Office Relocation: Strategies to Soothe Your Stressed Out StaffPosted on 21 July, 2017 in
It's rare that a business stays in the same quarters forever. Sometimes you're relocating your office for a good reason: business is booming and you need more room. Sometimes it's for a not so good reason: you unexpectedly lost your lease. An office relocation can be tough on your staff. Here are a few ideas you may find helpful from the folks at Top End Removals, who have just undergone a move themselves.
Time is of the essence when you relocate your business. Careful planning can minimise both downtime and expenses. It's important to inform your staff of your relocation plans early. Early notification decreases rumors and anxiety. This also allows them to begin planning for related issues, such as childcare. You'll want plenty of time to arrange for technology and training for remote workers.
Planning Enhances Performance
Even if you're only moving to another part of the same building, you need a plan. Spend some time brainstorming about the move. Here are some of the most important decisions you must make:
- Who is going where?
- How will the physical move be accomplished?
- Do you want an outside removal service for furniture and staff for everything else?
- Will the entire move be performed by contracted labour?
- How will you service your customers during the move?
- Do you want fewer staff on duty to minimise employee downtime or all hands on deck to speed up the physical move and organisation in the new location?
- Will you move all at once or phase it in?
Get Feedback From Staff
Bring your staff into the planning process early in the game. Post floor plans of the new space. Ask for input about office layout and work flow. It's important to encourage questions and suggestions throughout the process. Involving staff early helps them feel they own the move. Not to mention, they may have some dynamite ideas.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
It's almost impossible to communicate too much. Too little information, however, breeds anxiety and charges up the rumour mill. As soon as you have enough details nailed down, start sharing information and plans with your staff. Send emails, have all-staff meetings or focus groups and communicate one on one. Don't expect people to come to you. Actively seek them out to give and receive information.
Stress the Positives
Expect that some folks will need to vent. Let them get it out of their system and then refocus them, so they can move on. Stress the benefits of the move. Remind people that the transition and disruption are temporary, and the outcome will be positive and beneficial. Make sure your managers and supervisors are not buying into any negativity.
Support and Celebrate
When moving day actually rolls around, it will be the little things that matter. Here are some suggestions that may help.
- Drop the dress code and let people wear trackies and runners.
- Set up a breakfast table and plan to order in lunch for the staff.
- Instruct managers to support people, making sure your staff has what they need, removing obstacles and smoothing the way.
- Be sure you or your mover supplies plenty of boxes, packing material, tape and labels.
- Make sure you have carts or other devices designed to save people's backs.
- Once the move is complete, celebrate by taking everyone out to dinner.
- Give small thoughtful gifts to each staff person and recognise them for their efforts.
Relocating your office isn't ever easy, even if you're a small operation, but keeping your staff involved and informed can help a lot. Staff involvement can also make it easier to plan the move and unpack the new office, as well. If you have questions, there are plenty of resources available, such as your local removalist.
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