The prospect of office relocation may seem daunting. But if done right, the transition can be rather rewarding and a lot less stressful. Let’s go step by step and take on each in more detail.
Managing Employees’ Expectations
Preparing employees to move is a process, but it can be broken down into a series of simple tasks. The biggest task, or in this case challenge, is to prepare for the change. If there are considerable changes, such as moving country, it can be a sensitive subject to approach with your staff. Use the situation as an opportunity to re-establish and build your company culture and most importantly, get organized.
First thing to do when preparing for office relocation is to include your employees into the process from the start. This way, you’ll avoid doing tasks in a hurry and nobody will be pressured into something. You want your staff engaged into relocation plan.
There should be some sort of empathy between the leader and his team, so you can understand how office relocation affects each individual. The worst thing to run away from is having dissatisfied employees in your office. So communicate and ask questions from the start. It’s a two-way street in any case.
This approach creates loyalty. Since you won’t be hiding anything, the employees will appreciate the honesty. Once you explain it to everybody, you can use all the information you gathered to come up with few incentives to motivate few of them who are reluctant.
Those incentives can be related to office space, game rooms or helping your people find their new homes in family neighborhoods. Whether big or small, people react to incentives. It’s the economy rule number 1. And once again, you want to have happy people on board.
Each decision you make will result in having people satisfied with the outcome and the ones who won’t be. It’s just the way it goes with office relocation. The way to handle this situation is by understanding the reasons for resistance and establishing an objective balance.
What is the first pain point for employees here? Keeping their jobs or fear of change. Are their going to be employee layoffs? Will the organisational structure be the same? Staff morale is key. You want them to understand change is good and everybody will benefit as a team. On the other side, if you are planning to do downsizing, then be honest and let those people know immediately.
A change in environment can be a huge morale boost, encouraging proactive work and positive feelings. Start to outline your key requirements and get your team involved in the move. Delegate roles and responsibilities. Keep everyone in the loop. Their motivation will go a long way.
Estimating Office Relocation Costs
Once you have everyone on the same page, you can move on to the next step. You’ve established that with the office relocation comes moving expenses. That’s a given. Estimating moving costs tend to throw you off entirely. First you need to choose a moving company.
Let’s cut to the chase. This step is the most boring one. It can bring a lot of frustration if there’s no efficiency in it. We’re all busy people and want to get to the fun part of office relocation quickly. Your priority number one is to get a precise estimate from the moving company, so you can see the full costs.
Having different surveyors come to your office is inconvenient. Meeting times are shuffled around and this can go on as much as two weeks until you reach a decision. Phone surveys are not much different and only add to further frustration. Inaccuracies occur and verbally walking the surveyor through the items you need moved can be a waste of your valuable time.
This is where video surveys come into play, so be sure to hire a moving company that offers them. It’s a totally different experience and job gets done fast.
Here’s how it looks. Talk to the office mover over two-way video chat, record your office inventory and receive one accurate, precise estimate – the very same day. That’s it! You get to schedule a time that is suitable to you and you can schedule anytime you want since it’s all online. No more hidden fees later on.
New Location Hunt
Embarking on this new journey is a stressful experience, but a fun adventure at the same time. With office relocation, you want to have some sort of a list outlining everything you need. Security, bandwidth, 24/7 access, air con/central heating – you name it. The list can go on and on.
Do you research and then you end up with a narrow list of locations. In case you’re wondering which locations are most popular, here are a few stories you may find useful.
Okay, so we all know London is one of the major finance centers in the world. You want to connect your business with the environment. Office relocation can then be useful both from business and connections point of view. We’ve stumbled upon a great list by Forbes providing some data of statistically best business locations. From Canada and Singapore to Denmark and Sweden, top 10 list awaits.
Another type of environment has been grabbing all the headlines for couple of years – startup hubs. They are all over the world and ideal for small companies with orientation shifting towards tech, software and online. Virgin has created a wonderful serie around all these hubs around the world.
Once things start rolling and you are now settled in your new spot, look into making the place yours. You want your employees to love their new office!
Get ahead of the game before all the crazy begins. Put a calendar together of what you want done, when and track your progress. Checklists are the way to go. They improve efficiency and minimize mistakes.
Start by doing the priority checklists and what you require for each to be implemented successfully. Space Selection, Telephones, Security, Furniture Selection and then organize your project checklists.
For example – Office Organization/Decor Setup Checklist
Between wires, laptops and other electronic devices, to docking stations, paperwork and personal items, there are many things that can make a room full of open desks appear very disorganized. Spruce things up and make the environment more enjoyable by following these tips and tricks:
- Technology – conceal the cords and get that fast Wi-Fi up and running
- Bring the outdoors in – create a lively, healthy atmosphere (plants, wood panel installations, fabric with floral type print, etc)
- Relaxation – designated lounge areas
- Texture and Color – colorful thoughts, creative minds, inspiring productivity
- Community tables – arrange a place for employees to interact freely
- Water coolers – your employees’ brains need it
- Fridge and Kitchenette – a space to refuel and refresh
Bottom Line – Do It Right
Make no mistake – office relocation will not feel like cruising around the block. It takes a lot of careful planning. Efficient organisation and proper employee management are two things you absolutely need to think about.
But, some aspects of office relocation can definitely be fun. And you will love the outcome. So don’t do things generically, do them differently. Do them right, because it makes sense. Outcome is always better when the team truly gives everything.
Finally, leverage technology. We mentioned video surveys taking over from in-home and phone estimates. Here’s a picture you should have in mind here. Imagine two phones in front you. One is an iPhone, the other one as any old version back in 2000s. Now think of having that old phone today. It’s just not good. That phone was great, but now it belongs to a museum. Same thing with office relocation. Video saves time and money. So hire a moving company that leverages technology and innovation.