Effects of Moving Office on Employees
When your company makes the decision to move to a new location, the main focus will generally be on logistics – consideration of how to transport the business’s furniture, equipment and internet technology. Granted, moving office furniture and information systems does require a great deal of thought and advance planning. However, there is another aspect to this type of relocation scenario. That is the human angle. Management is most likely looking forward to the move, anticipating increased company productivity and profitability. Yet your staff may perceive things quite differently.
How Employees May Be Affected
An office relocation, by its very nature, will disrupt the workplace routine, but that tends to be temporary. The effects on your employees’ personal lives may be longer lasting, though. Even a local move will change their patterns of commuting to and from work, with the result that they may be required to travel by car rather than by public transportation or arrange to pick up their children later from day care, to give just two examples. And moving office long distance or internationally will obviously have much farther reaching consequences. Your staff members will need to find new accommodation, pack up and transport their belongings, adjust to an unfamiliar culture and perhaps learn a foreign language as well.
Announcing the Move
The way the move is presented to your employees will play an important part in their feelings about the news. It’s recommended to announce the upcoming relocation only after a clear cut plan has been evolved, but early enough to permit personnel plenty of time to prepare. Making the announcement face to face is usually best; for instance, each supervisor could meet with his or her team to discuss the move and any related services you may be offering. Allow for a question and answer period immediately after breaking the news, to address individual concerns on the spot. As the relocation procedure progresses, keep employees up to date on the current developments.
Assistance to Employees
While your office relocation is still in the planning stages, management should come to a decision regarding the assistance you will provide to employees. First on the list will be obtaining the necessary licenses, documentation and permits for your employees to work in the new region. Depending on the company budget and the resources available, you may wish to offer either housing or help with finding homes, perhaps including a rent or purchase subsidy. Additional employee relocation services might comprise any or all of the following: shipping household goods, employment programs for the spouses of employees, educational programs to familiarize personnel with the language and culture of the new location, arranging for schooling for the children, and psychological counseling to ease the adjustment period.