Announcing that you’re going to move offices is a huge part of a smooth relocation process. Whether it’s a small to medium enterprise, or a larger multinational – getting it right is essential for both your staff and clients alike.
Reasons why it’s essential to make an office moving announcement
Office relocation has many facets and announcing an office move can sometimes be given less attention than it deserves when you’re dealing with the logistical nuts and bolts. However, regardless of if you’re a business that employs 100 people or a thousand, moving office is not something you can leave at a casual water cooler announcement.
It has massive implications for your employees – travel, location, parking, facilities, even moving house – and to successfully relocate an office they need to be involved in that process from the start.
It is also essential that clients have time to get used to an office move if you’re a customer-facing business. Even if you’re not, they need to know where you are and how they can contact you for the sake of business continuity and minimal disruption to daily operations.
Announcing the change also informs the timeline to which your office move is working and can help ensure the process happens in an orderly manner.
Announcing your move to your employees
As the beating heart of most businesses, employees need time to absorb the news and become accustomed to any changes that may be taking place. How you announce it to them will depend on the organization’s size, but regardless, clear communication is vital from the beginning.
The chances are rumors may already be circulating, and to quell any concerns, any announcement should be made long before the move happens. It should be clear and concise, detailing where the company will be moving to, the rationale behind the move and where they can go to voice opinions.
Before announcing, it’s a good idea to hold a meeting with heads of departments to inform them and ask for feedback on the process. If you’re using a moving coordinator, they will help organize the entire process. