Planning a Move

Start with these questions: Why are we moving? Who should be involved? What do we want from the new workspace? These questions may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many businesses don’t spend enough time considering them. Nothing should be set until these questions have been answered.

Do you really need to move? In many cases, it’s avoidable – you can accommodate growth and change by good space planning. This is very popular solution. With trends such as a 25 per cent increase in full-time self-employment, flexible working and desk-sharing, many organisations may not need to move at all. Regardless of whether you stay or go, every refit needs a move (even if it’s a temporary relocation of staff), and every move needs a refit to tailor the space to your needs. It’s rare to have one without the other.

Choose the right project leader. Who has the time, communication skills and experience to manage the project? They will need a degree of autonomy and contacts with an internal team of departmental heads. Appointing the right person can help to ease the transition and help with communication before, during, and after the refit.

Who should be involved in terms of determining how the new space is used and how it can be improved? The answer is everybody. Staff surveys and a workplace consultancy process in the early stages will provide the data you need to make the right decisions later on, including the design of the new space.

Design is a key priority. Around 15 years ago there was limited choice in office design apart from furniture. Today, new workspace trends are emerging every year, and they’ve been shown to improve recruitment, retention, wellbeing, engagement, and productivity.

You need to look at your workspace as a ‘performance lever’, because an ‘effective workplace’ can improve business productivity by as much as 12 per cent. The key to creating happier, more engaged and more productive people lies as much in the workspace as in leadership and culture; offices designed with that in mind have a better chance of attracting the right talent and keeping it.

 

AVOIDING THE PITFALLS
Failure to properly prepare means you may fall into these pitfalls: unworkable timeline, unrealistic budget, ineffective communication and wrong choice of supplier.

It’s never too early to plan. Projects can take months from enquiry to completion

Unworkable timelines come from leaving the planning too late, not giving suppliers enough time to prepare a proposal and deliver the service, or compressing the schedule once you’re in full flow. An unrealistic budget misses out essential costs or includes inaccurate quotes because suppliers were provided with incomplete information.

Bad communication can spell disaster. A relocation or refurbishment is an anxious time for employees. To soothe insecurities, stop rumours and prevent resignations, tell everyone everything they need to know at the same time.

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