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If you are just concerned about how you are going to announce the office move to your employees, stop right here. You’re probably not an expert in office move communications, but what you need to know first and foremost is that this is a specialised process. So, a good staff communication plan for an office move goes far beyond merely informing employees about the change in address.
Office Move Announcement
Announcing an office move is the most essential step of the whole office move communication process. Any interested party should be included in the process at an appropriate stage of the move.
An efficient office move announcement strategy should be integrated into the official office move communication plan. The whole announcement procedure cannot be completed all at once. It is an ongoing process that starts before the relocation and continues during and after the move, depending on various factors.
Employees and business partners should be first notified of the upcoming office relocation, whereas customers may be notified a bit later.
The most crucial steps of the office move communication remain:
- Obtaining and processing feedback
Plan the Structure of the Office Move Announcement Letter
There are several steps you should follow when structuring your office move announcement letter. We’ll share with you steps you shouldn’t ignore if aiming for a smooth, transparent and productive office move communication with your team, clients and partners.
List the following elements in your office move announcement letter in the order, stated below:
- Type down the name of your company.
- Add your company’s current address.
- The city in which the business is located.
- The postal code of the city.
- Date (at which the letter was written).
- Address of the receiver.
- City (of the receiver).
- Postal code (of the receiver).
- Start with a formal email phrase (a salutation).
- Inform the letter receiver of upcoming office relocation and mention the date when the office move will be completed according to the plan.
- List the exact address where the office will be moved to.
- Type down your contact details and if any changes have been made (if the receiver already has your contact details).
- Give a more detailed description of the area where the new office will be moved to. Describe adjacent buildings, offices and any other distinctive things in the area.
- Remind the reader of your office move announcement letter that you’re available for receiving any questions and feedback related to your office relocation.
Have a Different Strategy for Each Type of Recipients
Do not use the same approach for all recipients of your office move announcement letter. Use a personalised approach to inform all parties interested in your office relocation.
Addressing Service Providers and Banks
Focus on facts and low word count when you’re writing your letter for office move announcement to clients like these.
Your primary goals should be to keep all billing details updated with the help of this letter, nothing too special. Avoid extra information that this type of businesses would ignore or consider as “too much information”.
Business Relocation Letter to Your Customers – a Few Tips & Tricks
Leave punctuality aside, instead, focus on telling your customers how they will benefit after you relocate. Don’t forget to mention things such as:
- Easier access to your business
- Adjacent buildings, facilities and cultural destinations
- A larger area with more free space
- Increased number of parking lots
- Increased comfort due to modern technology or more comfortable furnishing
- Whatever you can list that may potentially improve your relationship with your customers as well as their experience while interacting with your business.
If your company is moving abroad, the list gets longer, include any details related to leaving the current country of operation.
Addressing Business Partners
Convince your business partners that the office relocation will bring mostly positive results to the business. Try to show a representation of this with estimated numbers. Focus on predicting growth, prosperity and increased revenue after the relocation, they will like this.
Don’t go too far in predictions though, if there are drawbacks from moving your office, mention some of them as well. A drastic difference between your partners’ expectations and the actual final results from the move might show you in a bad light.
You can also include a map with directions that show the shortest route to the new office address.
Contact All Suppliers
Do not forget to send office move announcement letters to all companies you trade with, especially suppliers. Convince them that the office relocation will not hinder your current beneficial collaboration and that nevertheless, you will continue your business relationship with them.
Respond to any questions they ask as quickly as possible and include all updated information related to contacts, address, availability etc.
Business Relocation Announcement Press Release Template
We already mentioned how an office relocation letter should look. Now we would like to clarify in greater detail the template of the press releases you’ll send to media and PR agencies.
If you’re aiming at generating solid publicity and a devastating amount of impressions, you can’t ignore press releases, they are the linking point between your business and the media that reaches out to the public.
Include the following things in the press releases that you’ll send to announce the upcoming office relocation:
- Short, easy-to-read and memorable headline.
- Include a short version of the relocation plan, containing the most essential info and details.
- Tell more about your business and why its office relocation is important to the people you want to reach out.
- The date at which the office move will start and the approximate date when it’s supposed to be fully completed.
