Change is never an easy thing. Humans are creatures of habit, and anything that threatens our comfort and security is usually the subject of our ire and hostility. However, change is also inevitable, and it’s more often than not for the better. It just takes most of us a while to see this.
There are a lot of reasons why you may want to relocate your office. Maybe your staff is growing and you need more space, or perhaps you’ve realized your current location is cold and alienating, meaning you need a change to encourage productivity and team spirit.
But no matter the reason, people will resist this change, and they will see it is a big source of pain in their life. So it’s important you do all you can to alleviate this pain, as this will help them overcome their anxiety and begin to enjoy all of the benefits of your new space.
To help you do this, consider the following.
Moving isn’t cheap. You typically need to incur a big expense all at once as you put a deposit down on a new place, and this can push you to try and cut corners elsewhere. This is fine, but one thing you should not do is ask you employees to help you move. Changing locations is stressful enough. You don’t need to add manual labor to the mix.
The best way to do this is to schedule the move for the weekend. Ask all your employees to take their personal belongings with them when they leave on Friday, and then move all your furniture over when no one is in the office.
You’ll need professional movers to do this, but it’s well worth the expense because now all people need to do is bring their stuff to the new office, set their desks up and start working. This reduces the stress of the actual move, which will facilitate a much smoother transition.
Transfer Services Way in Advance
One of the best ways to ensure your move is as painless as possible is to make sure there is no interruption in productivity. You don’t want the move to make your employees feel as though they are failing behind, as this is only going to make everything more stressful.
As a result, it’s important you set the new office up with everything you need to get working on Day One. This means making sure electricity and water are turned on, and perhaps more importantly, it means making sure you have internet access. But don’t wait until the week of the move to make these calls. The company may need to send someone out, and this could take days or even weeks.
Start this process as soon as you decide on the move. Even if you can’t schedule stuff right away, it will at least tell you when you should start, and this will help you orchestrate a smooth move that keeps people focused on their job and not on the stress of the move.
Make Yourself Available for Questions
While all you’re really doing is moving from one place to another, it’s normal for employees to think that something else is going on. However, this curiosity can lead to gossip, rumors, and excessive worrying, and these will only cause more stress in the workplace.
To combat this, make sure there is a way for people to ask questions. This could be as simple as making sure people know that you’re available. Another option is to set up a process that allows people to ask questions anonymously. Another good idea is to hold a few meetings leading up to the move to outline how things are going to go and to clarify any issues people may have.
The goal here is to make sure no one is left in the dark, as this is a good way to cause stress. Be open about the process and make sure people know what to expect. This will make the move seem less daunting, which will help it be a much less painful experience for all.
Try to Be Democratic
Lastly, a good way to make moving easier is to get people involved with it. We already mentioned you should avoid asking people to do manual labor, but this doesn’t mean they can’t be involved in setting up the new office.
Some space will be reserved for management and meeting rooms, but there will be common areas that everyone is going to use, such as work rooms, creative lounges, break rooms, etc. A good way to get people thinking more positively about the move is to ask them to help plan out how the space will be used.
You could ask people for suggestions and then vote, or you could go further by asking people to submit floor plans that the rest of the office will vote on. Or you could simply spend time gauging opinion before making a choice yourself. Everything will depend on your company culture and your rapport with employees. But no matter the approach you take, involving people in this change will help it seem far less stressful.
Get Excited About The Move
Moving is of course stressful, but it can also be exciting. Your job is to make sure it’s more the latter than the former. And the tips provided here should help you do just that.