How To Get Your Team On Board With Your Next Office Move

Managing Employee Expectations: How To Get Your Team On Board With Your Next Office Move

Since most of us will spend an average of almost nine hours at work each and every day, working in a space that reflects our styles and preferences is critical for workplace happiness. For many people, moving into a new office offers an exciting opportunity to re-imagine a space where you spend a large chunk of your time. But for others, moving offices can feel like an extra stressor on top of existing responsibilities.

Team leaders need to be prepared to manage employee expectations and guide them through the transition. Before you start planning your next move, study these approaches to helping your employees view the change in a positive light.

    1. Deliver Consistent Communication – It’s critical to start discussing the move with your employees early in the process. In particular, make sure you announce the new location, when the move will be happening, and how employees can prepare as soon as you can. It’s important to give them as much advance notice regarding these decisions as possible so they can get used to the idea. Make sure to highlight some of the upsides of the new space in your communications, such as easier commutes for employees or upgraded facilities.
    2. Get Employees Involved – Employees need to feel that their voice is being heard during the design process. Before you start, consider sending out a survey to understand your employees’ needs and ask department leads to confirm headcount numbers and growth plans. You should also consider inviting team leaders to be part of the design process during certain stages, including finalizing the fit plan and furniture selection. It’s important to convey deadlines to getting information to avoid having to make changes later which can be costly and add time to the project.
    3. Give Tours of the New Site – Seeing the space during construction can help foster excitement and ease potential negatives among employees who are reluctant to get on board. You’ll need to coordinate with your general contractor, but many can accommodate hosting tours in the late afternoon when the workers have left for the day. You’ll want to keep the groups small to ensure safety on site, so send out a signup list where people can reserve their spot on a first come, first serve basis.
      The Bridge Group LLC's office build-out in SOMA for San Francisco client.

      Be sure to warn people to wear pants and close-toed shoes and ask your contractor to have hard hats and safety vests available.

    4. Hold a Move Discussion – It’s important to reserve some time during company all hands meetings to discuss the move. You may want to put together a slide deck showing the look and feel of the new space, maps highlighting neighborhood amenities, and photographs of any upgrades that the employees might enjoy, like new sit-stand desks or improved AV/VC in meeting rooms.
    5. Make it Fun – Preparing for a move can be a lot of work, so you need to add an element of fun. For example, many of our clients typically hold a purge day to give everyone an opportunity to clean out their desks and storage areas. Sounds stressful, right? It doesn’t have to be. Bring in food, drink and create contests with prizes to make the process more enjoyable.

Although most people think of moving as painful, if you get employees excited about the new location, it’s easier for them to see the payoff behind all the hard work associated with an office move. Engaging your employees in the company relocation process with the tips outlined is a valuable strategy which will have a positive impact on your bottom line.

Has your organization experienced a recent move? We’d love to hear what other tips may have made your transition positive for everyone. Please comment below.