Businesses in all industries have been forced to pivot over the past few years, rethinking how everyone can work together. With many businesses returning to an in-person or blended work environment, there’s a lot of relocation taking place.
Planning an office relocation is a big job. Managing employee expectations and mindsets around the move is particularly challenging. Here are some practical tips to prepare employees for an office move:
Provide Details in Advance
Providing your employees with as much time as possible to prepare is essential for success with an office relocation. Humans are naturally resistant to change, especially in the workplace. The more time you allow for processing and acceptance, the smoother the transition will go.
How you manage the narrative surrounding the move will depend on the situation. If you know that your existing location will no longer be an option, letting employees know about the relocation before a new office is chosen makes sense. Conversely, if your business is exploring options, it’s better to wait until the move is confirmed.
It’s normal to experience resistance and negative feedback from employees after a big announcement of this nature. Craft the messaging to focus on the value you can offer your team with this new location. For example, Central Park tower office space leasing offers beautiful surroundings and convenient amenities. Creating a narrative focusing on those positive features will help employees see how they’ll benefit from the move.
Be proactive in anticipating what complaints your employees might have, such as a challenging commute or lack of parking access. Getting ahead of these concerns can help you facilitate an open discussion and create a deeper connection with employees. Acknowledging challenges and addressing them with empathy is a must.
The less burden your business can put on employees for the moving process, the better. Your team needs to know what they need to do to prepare and when to minimize stress and confusion.
Depending on the size of your organization, consider asking for volunteers to form a moving committee. Offer benefits to joining this committee, such as having input on the new office layout, and food provided during meetings, etc.
Empower Employees to Share Concerns
Create a safe environment for employees to share their feedback and concerns. Some employees will keep their feelings bottled out of fear of repercussions when sharing negative feedback. Create an anonymous feedback form, or let employees know they can freely discuss concerns with their HR rep rather than their manager.
Your team’s mindset may change over time. Consider having spot check-ins via meetings or surveys to track how mindsets are shifting as you get closer to the move.
Consider Offering Resources
It’s important to acknowledge that changing your office location could have a significant impact on some employees. Changes to their commute could increase transportation costs or impact their childcare arrangements.
Consider how your organization will handle these changes and consider what resources you can offer for support. For example, allowing for schedule flexibility, or offering to cover transport costs for the first few months, could help employees who are struggling with the changes.
While these resources may come at a cost, it’s worth the return on investment to retain trained employees. Offering solutions will also help improve employee loyalty and morale.
Prioritize Organization and Communication
Organization and communication are the top priorities when planning an office relocation. Create a structured workflow, outsourcing logistics as needed. Keep employees updated on progress and changes while highlighting the necessity of this move.
Finally, remember to celebrate the move with an “office warming” party that rewards employees for their cooperation.
With these practical tips, you can successfully prepare your employees for an office move.
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