- Explain why you’re moving and how this is expecting to impact your business and your customers.
- Include information if your product/service is going to change after the office move. Will you add anything new to your company’s portfolio? The media will certainly point this out if you don’t forget to mention it.
- Share the management’s view of the upcoming relocation. What do the CEO and the rest of the management think will change after the office changes its address? How will the rest of the changes affect the business according to the most experienced staff in your company?
- Include images relevant to your company and the business filed it operates in. Don’t forget things like your logo; a photo of the office’s interior; photos of popular people working in the company who are well-known to your audience (CEO, managers etc.).
- Add your website’s address. Make sure you link to your home page or to an internal page on your website that provides more info about the business, the people who have established it, your goals, social responsibility etc.
- Point out the date at which the press release was written and sent to the media.
- Leave contact details in case any journalist or PR agent wants to contact you for more information. Include the regular stuff such as mail, phone number, social media profiles, website contact form etc.
How to Move an Officе
Usually moving home is the less complicated process. Relocating an office requires a much more careful planning process.. Think logically and make a list of all the steps to follow. A successful office move requires the right amount of people, each of whom has to be responsible for an exact list of tasks.
Manage these people and their progress at every stage of the move. Spare no expense whenever you need advice or service from a professional in the fields of design, long-term storage, removals and relocation, real estate management, etc.
Taking the position of the “jack of all trades” in a situation like this may have and an adverse effect of the office relocation process, better invest in hiring professionals if your the office move manager cannot handle all tasks alone.
Office Relocation Planning Guide – How to Plan an Office Move
A professionally designed office relocation planning guide contains a thorough explanation of the company’s motivation to move their office.
When planning your office move, start with the most important stuff first:
Determine Motivations for Moving the Office.
When planning your office move, your first step should be to clearly express your position on why the relocation is necessary. Anyone related to the business would expect a reasonable explanation of why the office move cannot be avoided and what are the pros and cons of the office move. These are some of the most common reasons for changing the office building address:
- Finding new talent easier.
The young population is concentrated in bigger cities where opportunities for work and education are much more than in the less populated areas.
- New Address is Closer to Your Target Audience.
The majority of businesses prefer to be accessible with ease by their customers and business partners.
- More Business Growth Options
Moving an office also has the potential to expand your business. Operating in a region with a high concentration of well-established companies will attract lots of attention to your company as well. Entrepreneurs and investors will contact you, providing original ideas and plans for mutually beneficial work.
- Lower Renting Fees
Companies rarely buy a building that serves as their office. It’s a common practice to rent a property instead.
What’s frustrating is that owners of rented buildings have a tendency to raise the price for the rent each year. When a landlord notices that the business who has hired their building is prosperous, they tend to raise the rent price.
Moving your office is one of the ways to reduce the expenses for absurdly high monthly rents by hiring a new building or buying a place.
The pros of changing your office address are not limited to what we’ve listed above. Read more on why you should move and what are the positives of doing it when it’s a well-planned and professionally executed procedure.
Assign an Office Move Coordinator
Assign a person in the office, who will be fully responsible for the major tasks during the office move. If there’s an office manager, they are the most suitable person for the job.
Build Up a Great Team
Build up a team for the office move project management that will create, optimise and track the progress of your top-notch office move plan.
The whole team will be managed by the office move coordinator who will make all necessary changes to the process and will have to take additional actions whenever required.
Assign each member with specific responsibilities that best fit their personality.
Create a Calendar for Important Office Move Events
Figure out all key dates of the office move. Mark these as important events on a digital calendar and send notifications to all interested parties. Example of such key steps are any of the following actions:
- Lease termination at the current address.
- Preparing all office goods for transportation.
- Emptying the building of personal items.
- Signing a lease contract with a new landlord.
- Setting a final date of the office move
Feel free to assign in the calendar any additional tasks that seem important for your business relocation.
Estimate Your Office Move Costs
If you don’t know where to start from, we’ve got the perfect guide on moving costs. We recommend reading it as a start and then going through all types of expenses from the perspective of your business.
This will greatly help you to calculate an approximate scale of all costs you’ll have before, during and after the office relocation.
