Although relocating can be an exciting time for you and your company, it’s often also a time of stress. As a business leader, you have a lot to consider to make your transition into a new space as seamless and beneficial to your team as possible.
A new office presents a clean slate. Now’s the time to reinforce your brand both internally and externally while growing your company. Because of the opportunity surrounding a move, most employees view it as beneficial.
But, an office move isn’t inherently successful. It’s important to make sure your employees are happy with the relocation to make the transition beneficial to those who’re a part of it.
Thinking about making a move? This article will discuss five actions to take when preparing your team for relocation.
- Communicate the move early.
- Show excitement about the transition.
- Consider your employees’ commutes.
- Find an office space with perks.
- Listen to your employees’ desires.
By following these steps in the planning process, your employees are sure to be more receptive to their future work environment.
1. Communicate the Move Early
When you decide it’s time to change offices, let your employees know early.
No one likes to be blindsided, especially with news that will undoubtedly affect everyday life. Without a solid notice of at least a few months, your employees will feel unprepared for the move, even if they don’t need to take action to accommodate the change.
The Nonprofit Risk Management Center states that adults are often averse to last-minute information regardless of whether it’s positive or negative.
It indicates that “it is not that we don’t like to get good news, but it is disconcerting when things don’t turn out as we expect, even when they turn out better than we expect, because it spoils our delusion that we are in control of our lives.”
With this in mind, a good rule of thumb is to give advance notice whenever possible in professional settings, especially as a manager.
In this case, providing thorough information about the office move well in advance will open your employees up to the idea of change. Over time, they will be more accepting of your decision to move, even if their initial reaction to the change was negative.
Whether it’s a move next door, across town, or to a different state, the sooner employees know, the better.
2. Balance Your Excitement with Transparency
If you don’t seem excited about the new office, how can you expect your employees to be enthusiastic?
As a business leader, it’s important for you to set the tone for large-scale changes like an office relocation. Your confidence and excitement will reassure your employees that the change will be beneficial for them and the company as a whole.
However, it’s easy for an overly anticipated move to become distracting to your team. This has the potential to damage efficiency in the months leading up to the transition.
In order to mitigate distracting responses that may hurt your company, make sure to maintain a sense of honesty surrounding the challenges your office might face during the move. These could include a dip in productivity, logistical issues, or difficulties acclimating to a new space.
Your transparency will be appreciated by your employees, who’ll have a better understanding of the “big picture” surrounding the move.
This will be helpful when facing relocation challenges. Clutch research indicates that employees commonly face distractions (30%), losses in productivity (20%), longer commutes (28%), and less desirable office locations (18%). Being honest with your employees about these potential struggles will give them a chance to offer their input on details of the move that will personally affect them.
Making sure to balance both excitement and honesty about possible challenges will make your employees more likely to accept the relocation.
3. Consider Your Employees’ Commutes in Your Selection
Commuting to and from work each day is a considerable stressor for employees worldwide. Think about how your move will affect your employees’ commutes before selecting a space.
According to the Clutch survey, 28% of employees say their office relocation forced them into a longer commute.
A longer commute was the second most prevalent challenge during moves—second only to general distractions in the process.
Commuting is one of the most commonly discussed challenges because many employees (49%) say being near their home is an office location’s most important factor, but few offices (30%) actually meet that demand.
So, if you’re relocating your office across town, keep your employees in mind. Many choose where to live based on office proximity, so if possible, staying close is recommended. It’ll lend itself to quick and easy employee adjustment.
But sometimes, staying in your current area just isn’t an option. If you’re moving farther away from the majority of your employees’ homes, there are other ways to ensure commutes are stress-free.
Consider moving to an office near public transportation and offering a transportation stipend. For instance, Washington, D.C.’s Metro system started a SmartBenefits program to help employees commute to work tax-free. Employers can choose to offer the program to their workers.
However, if you’re not near public transportation, you can always make commutes more manageable by offering employee parking. That way, your workers won’t have to search for parking after long drives.
Commutes are important to employees, who must handle them daily. Make your move more successful by optimizing the relocation’s impact on travel time and costs.
4. Find an Office Space with Perks
Signing a lease for a space that offers perks will satisfy your employees.
A new office with benefits and amenities can be exciting for all involved. These perks could be an in-building cafe, a restaurant, a gym, a patio, etc. Having quick access to amenities will serve as a bright spot throughout the workday.
If employees are facing other challenges with the move, like longer commutes, having access to benefits while they’re working will make them more excited to come to the office. In the end, it’ll mitigate any struggles they’re facing with the relocation.
But office spaces with plentiful amenities are not always available or a reasonable option for businesses. If this applies to you, focus on making the interior of your office as conducive to positive work experiences as possible. For instance, it’s shown that simple perks like in-office table tennis or yoga sessions have the power to energize and refocus participants. These can be more cost-effective opportunities to make an office move more appealing.
When choosing office spaces and considering perks, make sure to consult your employees about which amenities would be the greatest benefit to them. If you select an office with perks that employees don’t care about, they won’t have a positive effect on your move’s success.
Generally, benefits and amenities provided by the building or by you will help employees view your relocation more positively and have the potential to make them more productive during the workday.
Listen to Your Employees’ Desires Surrounding the New Office
It’s important to ensure that your employees’ thoughts and recommendations about the new space are heard. After all, they’ll be the ones most impacted by the relocation.
According to Gartner, employees who’re happy with their workplaces are more productive (16%), likely to stay with the company (18%), and loyal to their employers rather than attracted to competitors (30%). Employees’ performance and retention are, in part, dependent on their satisfaction with their office space.
An office move is a perfect time to give your employees a space they’ll love, likely boosting your business’s performance in the process.
Before selecting a new space, ask for workers’ feedback on your current office. Are they sick of the distractions caused by your open floor plan? If so, consider offices with private spaces (and vice versa).
Studies show that employees prefer workplaces that offer a variety of spaces (private, collaborative, places to relax, etc.).
If catering entirely to your employees’ desire for private offices, for example, is not possible, then locate to an office with both quiet and collaborative spaces. Odds are you’ll please a greater number of employees that way.
Your employees’ feedback and ideas about their current workspace should inform your decisions for the new location.
Create Enthusiasm Around Your Move
You have to make strategic choices to successfully relocate. It’s important that you give your employees spaces they’ll enjoy in order to keep them productive and enthusiastic about working for your company.
When planning an office move, make sure to communicate your plan early with both excitement and honesty regarding possible challenges. Your employees will appreciate your transparency and the time you’ve given them to process the change.
Mitigate potential issues by considering your employees’ opinions, commutes, and desires for office perks when making your decision on a space. They’ll be using the new office more than anyone else, so their thoughts and concerns should be your first priority.
After considering each of these five points, you’ll be ready to put your plan into motion and start your successful office move.
|Sydney Wess is a Content and Editorial Associate for Clutch, a technology and content-enabled platform that helps businesses find the best partner for their services’ needs.|