8 months ago
There has been an air of excitement channeling through the office as we prepare for the big move, and here we are settling into our new environment. We have only moved a few miles down the road, but it got me thinking about the grand scheme of “moving offices” and what it entails.
Thinking of moving offices
Changing ways of working to sync with the office move will hopefully cause fewer waves throughout the team. Moving offices certainly make room to set new working practice opportunities in place. Believe it or not, it gives your staff a boost of motivation which naturally increases productivity. If staff are happier in their environment, then they are less likely to seek alternative employment and therefore staff retention will be higher. If you are located in a suitable area and lucky enough to find a nicely refurbished or modern office building, you are more likely to attract top talent when recruiting for staff.
Open plan or closed offices?
Improving the use of your office space will change the dynamics of how your team works together so a new office gives you the potential to gain the wealth of a “cross-functional team”, which, in turn, will improve internal communications leading to more creativity and enhanced problem-solving. Having said that, there is an argument that too much collaboration leads to less productivity – in the last few years offices have transformed into open plan workspaces, but it has now been stated that this is not always the smartest design for an office. Recent studies have shown that people are likely to be more distracted in an open plan environment. Noisy phone calls and constant interruptions disrupt the workflow, suggesting that we’re more likely to focus better in a closed office. Plus, if you are thinking of an open plan, it is wise to note that employees are twice as likely to catch illnesses in open plan offices, then if you divide teams into separate closed offices.
Hot-desking is when people move around an office without having a seat to call their own. This is fine as a temporary solution. It’s a known fact that we just can’t retain information as well as when you have your own work station and small disturbances can cause you to lose focus. The trend for Hot-desking is quickly fading as employees feel turfed out, undervalued and demotivated. The idea was great, but the reality is “hot-desking” means sharing dirty equipment and spreading germs like wildfire!
Switching up the seating plans
Moving offices provides an opportunity for switching the seating plans which can be highly constructive, especially when it’s time to break down those internal team silos. Departmental silos are seen as an increasing discomfort for many businesses so maybe a game of musical chairs would, in fact, do the company structure some good. While we are all creatures of habit and enjoy the knowledge that our seats are secure at our workplace, there is no harm for the occasional switch up and what better excuse if you’re moving offices!
Create a culture of ‘no surprises’ from the beginning of the project to help reduce resistance to the upcoming change and promote a positive buzz around the office move. Ensuring a stress-free transformation will make the move go a lot smoother! Do not be afraid to share photos of the new office so employees know what to expect, this gives time for the news to sink in before the move takes place. People who suffer from change or find it difficult to acclimatise to “change” will benefit from knowing what is going on, so share the process. Employees who are anxious about moving from their comfort zones will adapt better when given a sense of validation - which will also lead to a higher level of job satisfaction. Expect some resistance to the change and put in place a plan for the management team so they are able to deal with, and overcome any resentment moving forward.
Things to consider
How would a move hinder commute time? Will everyone you currently employ be able to travel to the new office location without creating long delays and daily disruptions? Check that public transport is available. Make sure that there is enough parking at the new location and that there are pleasant local amenities. Is there a shop or café within walking distance for lunch? Is there a kitchen and staff room to accommodate everyone’s lunch breaks? Consider the rent cost and IT/mobile coverage. With all these boxes ticked, have you made the appropriate steps to carry forward your green credentials and sustainability? Most importantly who is ordering the coffee? We are happily enjoying our new office space for now and will keep you updated with all things Law Staff from here!