Company Relocation: Managing the change for staff
A company relocation can have many benefits for your business; a better location, a more spacious environment, and more favourable lease terms. But alongside this, it can involve a major change for your staff and, unless it’s handled well, an office move can cause disruption and confusion amongst your workforce.
Your employees need to feel informed, engaged and supported throughout the process, so it's important to understand the challenges associated with a company relocation and how to handle them:
The challenges of an office move:
A new way of working
An office move can often mean a completely new way of working, particularly if you are downsizing or upsizing. It’s not simply a case of packing up and moving all your files and furniture to the new office. A de-clutter is often required which can be a major disruption for everyone. Collaboration is the key here to get everyone involved in a well-worth while de-cluttering exercise. Set time aside for individual teams to sort through their paperwork, and remember that some paperwork and files can be archived if you don’t need regular access to them.
Sharing the vision
One of the biggest challenges is for staff to share the same vision of their new working environment and understand the role they have to play. To help achieve this, communication from senior management about the move is essential. Explain the reasons behind the move, and be honest about the aspirations and vision that the new office is going to play in the future of the company. Share any plans and photographs of the new office and take them on a tour once the fit-out is nearing completion.
Sharing of information
You will need to provide regular and updated information for staff to share the progress of the move and have a central information point in keeping staff informed about the move. Consider which channels are the best way to communicate with your staff, such as regular face-to-face meetings, intranet or email.
Move day preparation
It is important to provide clear instructions to staff about what they need to do in preparation for the move. Most of these will be practical issues such as packing up personal desk items, ensuring that their computers are shut down and unplugged properly.
Post Move Evaluation
After all the careful planning, carrying out a post move evaluation with your staff will help you assess the true success of the move. Find out from staff what they think of the new office, and whether they have settled into their new environment. This will also help to identify any areas that need addressing relating to seating arrangements, IT or storage. For more details about how to manage the office move for your staff use the HR Guide for Moving Office.
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