Most of us know how stressful moving day can be (it’s more stressful than both divorce and starting a new job, according to a recent survey). Packing up your life and moving elsewhere comes with its own stressors and, given the often transitory nature of modern living, it’s a situation we’ve become quite familiar with.
However, one we’re perhaps not as familiar with is moving offices. What happens when a business decides to up sticks and move its headquarters elsewhere? It’s just moving a load of chairs, tables and computers, right? Well, there’s a lot more than that.
Here’s how you can make your office move as stress-free as humanly possible. It involves lots of boxes, and more than a little paperwork.
But first, why is moving offices just as stressful as moving home? If not more…
Your employees might not take it well
It’s important that you let staff know about the moving situation as soon as possible, because the decision is ultimately out of their hands. They spend a significant amount of the time in the current office and the surroundings, so it may come as a shock to their routine. Not to mention if their new commute is going to take longer!
For these reasons, make sure to give staff plenty of notice because it can be a very stressful time for them. It will allow them to prepare for the new commute, as it may involve a trickier journey into work. They may also face the harder decision of staying or looking elsewhere for work; if the new commute is too much money, or too far, some employees will simply look for another job.
Office moves can (and will) disrupt productivity
If your staff are busy enough as it is, the last thing they need is an upheaval like an office move. Many will be worried about getting behind with their work, while others may pile the work on in anticipation of not getting much done while the move is happening.
Either way, things can get stressful. Again, preparation is key. Put limitations on how much work is assigned during the big move. That way, employees won’t get worked up about squeezing in work.
Stability is disrupted
It’s often said that change is good, but it can be bad in equal measure too. Moving offices is a huge upheaval which challenges stability and can trigger insecurities regarding jobs. It’s important to rectify any perceived instabilities and reassure staff where possible.
How to make the moving process as smooth as possible
Here are some tips and tricks that will help take the stress out of moving day. It’ll be over before you know it.
- Get rid of office equipment and things you don’t need
Like any moving day, one of the first things you should do is itemise what you want to take with you to your new premises, and the things that can be disposed of. Think old office chairs, monitors with missing leads, leads with missing monitors; if you cannot think of a purpose for something once it arrives at the new office, then you don’t really need it.
- Please don’t try to do it all at once
It will be so much more productive (and healthier) if you and your staff do a little bit at a time, rather than doing everything in one go and probably at the very last minute. Start with items you don’t use on a regular day-to-day basis, and pack them up first.
Moving is often underestimated, and it will probably take a little longer than you expected.
- Be organised with your cables and wires
You don’t want to get your wires crossed on moving day (pun just a little intended). They can easily go missing or, more likely, get mixed up with someone else’s. A good idea is to put cables in large zip-loc bags and label them according to which employee they belong to.
- Update your contact information and various business correspondence
Ah, paperwork. You’ll want to ensure your affairs are in order as soon as possible. Once you’ve moved, update the address details on your company’s website. Any contact information on business cards will need to be changed, too.
Then, contact your bank, and most importantly your clients (you don’t want clients sending bills to the wrong address).
- Make an effort with your storage
If you get your storage right, you’ll dramatically reduce the chance of expensive breakages or things getting lost in the process. Have a think about secure storage solutions: take custom cut foam for example. Foam inserts will help you safely transport valuable items (be it fragile trophies/awards or expensive audio recording equipment), without fear of damages.
Most importantly, promote open communication
One of the most important tips is to introduce a platform of communication where staff can talk about the office move, and talk to a trusted colleague from the HR department about how they feel. Start with this, and your move will be smooth.