Make a Sheet With All Tasks
You can track the tasks from your office relocation plan more effectively with the help of a Google sheet. It offers much more benefits than any similar applications and tools:
- It’s a cloud service and anyone can access it from anywhere
- Offers plenty of functionalities, editing options and restrictions for viewing and editing of documents.
- People can easily share the document, multiply it, as well as add comments, visible to anyone the sheet is shared with.
- It’s mobile-friendly and is usable while on the go.
- You can even use it offline and then apply the changes to the main document on the cloud.
Book a Trustworthy Moving Company
There are lots of shady moving companies who’ll agree to sell you their services even though they don’t have all the required resources to do an office relocation job efficiently.
Such companies would usually leave you with terrible service experience and getting your money back is always a tedious task.
To avoid this, research all established moving companies very well. We have a few tips for you that will help you distinguish a reputable removals company from one that offers poor services:
- Aim for companies that have well-designed websites.
There you will be able to find all the information you’re looking for.
- Search for businesses that have been operating in this field for at least a few years.
A business that has just been established has a high chance of lacking trained staff and experience to get the job done according to your needs.
- Check the reviews for the list of companies you’re choosing between.
Some platforms offer spammy reviews and should be avoided, Google’s listings offer a high trust rate where the majority of reviews are organic.
- Ask for an insurance
If a moving company cannot offer insurance for your office items, it should be avoided at any cost. You must have a guarantee that if anything gets broken or damaged, your business will be well compensated for this.
- Discuss the packaging process
A professional moving company wouldn’t mind if you do the packing. It may only affect the terms and conditions of the insurance but this is to be negotiated between the office move project manager and the moving company’s representative.
- Fixed quotes
Reputable removals service provides will give you an exact price for the removals service you want to book with them.
Put Your Office Move Communication Plan Into Use
Time for the office move to be announced officially to all who are concerned with it. Employees go first, send a notification to everyone in the company. Stick to the tips we’ve listed earlier in this post where the office move announcement is described in detail.
Make a Google form with all the FAQs you may receive. Share it with anyone, process the feedback and apply to take all necessary actions to make sure everyone is well informed of the office move process.
Make meetings for face-to-face contact with the company’s staff. Some might find it as a more suitable way of sharing their feedback, concerns and ideas on the office relocation process.
Plan the New Interior Design for the Office
An office relocation goes hand in hand with changing the interior design. A business may benefit drastically from an interior design refurbishment.
Have the following things in mind when planning the new design of the office building:
- Are you planning to grow?
If the answer is yes, then you should create more free space.
- What do you want to do in each area of the office?
- How do you imagine the new workspace?
Any additional features you want to include will affect the interior design plan as well.
- Discuss furnishing carefully.
Operation requirements and space are the crucial steps on this step of the
- Precisely measure the new office’s dimensions
- Contact professional interior designers to make a plan for the new office.
Check out Dezeen’s top 10 office interior designs for 2018 to draw ideas from it.
Discuss IT Hardware and Software Changes
Contact your IT department and have a talk about changes in the IT equipment at the new address after the office move. Think about things such as:
- Will you buy/sell office equipment?
- Does your current hardware require any excessive maintenance?
- Is any of the software you use linked to the physical address of the office? If so, changes should be made.
- Make a survey if office employees need any additional IT appliances. If they do, consider if you can fit it into the office move budget and purchase what they need.
- Discuss if outdated and old files and papers can be destroyed instead of transported to the new office.
- Talk to the moving company if they will be able to move IT hardware, specifically servers.
Take all necessary measures to avoid data loss. It’s one of the most common errors during the relocation of IT hardware that can also affect the company’s finances negatively.
Find a proper place to move to
When you research the area you want to move to, pick several suitable addresses and discuss these with the management. When they approve a few of them, notify employees of your choices and see if there will be people who will find it hard to get to the new office building.
If only a few employees find the new place inconvenient, you can discuss personal compensation for them. Any of the following would look like a reasonable compensation:
- Additional income for transportation / fuel
- Free public transport license
- A preferential price for accommodation in the area
- Working from home position etc.
