Moving to a new office is never an easy task for employees. And companies might worry that moving their workers from one office to another – whether in the same city or across the country – might hurt both company morale and producivity.
A new survey, though, suggests that some of these concerns might be unfounded and that most employees adjust well, and might even perform better, after a move.
The survey from Clutch, a B2B research, ratings and reviews firm based in Washington, D.C., found that the benefits of an office relocation outweigh the challenges. But the key is for a company’s leaders to be honest about the reasons for the move, how it will impact employees and how it will be carried out.
“It is important for each organization to put someone in charge of the move who will keep communications open and transparent,” said Leslie Saul, owner of Leslie Saul & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm with offices in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, and Miami, Florida.
According to Clutch’s survey, 68 percent of office employees say that their office relocation had a positive impact on them. The top benefits of a move? Clutch reports that 67 percent of workers pointed to a more comfortable space while 61 percent said the move gave them more space to accomplish tasks.
Other positives cited by survey respondents included the chance to work in a more visually appealing space, cited by 50 percent of employees, and improved productivity, pointed to by 48 percent of respondents.
On the negative side, it’s impossible for a move not to be a distraction for employees. The Clutch survey also found that it will take time for employees to adjust to their new space.
Two-thirds of survey respondents, or 67 percent of them, said that they found their office relocation challenging despite the overall benefits of the move. An additional 30 percent of respondents said that their office move was a distraction.
The Clutch survey points to the example of All Star Cleaning Services in Fort Collins, Colorado. The company moved from a 1,500-square-foot office to a 5,000-square-foot space last year. Clutch reported that employees appreciate the larger space but were initially frustrated by the move.
“What was supposed to take three weeks ended up taking almost three months before we were able to fully move into the remodeled areas,” said Ajia Holiday, general manager of All Star Cleaning Services. “Trying to answer phones and give solid customer service while people are installing floor above your head can be a very stressful work environment.”
Clutch said that the cleaning company lost some employees because of the stress from the move.
The biggest takeaway from the survey? When companies move, they need to keep their employees informed. They also need to involve them in the planning process. Doing so will decrease the chances of unhappy employees.