When relocating your business premises, it is key to sort all the logistics. It is equally key to ensure that your staff are on-board with the move in order for it to be a painless process. A lack of cohesion between management and staff can be stressful and have a lot of implications for you and your business, all of which impact on your productivity and profitability.
Early Communication is Key
Open and honest communication with your staff right from the start of the process is the easiest way for you to get them to buy into the process and make it a seamless move for all involved. You don't need them to be involved from day one but you do need to give them enough notice to accept the impending change, you don't want to shock them at the last minute and make them defensive and resistant.
Helping them to buy into the process can be as simple as explaining what the new office space will be like, the layout of it and highlight the changes that they can expect. You also need to discuss the location of the new premises. A change in location is going to affect everything from the local cafe for coffee and lunch to commute times to the premises, potentially changing everything from what they pack for lunch to when they have to leave the house in the morning and when they get home at night. The greater the potential impact on your employees, the earlier you need to engage with your employees.
Engagement is Good
A seamless transition depends on the buy-in to get from staff. Your staff need to 'own' the move. Offering people the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback is a simple way to help them buy-in to the process. If you are refurbishing as a part of the relocation, you have a great opportunity to engage with how the building will be refurbished and what any new furniture will be like.
If your staff are used to hot-desking or to not having a fixed work space, they may not be as resistant to a change in desks or layout but they will still be interested in the communal spaces, like the break room. Even just offering opinions on the break room can help to encourage active participation and engagement between staff and management and help lead to a seamless move.
There will likely be things that you as an employer have not considered that your employees will think of and be able to give you valuable feedback on. If they have issues with the current space that can be solved in the engagement process, this will serve to create a new premises that is potentially more productive and enjoyable for you and your team.
People Need to Release Frustration
Honest and constructive engagement with your staff includes allowing them an opportunity to let out any frustrations. Laying out the differences between the current and new premises will help to pait a picture for your staff and allow them to highlight issues they have. Listening to these issues can help to solve issues before the relocation or at least let them get the issues off their back before the day of the move. This will allow them to move past their frustrations and focus on the positives when the time finally comes.
Highlight the Opportunity to Reduce Clutter
Just like moving home, moving office is a great opportunity to remove clutter. Having to pack up your work space is a key way to identify things that are really just trash. Getting your employees to focus on what they need to take with them and sort through the drawers of stuff they have accumulated over the years is an opportunity not to be missed. This process is most important if the layout of the new premises is going to have less space to stash clutter. When people know they will have fewer drawers or smaller cupboards, they are forced to strip back and focus on what it is they need to do their job rather than what is is they have at the moment.
However you approach it, your follow through is key. Start early, engage regularly and focus on the opportunities that the move of office presents.
This advice is general in nature. Every situation is unique and requires tailored advice. MBP work with a number of expert human resources consultants who can help to guide you through the challenges presented by relocating staff. Get in touch with our team by emailing email@example.com or call us on (07) 378 6655.