- Do not forget to talk with the company’s stakeholders about the new location address. Board members might decide to call out a vote if there isn’t a unified position on the matter.
Hire a broker if no one in the company has enough experience in the real estate market. This will generate additional costs for your company but in the long term will most certainly prove as an investment. If a broker manages to get what you need at a favourable price and doesn’t charge too much for the job, using the services of a realtor is a much smarter decision than leaving this task to the office relocation manager.
Determine Your Budget
Plan your office move budget precisely. Leave no place for mistakes, otherwise, it may cost you a lot in terms of human resources, finances and time. The office move communication within the company has a great impact on calculating the costs properly.
Research everything that may affect your moving costs and talk to all employees who have anything in common. These are some of the major factors to take in mind when determining an office relocation budget:
- Costs on moving supplies.
- Removals service costs.
- Removals insurance costs.
- Financial losses during the time when a business does not operate.
This is the time period from starting the office move until fully completing it. Any company should make a close calculation of the consequences from the downtime period while it’s moving.
Company Relocating What Are My Rights
A mobility clause in an employee’s contract makes may force them to move their address after the office they work in relocates. There’s also a chance to avoid this if employees manage to describe the request as unreasonable or prove that it has a negative impact on their living.
Reasonableness is always fact-specific, in order for an employee to refuse to comply with their contract, they should represent legal facts why the mobility clause should not be exercised. Some common reasons to object to a mobility clause are:
- Increased costs for fuel, parking and toll taxes for the employee;
- A mobility clause that not well defined and offers a lot of interpretation;
- An absence of a compensation scheme for employees;
- If an employee has caring responsibilities and cannot make a change of address quickly without serious consequences;
- Office relocation may cause troublesome impacts on the employee’s living and they can prove it.
As an employee, you have rights and even though there’s a mobility clause in your contract that you should move whenever the office does, double check this if it works against you. Under specific circumstances, the mobility clause is subject to a legal objection.
In case you decide not to move, despite the mobility clause in your contract, your employer might decide to make you redundant by cancelling the working contract with you.
Redundancy may be an adequate move from an employer under the following circumstances:
- The employee matches a redundancy criteria
- There wasn’t any reasonable motivation for the employee to comply with the mobility clause in its contract.
- Working from home isn’t suitable for the position of the employee who’s refusing to move
Receiving Compensation From an Employer
Compensation is provided by the employer only when it is specified in an employment contract. If there is no clause for it in the contract, as an employee, you can still make an attempt to ask for compensation. Mind that your employer will not be legally obliged to provide you with one.
A dispute is to be solved when an employer and an employee cannot come to an agreement if both sides are reasonable on the matter of making a redundancy payment.
Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment
This means that an employee’s rights are always protected even if an employer is undertaken by new owners of the business who decide to relocate. What’s been signed in the contract between the employee and the first business owner remains under the TUPE regulations.
Call for Help if You’re Uncertain
Whenever you feel like your rights have been violated by your employer, contact the authorities to receive help and guidance. In the UK, you should contact the Acas helpline whenever you deal with workplace issues.
Relocating Employees – Best Practices for Creating a Good Office Move Communication Strategy with Your Employees
To have successful communication with your staff about the company’s relocation endeavours, you will need to design a plan that actively engages employees. As long as you start the communication early, everything should be okay. Remember that employees play a large role in a successful office relocation for three main reasons:
- They often pack their own equipment (desk, documents, personal belongings);
- Their perspective about the process is an important factor for its proper execution;
- Both bullet points above have an impact on how much downtime or lost productivity your business experiences as a result of your office move.
Another reasonable strategy for taking care of personal items is to hire a long-term storage facility that will provide enough storage containers for all the belongings of your employees until the office move is fully completed.
To have as many employees on board with your move as possible, you will need to create a good communication strategy and apply it carefully. In the end, you may even be surprised by the number of employees who have decided to offer additional help on their very own. Here are the 13 best tips on how to communicate with employees about an office move.
Be the Source of Inspiration
Start your communication strategy as early as you can. Don’t wait for such a long amount of time that employees start finding out about the move from another source. This can create unexpected troubles that can hinder the future development of your plan.
