“Get through the move as quickly and seamlessly as possible, with minimal disruption.” That’s how Compare My Move’s expert Anna Athanasiadis defines the goal of any company going through an office move. Of course, a goal like this is easier said than done.
Every company wants their office move to go smoothly, but it's rare to get through the move without productivity slipping. According to Shirien Elamawy of CapRelo, this is because employees are often left without a relocation policy. Whether a company is moving cities or simply relocating within the same city, business leaders can overcome productivity lapses during an office move by emphasizing the following 3 steps.
No matter how excited you may be for your office move, your employees may not understand exactly why they should share in your excitement. The Harvard Business Review’s Rosabeth Moss Kanter investigated the average person’s response to change in their environment. Kanter found that even in scenarios where the change is beneficial, the loss of control, excess uncertainty, and added amounts of work around an office move could cause your employees to lose all excitement about the whole process.
Even when the change is beneficial, employees will need your help feeling motivated about your office move
Blair Thomas of EMerchantBroker suggests offering incentives to employees in order to motivate them and avoid a productivity lapse. Turn what is typically seen as a tiring exercise into something fun for your whole office. By branding your office move within your company and adding prizes or incentives, you’ll find your employees looking forward to your office move rather than dreading it. One example of branding the move is turning it into a fun contest. Thomas adds, "A proven motivator for students and employees alike is earning a "badge" or points for committing to certain tasks." So, employees could earn points for correctly labeling boxes or packing their desk items away by a certain date. These points then could translate into prizes they can earn.
As soon as you realize your company is going to move, it’s important to communicate the details with your employees. In fact, you cannot over-communicate. Athanasiadis suggests holding a company-wide meeting where you announce the office move and make time to answer employee’s questions. Many executives define good communication as a thorough explanation of the moving process, but true communication implies there is a feedback loop as well.
Hold conversations where you listen to employees, both collectively and individually. This will help ensure your employees are equipped with a sense of purpose behind the move. For the sake of maintaining productivity, its critical that employees understand the office move’s purpose and the importance of their role in the relocation process.
From a logistics perspective, your company won’t be able to remain productive if your computers and other electronics aren’t up and running. To ensure your equipment is moved and installed correctly, Athanasiadis suggests hiring an office move company. “Hiring a specialist removal company to disconnect and reconnect cables and equipment will ensure they are kept safe with no risk of damage.”
If possible, move on a weekend so your IT department can have enough time to test your electronics with minimal disruption
Another factor you should consider when it comes to your IT department is moving on a weekend so your office is able to test all your electronics before they all need to be used. “So if anything is faulty,” Athanasiadis says, “you can deal with it early on Monday, rather than be caught by surprise and disrupt any work.”
Your office move is an exciting time that shouldn’t be ruined by a loss in productivity. By prioritizing your IT equipment, motivating, communicating with and hearing from your employees, your move can actually occur as quickly and seamlessly as possible.