A holistic look at office relocation
Office relocation is a big step. It’s disruptive to your organisation and you can often expect some teething troubles as services are transferred and people get used to the new place – one reason it’s best to go with a company that has a strong track-record in the area, like K2 Space. It’s carried out for a number of reasons, but cost and opportunity are the most common. Space is expensive and office relocation can bring your immediate overheads down; alternatively, being in a different place can capture new business prospects. But is there more to it than that financial bottom line: are there factors you could be missing?
Remote working is becoming more common as new technologies mean we don’t have to be physically present to carry out our jobs. If a lot of your employees already work or could work away from the office then downsizing appears to make good financial sense. But don’t underestimate the impact of face-to-face communication. Having people together in the office makes more difference than you might think (so much so that Yahoo has recently instigated a ban on teleworking). Being able to call or email someone just isn’t the same as having them on hand. If teleworking is part of your strategy, then office relocation in favour of cheaper or more flexible space is likely to have costs you didn’t expect in terms of synergy and productivity. A related factor is the extent to which your new space promotes or restricts staff relationships. Does everyone have or need their own office or cubicle? Are there communal areas where people can meet? Or does the layout of your space encourage everyone to operate in their own isolated silos?
Assuming employees do work at the new office, their journeys will change. It’s worth thinking about how your office relocation plans will affect your workforce’s commute (and whether this will be a factor in pushing more of them into remote working). Long commutes are a significant factor for stress and job dissatisfaction – not surprising, given that an increased commute comes at the expense of time they might have spent asleep, or with friends and family. That all has potential fallout for recruitment and retention in the long run, and productivity in the short-term.
These factors combine when it comes to external relationships. Does your office relocation plan take into account how clients, customers, and suppliers will be affected? One marketing agency in London made the decision to move their offices to Canary Wharf, three miles from the City. At the time it was a new development and still growing in popularity. They were one of the first businesses to move in and many of their clients remained in central London. The result was that the staff spent significantly more time travelling to meet clients, and relationships within the previously tight-knit team suffered. The alternative might be to expect others to spend more time coming to you, which could encourage them to look for something more convenient.
Office relocation can bring huge benefits in terms of new business opportunities and/or reduced costs. However, think carefully about the unintended consequences that a move could have, including to employee relationships and the impact that could have on their job satisfaction.
K2 Space has comprehensive and established experience in corporate relocation and move management. They do not just focus on the physical transfer of assets from one location to another. They focus on the needs of the organisation and the staff to ensure that the business continues to operate profitably throughout the relocation.