At the Best Moving Company, we know that switching offices is an event that entails several challenges and processes related to planning, timely organisation, and internal and external logistics synchronisation.
And whatever the reasons for a professional office move – for example, you need more space, the rent has increased or your business needs commercial relocation because of new markets – your duty is to announce the office relocation to staff well in advance.
So, don’t go down the road of keeping things under wraps until the “last minute” (say, a few weeks) and make the mistake of many company owners, who believe that this way, stress levels will stay in check.
Instead, we advise you to inform employees and business partners alike from 3 to 6 months ahead of time to ensure that everyone concerned has enough time to prepare and adjust, especially when doing a long-distance move.
Key Aspects of a Smooth Office Relocation
There’s a lot to do and think about when you embark on vacating your old office premises, but we focus mainly on preliminary and mid-process internal communications.
By avoiding misunderstandings through prompt message conveyance and by pre-empting your staff’s anxieties about the future, you’ll ensure that everyone involved is well-informed, prepared for the change and geared up for active collaboration in the moving process.
- Open up.
Some of the most important elements of managing the office relocation processes with no negative or mixed feelings entailed are your honesty and straightforwardness when communicating with employees from the very start. Explain the reasons behind the move clearly and holding nothing back. Point out any forthcoming changes to new office life and work (if applicable) so that your staff can adapt in time and avoid stressing out on their first day at the new location.
- Elaborate on the future.
You could be creative and paint your company’s bright future at the new place by gradually introducing to your staff what’s in view. To start with, use various interactive ways of indicating milestones in the moving process and delivering countdown reminders before major relocation tasks. Also, why not distribute internally a video of what lies ahead, from mapping out the layout of the new office space and the location of each department to depicting through images and graphics external local facilities, commute options and convenient parking solutions.
- Assign a responsible person.
This could be your right-hand assistant, the head of the HR department, or even a purposefully created relocation committee, or a professional to help with operations. Either way, you must appoint someone to take full responsibility for the move. They will relay messages, manage procedures, delegate tasks to team leaders, communicate arising problems and report back results upon completion of individual stages to you and all other relevant persons. This way, you’ll avoid making mistakes, or having to deal with delays and unexpected costs that could hinder and set back temporarily your carefully planned venture.
- Stay calm and be inventive.
There are plenty of other ways to keep the preparation for your office relocation under control and thus, prevent bad vibes, blame games or moods of resistance from slowly stepping through your organisation. For instance, professional movers Rentalorry recommend planning early to get rid of any old clutter as it will help you to plan early on to get rid of any old clutter as it will help you keep unnecessary packing work to a minimum and moving costs down. Or by encouraging your staff to help willingly “in exchange” of a move-in office party to celebrate the change you’ll achieve far better bonding results than any awkwardly formal team building event held in the past.
- Communicate clearly the office move strategy.
Well, we’ll get down to this below in more detail. But in short, without a step-by-step strategy, solid deadlines, and clearly defined roles of who does what, when and how, what furniture goes where, it’s unlikely that your change of office will go smoothly. Your tactics need to be communicated properly so that from initially on paper, they translate seamlessly into result-driven actions and from there, into the desired effortless outcome, you’ve envisaged.
Inform Your Employees About Moving Offices the Right Way
As mentioned above, don’t hold back any details when using various methods of telling your staff about the imminent office relocation. People are more inclined to follow orders and instructions when those are well-reasoned and coherently explained.
Don’t skimp on the good old hard-copy style of communication.
People react more seriously to tangible and “carved-in-stone” information, so regularly pin fact sheets on message boards in common rooms and meeting halls, etc.
This way, employees can clearly see all updates on the progress of your office move in real time. They may also feel prompted to enter into a quick discussion with a fellow colleague to share ideas and opinions about the change.
Proactive staff is good, right?
There’s nothing better than face-to-face communications with conversing about changes and decisions. Organise individual and team meetings where staff can get answers and make suggestions about the move. This way, they’ll feel much more involved by actively taking part in the process rather than simply being told what to do or how things are going to happen.
Shared online space
Back up and complement “physical” and hard-copy dissemination of information with digital distribution of details and updates on your office relocation. Emails get deleted accidentally or people may miss to read in due time. Imagine the consequences if a single person cannot read an office relocation email.
So, electronic messaging is not the most reliable way of sending notifications, and it’s best regarded as a secondary way of communicating important office move announcements.
However, you can create a digital shared space and make use of common folders that everyone or individual teams can access to get the latest, up-to-date instructions, for instance.
Closed company, department or team groups on various social media channels can render extra support to your employees during this time of change. There, people can exchange questions, clarify removals or packing particulars and remind each other about key deadlines of forthcoming tasks.
Prepare to listen
You’re the boss, of course, but stay open-minded and encourage your staff to share their feedback.
Create surveys, mid-move, and evaluate ideas of employees, managers, and client ideas and opinions on, say, how the transition can happen smoother or on the best ways of how problems we can resolve. A few simple survey hacks can go a long way.
Having solid feedback, you’ll be able to act in time, change the office moving process, if needed, and avoid unexpected issues at a later point.
Extra Office Moving Tips to Keep in Mind
Whether you use all the above-mentioned communication channels to inform staff about the office move or you prefer to employ other more traditional methods like announcing the change by post, one is for sure – relocation will be as stressful as you make it.
So, bear in mind the following additional tips and guarantee an office moving process that is hassle-free as possible for everyone involved.
- #1. Ask your staff to do the packing of belongings well in advance to avoid unnecessary delays.
- #2. Don’t forget to communicate your office relocation to all business partners, affiliates and regular suppliers as well.
- #3. Shop around and choose carefully a reputable removals company, which specialises in commercial relocations, storage, be it a local or national.
- #4. Part amicably with members of staff, who cannot relocate and have left the company. You never know what the future holds, and word-of-mouth bad press is never good for business.
Moving your business to a different location is far more complex and stressful than moving homes.
Consider the challenge as an opportunity. And once the move is over, thank your employees for their support and loyalty.