Moving a whole company can often be crazier than moving a household. Both tasks involve getting a lot of stuff from Point A to Point B. Prepare your employees to move from one space to another using these tips.Moving a whole company can often be crazier than moving a household. Both tasks involve getting a lot of stuff from Point A to Point B. Prepare your employees to move from one space to another using these tips.Business

How to Prepare an Office or Work Space for a Move

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Though the principles are the same, moving a whole company can often be crazier than moving a household.

Both tasks involve getting a lot of stuff from Point A to Point B, but then things can often get complicated.

You may feel like you need to bring plenty of company history with you, including years’ worth of accumulated paperwork and records. Unless you’re moving to a place that’s already furnished or planning to start over with new fixtures, you’ll also need to bring all of your chairs, desks, workstations and other supplies along, adding to the amount of stuff.

You’ll also need to make sure employee personal items are moved along with the company items and correspond to the correct desks or offices.

And in most cases, you’ll need to keep your business doors open and the business running while switching locations.

While it would be nice to shut down for a day or a few days to focus 100% on relocating, not every business has this luxury. You may have customers and clients coming in, orders going out, or need to keep people on the phones or computers until the last possible moment. You don’t want to lose business due to your own self-caused disruption.

(There are exceptions, of course, such as having to relocate for emergency reasons, such as if your headquarters was damaged in a storm. There’s a higher level of chaos involved and a faster timeline but definitely more sympathy from customers and staff.)

That’s why creating a company moving strategy is vital, and announcing this information to your staff – and perhaps your customers – as soon as you finalize it.

This will give everyone ample time to process the change and start working toward the goal of a big move.

How to help employees prepare for a move

Though the physical act of performing a move is pretty basic, especially if you have a moving team help.

But it’s the mental and emotional part of a corporate move that can be a greater challenge, including motivating employees to take part and get excited about the new place, rather than dragging their feet and wishing things didn’t have to change.

There is definitely some “Change” involved in moving, which humans often have a tough time dealing with, even though it’s pretty much the only constant in life.

So, it’s easy enough to think about the stability and comfort of the old place, and be a little concerned about the next space.

An employer can help remind everyone of all the advantages of a new place, whether it’s more space, a better neighborhood, potential for growth, a better view, or “new building smell.” Taking employees to visit the new place and having them see and maybe touch the new place can also go a long way to helping them deal with the move well.

At the same time, employers can restate why a move is necessary, such as growing business, a need for more room, maybe an older, deteriorating building.

Dealing with the idea of a move, or change in general, can follow the general stages of grief. Your staff might have to move from denial to anger to bargaining to depression to final acceptance.

As an employer, be prepared to support all of these stages and work with the staff through the process, but never change the ultimate goal.

It can also help to give people roles beyond “pack up your stuff by X day.” You can appoint leaders in every division (not necessarily existing managers) to make sure that each group completes their to-do list.

Fun leadership roles can include focusing on different areas, like making sure all hardware is found. You can even make it competitive, like who can box up their desks fastest or dispose of the most garbage.

This can also extend to the new place – the staff can start with a “we did it” party or fun orientations once they leave the old place behind. This will also start creating positive experiences.

Prepare a floor plan for movers

Along with preparing everyone for a move, morale-wise, employers also need to have an actual plan for the move. This includes a step-by-step guide to which areas to pack and move first, and then blueprints of where everything will go in the new building.

This creates some degree of order and process, and gives guidance to the moving team. Otherwise, the movers could potentially be waiting around for boxes to be packed up, grabbing whatever is ready, or grabbing the wrong boxes.

This may be OK in a small company but could cause disruptions in a larger move.

The same is true when the move takes place: appropriate boxes should go to the correct areas.

How you design the floor plan is your prerogative, based on your company’s needs and philosophies, such as which departments or managers are closer to each other. It also could be a chance to adopt more modern approaches in workplace design, such as open-concept area, “docking” areas for remote workers, or private offices for those who need their own space.

Communicating all of this can be useful for the movers as well as for the staff. A clear map will cut down on calls/texts from the movers wondering where something goes, and reduce any possible frustration or confusion they might have if someone says, “just put in anywhere.”

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