How do you minimize stress during what is traditionally one of the most stressful periods for employees and business owners alike? Office moves can be trying times, but can be made much more manageable through adequate advance planning, open communication—and perhaps the assistance of a professional moving company.
Planning Relieves Pressure
Timing is everything with most things in life, and relocating your place of business is no exception. From researching and selecting a moving company to setting up technology and utilities, cleaning out the old location and potentially renovating the new, and of course packing up multiple years’ worth of belongings, the process has a tendency to be long and arduous.
To avoid becoming completely overwhelmed, attempt to tackle the smaller tasks first; these will add up quickly and eliminate to-dos from the list. Delegating responsibilities to other employees, as well as those the professional movers are hired to take on—such as packing and transporting—should also alleviate a degree of pressure as the months dwindle down to weeks leading up to the big moving day.
Get a Head Start
Among the advance preparations you can begin to chip away at: purging unnecessary belongings to avoid moving them to a new local; selling or donating those in good condition, or perhaps recycling those you plan to discard, if applicable. Attempt to block off a portion of the calendar to devote to sorting and packing; be sure to collect boxes, newspapers, tape, and other packing supplies well in advance.
Try to keep any items you’ll need close at hand, along with valuables and personal effects. Be methodical about the packing process, starting with those nonessential files and accessories. Clearly label each box based on its contents, and include your name, department and floor, if applicable. There’s nothing worse than having belongings misplaced, an inconvenience that can be avoided by taking a few extra, simple steps.
Communication Is Key
On a management level, it’s imperative to make the effort to communicate details of the impending move to all employees as soon as it becomes available—even involving them in the planning process by requesting feedback on potential office design and structure. By reducing the unpredictability of the situation and offering complete transparency, stress can be alleviated among the staff as they take steps to prepare for this substantial change.
Among the factors that may create friction are impending changes to their commute, as well as alterations to the layout of the office. A prime focus for many tends to be seating and proximity to others, which can lead to a clash of egos, depending upon the personalities involved. Giving people time to get used to the idea of change can soften the adjustment.
As the day draws closer, it may be wise to schedule several work-from-home days for your employees, to minimize the chaos and ensure that interruptions to workflow will be minimal. If feasible, consider investing in fresh equipment and workstations, which will serve as a pleasant welcome to the new office space.