to pack up their workspace for the move. If you have movers, list the items that employees are personally responsible for packing versus what the movers will pack. Give employees deadlines for packing and provide packing materials such as boxes, bubble wrap, paper, tape and labels.
5. Encourage virtual work.
If some or all of your employees have the ability the work remotely from home offices, allowing them to do so during the week of the office move can minimise work disruption. Employees are out of the way when movers arrive to pack and load. Some business computer systems might be unavailable during the move, but remote workers should still be able to accomplish a lot.
6. Hire professional movers.
Professional office movers know how to pack and protect your assets for a move. They will do all of the lifting and moving, protecting employees from potential strains. They will set up office furniture like desks, chairs and cabinets in the new location.
Office moves don’t have to be painful
Designing and moving to a new office can take time, but if done right, your organisation will benefit from happier employees and greater productivity. Use these steps to help you organise, plan and execute a smooth office relocation. Asure Software’s asset and office move management solutions provide move scenario planning, visual floorplan schematics and more to make office moving successful.