Organized Chaos: Keeping the Team Going During Your Office Move
Making the big office move!
Research shows that there are few life events more stressful than moving. It is in the top three, right up there with death of a loved one, or divorce. Office relocation isn't much different from moving your home. It offsets the familiarity you have grown to rely on during your time in your working environment. It might even change commuting times, the space you share with your employees, and the physical move might just be a total nuisance for everyone involved. From office squabbles such as cleaning out the microwave one last time to who left the mystery container in the fridge for the last six months, there are all sorts of minute details to consider when moving your office.
Whether it is just a few floors or to an entirely new town, moving is stressful for any office, and moving an office can be extremely overwhelming and taxing to the morale of the office staff. On top of doing your daily workload for your job, everyone is now saddled with the responsibility of getting their workspace packed and ready.
Claim your space
When you move your desk from point A to point B, everyone might feel like they are giving up a part of themselves. From corner office to cubicle, just about anyone who works in your office brings a little bit of themselves into the workplace. If not pictures and mementos, then items that they have gotten attached to, like staplers or foolscap notebooks add a personal touch to their lives. It is important that these items are transported safely in the office moving process. So when packing up items, be sure that boxes or plastic totes are provided and properly labeled. Numbering the boxes can also show what may or may not have made it in the transition. Encourage everyone to keep a list of items in each box too just in case something goes missing or is damaged.
General chaos can ensue in a poorly handled move. Be sure to pace out employees during the move so that full coverage of the office can be maintained. Also, it does no good to move everyone on one day, but have no copiers, network capabilities, or telephone service ready at the other end of the move! Moving your staff around in stages can work well to keep the office covered while some people and equipment are still in transit! Items can easily be lost, especially paper files, so be sure you have had backups made of everything on electronic media and be sure sensitive information is kept in a secure file in the event something is misplaced.
Clearly assign all duties in the move, and be sure to make these directions clear. If everyone knows their place in this process and can see that the chores are equally divided, it should work wonders in keeping anyone feeling like they aren't doing more (or less) than their fair share. From CEOs to temps, keep the list even and fair. Everyone does their part!
Be prepared to get dirty
When moving offices, a lot of equipment that has sat in one place for years is going to reveal just how much dust and dirt the custodians miss over time. You are going to get your hands dirty in the process. Due to lifting, pushing, and probably cleaning it's probably better to go one step further than Business Casual Friday. Your staff will appreciate being able to work comfortably and safely in casual attire, or even jeans, shorts, or t-shirts. This can be a great morale boost to see a Vice President rolling up their shirtsleeves to help.
Moving day can be fun!
This is not going to be your typical day at the office. So why not make everyone's day and have lunch catered? Or better yet, take everyone out to dinner to celebrate the end of the move. If you provide incentives such as random door prizes, coffee shop gift cards, or other morale boosting perks, you will keep everyone engaged throughout an otherwise long and tedious process.
To keep office coverage and the move going smoothly, assign times and days for your staff to do their regular jobs as well as taking them completely offline to help with the move. This will help your staff to not feel like they are doing double duty and will alleviate a lot of those feelings of being overwhelmed. Work with staff to find out their particular priorities for the week and be flexible!