Build Your Team
While creating your plan, consider the office move as a team sport and outline some teamwork rules. Include leaders from your department lines of business and functional representatives, such as IT, HR, Facilities, Transportation, Finance, Marketing (depending on your business). Team leaders are key here as they are the trusted and well-respected employees who can give you insight into how other employees feel about the move.
Deliver the Message
Which is the right way to communicate the key messages? If you are mostly sharing company news via email, maybe you should continue in this way. In addition to your general channel of communication, you should try to use multiple tactics and share all the details of the move with your managers so they can inform their colleagues and handle all the questions.
Methods of Communication
The methods you’ll choose to communicate the office move to your staff is very important. They give everyone a chance to ask questions, read up about new office leisure activities, and get regular updates about the move. Here are some suggestions that might be really helpful:
- Have more of a face-to-face workplace culture;
- Organise one-on-one meetings;
- Post information in break/game rooms or other common areas;
- Schedule department meetings or team briefings;
- Spread the news via Internet/emails;
- Send CEO newsletters;
- Use the notice board on the business premises.
Review the Content of Your Messages
Think about what other messages you want to convey to your staff apart from the fact that you are relocating the business. You may want to share more detailed information about these extra topics to avoid questions.
Sharing your thoughts on how the new office may help grow the business, how it can create a better working environment from which your employees can thrive, and how it will make a more positive impression on clients and visitors, will most definitely help keep the spirits high.
Make Relevant Messages to Different Employee Groups/Departments
Different teams/departments may be on varying move schedules and may have access to different facilities at the new office location. As a result, you should think of a way to distribute this information through each respective channel of communication to get the specialised instructions across to all teams.
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Foresee the Resistance
While some of your staff members won’t really mind the changes, others might have some issues with the relocation. Let’s say that someone can be quite happy with their existing work environment, and may perceive the upcoming office relocation as a tough change of pace to get used to. This is quite normal, but by providing some encouragement and keeping staff interests at heart you will be able to make the relocation process much, much easier.
Support employees who may be having some concerns about the office move. Social media can be used as a way to help them out by providing hyperlinks to online forums, help desks, and by offering easy access to other helpful resources. This allows employees to tell their own stories and find individual answers to the unspoken questions they have regarding the office move.
Involve Employees with the Relocation Process
Getting your staff engaged with the move will keep morale levels high throughout the relocation process and help them feel appreciated. If you are wondering how exactly to get your staff involved with the move, here are some suggestions:
- Ask them for feedback about the layout and design of your existing office;
- Ask them for some creative ideas on how to go about designing your new office;
- Involve them with the “christening” of the new meeting rooms;
- Ask them how to make your reception area a welcoming place for visitors;
- Ask them about everything else you may be wondering about (office move-related) as they are the ones who will spend the majority of the day at the office.
- See if they have any ideas on how you can reduce your removal costs before booking with a local moving company.
HINT: A desktop quiz can be a great way to ask employees to submit their suggestions. Small, but meaningful prizes can be awarded to the winners for the best suggestions offered.
10 Escalate Communications as the Office Move Day Gets Closer
As the date for the move draws closer, use more overt communication channels. What you can do is to talk with your IT department and target your employees’ desktops with alerts or scrolling desktop headlines to remind them of important deadlines, including:
- Updating their contact information;
- Packing up personal office areas;
- Applying for new security passes;
- Booking car parks.
Ease the Transition
It may take longer for some staff members to adapt to their new work environment, so once you have completed the move in and settled down, you may want to carry out a review on how everyone is dealing with the change of address. Also, arrange someone to check for any snagging issues regarding the new seating arrangement or each individual workstation.
Regulations for Employee Consultation
The UK Information & Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 state that any changes that affect your staff directly should be discussed with them. Consultation may be a necessary stage in your communications plan.
Is there a person on Earth who doesn’t likes celebrations? I don’t really think so. Relocating your entire company belongings and employees can be an extremely busy and stressful time not only for you but for everyone who is somehow involved with your business. Once everything is done, throw a moving party for your staff and other important stakeholders. This way, everyone will forget quite quickly about the past moving day or week. In addition to that, employees will stay motivated and your business will operate at the usual good pace.
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