Moving office doesn’t happen every day. In fact, it’s a big milestone in the life of a business and a change in working environment can bring about many benefits. It presents an ideal opportunity to embrace a new corporate image, implement new processes and team restructuring; all of which can have a positive impact on staff productivity, morale and even staff retention.
But before a company can fully embrace these changes, it is important to consider the personal effect an office relocation can have on your staff. How a company manages the change process for staff during an office relocation is critical, particularly if they have been in their existing workplace for a long time. HR will need to play a central role throughout the office relocation process to ensure that staff are:
a) Regularly communicated with b) Feel involved c) Can air any concerns regarding the relocation
If the reason for your office move is to expand or merge with another company, this will involve even more “staff nurturing” and change management as this goes far beyond a change in physical location – it may mean a company restructure, changes in working processes and ethics which can be even more unsettling for staff.
Managing staff expectations Staff may have different expectations of what their new office environment will bring. Some may be positive about the change, whilst others might be concerned how the office move is going to impact how they commute to and from work, the time it takes, and other seemingly trivial matters such as where they are going to get their lunch. The trick is to always present a clear and consistent message about the reasons behind the office relocation; keep them informed throughout every stage of the relocation process and open the floor to any ideas that might be implemented in the new office. Consistent and clear communication with staff will help to keep them involved, feel important, valued and help to eliminate any negativity surrounding the office move.
Change Management after the Office Move There are bound to be “snagging issues” that crop up once a company has moved in to their new office, and some staff may take more time to settle than others. It is important to make sure that individual staff feel happy and comfortable with their new workplace and sufficiently equipped in order to carry out their job well.
Ask staff for feedback and whether there is anything they feel can be improved upon. Whilst you may not be able to implement every change request, it will help to improve overall communication and make sure staff feel involved.
ADDITIONAL READING: The Help Moving Office HR Guide to Moving Office is the essential guide for any HR Manager or Office Move Project Manager to guide their staff through a happy and smooth office move.
There are also legal issues are far as relocating your staff are concerned. Make sure you seek legal advice and use the HR & Employment Law Checklist.
Help Moving Office is the moving office website that provides businesses with the information, tools and contacts needed for a successful office move. It offers moving office checklists, timetables, office move budget templates and relevant articles that help businesses make informed and educated decisions throughout the office move process....