Moving offices should be an exciting time for you and your business. It offers a fresh start and is often a sign that your business is growing. But it can be difficult breaking the news to your employees, and as a business leader, you may feel nervous telling your team and preparing them for the big move. After all, they’re a major part of your business, and moving offices can massively affect their job satisfaction.
Good communication within the team can ensure that the move happens as smoothly as possible and with minimal downtime. Here, we’ve got some of the best tips on how to communicate with your employees before, during, and after an office move.
Plan to make the announcement as early as possible
One of the last things you want is for your employees to hear about the possibility of moving to a new office from someone other than you. It’s your responsibility to break the news, and hiding it from your employees could impact their trust in you as a manager. With this in mind, it’s best to make the announcement as early as you can.
Consider your announcement options
How you make your announcement depends on your business and the way you’ve made company-wide announcements in the past. If you mostly share company news via email, then stick to this format and notify employees with a mass mailout. However, if your business often has meetings with all the employees present, then you could share the news in this way.
Some of the best ways to make company-wide announcements include:
- Holding a company-wide meeting
- Emailing all employees at once
- Organising one-on-one meetings (note: this is only feasible in a small company)
- Organising departmental meetings
- Posting a notice in a communal area
- Using a notice board
However you do it, use your announcement message to tell staff if they need to do anything to help with the move, such as packing up their desks and belongings, and if there will be any office closures while the move takes place.
There are a number of office move announcement templates available online which can give you a rough idea of what to include in your own announcement. In general, it’s best to keep it short and sweet. Avoid wasting time with unnecessary waffling, and make sure to highlight key dates. Try to be as specific as possible, and give as much information as you can, especially about transport options, so your employees can work out any changes to their commute. Take the opportunity to build excitement over the decision, explaining what the new office means for the business, and what employees can expect. This could be anything from upgraded office furniture and equipment, which can help to keep your staff interested and excited over the new office.
Offer support to concerned employees
Relocating your entire business is a huge change, and some employees may be less than thrilled with the decision, especially if it negatively impacts their commute to work. Some staff members may be wary about having to get used to a new office setting, and may not be prepared to switch their working environment. This should be expected, and it’s important for you to always have your staff’s interests at heart, and keep them motivated and inspired. Offer your team encouragement, and focus on the positives that will come with moving offices. This could include more space, new equipment and furniture, and a new floor plan.
If employees do have other concerns regarding the office move, ensure you give them as much information as you can, and try and be completely transparent about the process. If your staff feel like they have all the correct information, they’re more likely to trust your decision about the move. You may consider offering regular updates regarding the office relocation, or even holding meetings with employees who have any questions. This can help them feel appreciated—just be sure to take their comments on board, if you can.
Involve employees with the relocation process
Keeping your staff engaged with the plan can help them to feel valued and appreciated, which in turn can ease the transition to the new office.
You could involve staff by:
- Asking for feedback about the current layout, and how it can be made better in the new office
- Discussing the best way to decorate the new office
- Debating how to make the reception welcoming
- Brainstorming ways to make the office more comfortable
- Spending an afternoon showing staff around the new office before the move