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Change Management during Office Relocation

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 even 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” as this goes far beyond a change in physical location – it may mean a company restructure and changes in processes which can be even more unsettling for staff.

Managing staff expectations

Staff will 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. Organising an office move involves making sure that staff are happy, settled and equipped in order to do their job well.

Ask staff for feedback and make sure they are comfortable with their new workplace, seating arrangements and how they feel things can be improved upon. Whilst you may not be able to implement every change request, it will go some way to improve overall communication, processes and keep staff morale high.

ADDITIONAL READING:
The Help Moving Office HR Guide to Moving Office is the essential read 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.

 

Planning an office move? Go the office relocation planning resource centre

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