An office relocation can be even more stressful than moving house. But that stress can be lessened by making it a team effort. Finding new premises and relocating is a long process with many steps. While some of those are strictly the responsibility of the upper tiers of management, such as deciding on the new premises and setting a budget, other tasks can be shared throughout the organisation. Not only does that result in many hands making it lighter work, it reduces stress because people feel involved.
How can the various tasks involved in an office relocation be divided among staff? First, you need a detailed list of exactly what tasks are involved and what level of responsibility is accorded to each. Relocation related tasks aren’t all big decisions. The job includes pricing and ordering boxes for moving, updating other staff on the preparations for the move, packing and more. Once you have listed all of the tasks, you can divide them into an office move checklist for employees noting the level of responsibility for each task. Having a relocation committee can help in medium and large offices. Members can be drawn from every sector and level of the organization. That helps demonstrate that everyone is included and represented in the process.
Going the extra mile to help everyone have a smooth office move will pay off. The goal is to share out the tasks on the office move checklist for employees while being clear about where responsibility lies for each job. Like all of your other business goals, the checklist should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. For example, instead of giving someone a vague task such as order moving supplies, ask them to order boxes for moving, packing materials, and box tape. An office relocation takes a lot of preparation. While larger offices might need a year to prepare and execute their move, most companies can do it in six months. That time frame allows for locating other premises, preparing a budget for the move, organizing the moving committee and researching your options for everything from boxes for moving to new letterhead.
Once your office relocation committee is assembled, they should meet regularly to discuss how they are progressing and deal with any issues that arise. The rest of the staff should be updated after every meeting to ensure staff are not distracted by worries about the move. Simply giving people information about the process as it unfolds can allay much anxiety about the move. Providing updates to everyone can be one task on the office move checklist for employees.
An office move is stressful. People worry about everything from the change in their commute to what their new workspace will be like and who will be working near them in the new location. Regular communication is the best antidote to that anxiety.
Committee members will be doing more than their regular work, and this must be recognized. If it is possible to relieve them of some of their regular duties while they are on the committee, that will help. They may need longer to do certain things. Recognizing their efforts is important. And, once everyone gets settled in and the boxes for moving are all unpacked, having some kind of celebration is a fun way to honour the extra stress and effort for everyone involved. Whether you have a dinner out or simply get pizza in the office on Friday and let everyone go home early, this is the time to shine a spotlight on your office relocation committee members and thank them for going the extra mile to help everyone have a smooth office move.