How to Tell Your Employees About Your Big Office Move
Relocating your office entails several changes that can impact everyone in the office. Sure, the move is essentially for the company, but employees play a big part in its operations. For this reason, it’s essential to keep your employees in the know as soon as plans for the move have been finalised. Two to six months would be the ideal notice period, as it is ample time for employees to plot out their deliverables, gather their personal belongings and sell or take home items that they would rather not take to the new office.
However, telling employees about the big move should go beyond simply announcing the situation. Employee engagement increases when a company allows its employees to get involved in business developments. Meeting employees’ needs, especially when it comes to travel costs or basic accommodation, helps employees feel valued. When employees are included, productivity boosts, increasing business profits and minimising expenses in the long run.
Here are the best ways to tell your employees about relocating your office.
Open a Forum for Feedback
Relocating your office can be a stressful event. Naturally, not all employees would be on the same boat when it comes to moving workplaces. Several employees might like to express their concerns or air their grievances, which need to be addressed in a forum. Call a meeting or create a platform, where employees can freely and anonymously express themselves. Tell them why the change is necessary, and keep an open mind when listening to concerns. Provide a timeline of the move, and delegate important assignments before the move-in date. Discuss your expectations for your team, and request for theirs as well.
All Communications on Deck
Use all forms of communication to reach your employees for feedback, including briefings, email or one-on-one meetings. Communicate with them regularly, and address their concerns directly and truthfully.
Give your employees the best advice to help them transition smoothly into the new office. Moreover, encourage them to go with the company. Discussing new office features and other benefits of transferring will likely inspire them to relocate as well. Moving office can be personally draining, but a bit of motivation and time to adjust will have most employees jumping aboard and embracing the change.
Ask for Their Opinion
The more employees are invested in the moving process, the greater the level of teamwork and the higher the morale. Let your employees in on the relocation plan. Ask their opinion about the new office space. Make an online poll, where employees can choose the colour of interior walls or the layout of the workspace. If you’re rebranding the company, ask around for suggestions. How employees see their workplace makes a big difference in terms of engagement. Ask how they want to see their workspace, and sincerely consider their input.
Keep Them Updated
Letting your employees know that their opinions matter makes the move seem like a collaboration rather than a chore. Seeing how the company values their input also boosts employee retention. More than that, it can make improvements that could lead to the best working environment.
Boost their enthusiasm by keeping them in the loop. Let them know which stage the relocation is currently taking place. Communicate progress through emails or office announcements, or put up signs around the office. Answer all FAQs, and stack all updates in one place. Remind your team of important deadlines as the big move-in date inches closer.
When relocating your office, employees would want to know if they need to help. This is where a move team comes in. Led by a dedicated project manager, this team should take charge of the moving process, from drafting the checklist to structuring budgets and timelines to enumerating possible pitfalls. A move team that consists of employees would make it easier to determine which operations to prioritise. This team would also be your link to the rest of the staff. They would be responsible for communicating with clients, setting up workshops to help employees adjust, launching a move-in party or even creating welcome packs for all employees.
The move team must represent different departments within the company, particularly marketing, HR and IT. Having all three disciplines makes it easier to gauge the best ways to tackle information systems, marketing, rebranding and employee engagement.
Encourage the team to sort out anything from the old office that can be improved or reworked into the new office. Conduct oculars at the new location with those who would not be part of the relocation team. Let them familiarise themselves with the neighbourhood. This would help inspire them to get started on their new work goals.
Discuss Travel Issues
One of the trickiest parts of relocating your office is dealing with transportation issues, especially when your new location is at least an hour away from your old one. Let your employees know in advance as some may opt to find a new job closer to home. This would also set office expectations, especially when there’s a need to hire new staff members. If your company can afford it, provide additional support in the form of transportation allowances. If the new workspace is too far from the old one, it’s best to hire a consultant that would devise travel arrangements, including shuttle bus services and sleeping quarters.
The goal is to entice all your employees to move with the company. One way to do that is by providing an information package that lists local businesses around the new workplace. Maybe there’s a quirky cafe around the corner or a new fitness centre just down the block. Present anything that could be of interest to your employees.
Another way to keep them on board is to offer alternative work options, such as flexible work hours and schedules, as well as work-from-home arrangements. Some employers are willing to offer a four-week trial period so that employees can gauge the situation before they can fully commit to the move.