Even though relocating or totally revamping your offices is generally seen as a positive move for any organisation, there’s no doubt that it is also a period of major upheaval, and change of any kind needs to be managed well to avoid stress and unhappiness for you and your staff. As usual, good management relies on great communication and common sense. Here we run through a few important things to remember to help you hit the ground running…
Involve your staff
As well as having an experienced project manager taking control of the actual physical movement of office furniture, phone and IT systems and so on, you need to make sure it’s someone’s job to take care of the people side of the move. The impact of major change on the people who make up an organisation cannot be underestimated.
Disturbances in your employees’ long entrenched patterns can affect the climate of your entire organisation, therefore make sure that you involve everyone who will be affected by the change. Consult with all staff and associates and ask for their input on the design and layout of the new space. The ability to take part in the decision making process, to ask questions, give feedback and share their expertise and skills in surveys and focus groups, will make a huge difference in how the change is assimilated.
Many companies engage what are sometimes known as “Change Champions”. These are basically representatives from different parts of the organisation who help prepare their colleagues for the major changes ahead and make sure that communication and positivity between all parties is optimised.
Communication is everything
Make sure that you keep your staff regularly updated in face-to-face progress meetings. If your staff feel they don’t know what’s happening, their stress levels will rise and this will ultimately impact on your company’s performance.
Put a communications plan in place to make sure that everyone is kept in the loop in a clear and consistent way. As well as knowing what’s happening, staff also need to know why, with the benefits of the changes clearly outlined and understood.
As well as face-to-face communication, you should also use other communication channels, including email, company intranet and even social media. Better that your staff feel over-informed than not informed enough.
Help your staff adapt
Employees who have been working in the same location for a long time may suffer quite serious anxiety when they have to relocate. Acknowledging these feelings of loss for the old location can be very helpful for the individuals concerned. Some companies even hold leaving ceremonies when they move to draw a clear line under the move from the old to the new. You may also consider commemorating the old location with photos or other mementoes.
Celebrate your move
Once you’re in your new or wholly revamped location, there may still be some difficulties with adapting that need to be ironed out. It’s essential at this point that the level of communication remains high and that feedback is always sought out and taken on board.
Also, it’s never a bad idea to throw a party or special event of some kind. Christen your new surroundings and get off on the right foot by creating some great memories.
Need help with planning and managing your new office space? Contact us now to discuss your requirements.