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Moving offices can be stressful. But it can get worse if you're also dealing with uncooperative employees.
Often the protest stems from work-related stress, that's can be a direct reaction to the move. Stress can motivate you to work in certain situations. However, too much can have the opposite effect.
A study by the Center for Studies on Human Stress identifies four triggers as a catalyst for creating any stressful situations:
- Novelty is not having it experienced it before.
- The unpredictability of the move makes employees unprepared for it.
- A threat to the ego is a direct correlation between the employee and their worth in the office.
- A sense of control is having a loss of control over decisions made.
It shouldn't be this way.
By following these tips, you can get your team working to transition to the new offices stress-free.
Keep Employees Updated on the Move
Schedule a meeting once you confirm the move to explain to staff the reasons for moving. Go to the conference room and gather around the white board, include a list of the benefits that will come with relocating to the new place.
But make sure the expectations are clear about:
- Staff responsibility, if any, for packing or moving anything;
- Where and how they are to work during the move;
- Assuming liability for their personal belongings; and
- Sticking to their work schedule to ensure a smooth transition.
Let the employees ask questions and air out their concerns in the meeting. Try to address their concerns. The transition will benefit from this exchange.
Have a Plan for the Move
You need a pre-moving, moving day and post moving plan.
It will minimise the hassle of coordinating the movers, employees, landlords, as well as service providers. Since trying to manage the different groups of people can be overwhelming.
Therefore, the plan should feature the different stages of the move and the activities, the people involved and their duties.
Other things you need to plan around are:
- The building's rules on moving and access to the new offices. It will prevent disruption of the movement of goods in and out of the office;
- Back up the work to a reliable cloud service to avoid interruption to the work; and
- The location and contact details of the new office.
Send employees a comprehensive checklist consisting of their duties during the move.
Integrate The New Systems and Workflow into Their Current Work Schedule
You might want to have a different office layout, workflow and systems in the next office.
Instead of making employees deal with these changes all at once, ease them into it. Start by:
- Organising a tech workshop to upgrade their skills in case there is a change in the software system;
- Working with managers or supervisors on the floor plans for the new office;
- Sending out a guide that will instruct them how to shred, toss or keep their paperwork and other office equipment.
The less the changes, the more accepting employees will be over moving.
Just because your moving offices doesn't mean the work has to slow down.
There is merit in keeping employees working to the last day. They will avoid obsessing over the move and reduce the stress levels that are in the office. Only mention the office move when necessary.
Assigning the relocation duties to normalize the change can also help to lessen the impact. Instead, they will focus on getting the work done.
You can't prevent employees from experiencing some stress during the moving period. But by involving them in the process, you give them a chance to prepare and accept it. Making moving offices a hassle-free transition.