Impact of a Business Move on Employees
When you decide a business move is best for your company, the reason doesn’t matter – keeping your employees informed about what’s going on in relation to the move and making them feel empowered during the process will help keep morale high during a potentially stressful time period.
The New Location and How It will Affect the Commute
- As soon as possible, let employees know the location of the new office. Unless you are moving near your current location, the move will probably affect the commute of most of your employees. They will need to develop a new plan for getting to and from work, especially if their morning routine involves getting children off to school or day care.
- If you have employees who take public transportation, be proactive and find out the closest routes or stops to your new location.
- If your business move will be to a different town or city, advanced notice will help employees go through the process of deciding if they can move with you or need to look for employment closer to home.
- Try to allow employees with commutes drastically affected by your business move to have a more flexible schedule. Adjusting the workday when possible to accommodate traffic patterns or the schedules of other family members that will change as a result of the move will go a long way toward keeping employees’ attitudes positive.
- Let employees know if there will be a change in parking. Parking can be a serious issue, especially if you are moving from a location with its own lot to one where parking isn’t provided. Find out in advance what the options are and communicate those. If parking requires paid permits, will you pay for those or are the employees on their own? Decide what you are willing to do and let your employees know their options so there are fewer surprises after the move.
Maintain Communication with Employees throughout the Move Process
Giving your employees regular updates on the move will help them feel included and reduce the possibility of gossip spreading inaccurate information.
- As soon as you can, give employees details about your business move. What will be happening, when it will be happening, and what they can do to help are all key pieces of information that will help reduce stresses and anxieties about the move. Communicate via email, in person, and by posting information throughout the office so it’s easy to access. A visual timeline of the move, plus task lists of what each employee is responsible for, will help provide information.
- Offer the opportunity for feedback. Whether anonymously or with a name attached, giving employees the opportunity to ask questions or voice their concerns will show them that you value their opinion. In fact, someone could submit a great idea to help the move that you hadn’t even considered.
Involve Your Employees with the Move
Once you know where your business is moving, what the new space will look like, and what the time frame will be, it’s a good idea to have employees get more involved in the move, more than simply packing up their office space.
- Ask employees their opinion on how the new office space will work and how things could be set up for efficiency, productivity, and overall working environment. The more employees you have involved in the decision-making process, the greater the input and team support will be. This is essential to keeping morale high during what can often be a difficult time.
- Find out if there are things about the current office that don’t work well and what might be improved in the new space. This could range from the set-up of the copier(s) and printer(s) to the location of the break room or lounge to the size of work areas. Employees will be your best consultants when it comes to improving workspaces and productivity.
- To help with the transition, create a list of local businesses that will be close to the new office, including restaurants, coffee shops, workout facilities, and other businesses that your employees may find convenient to access.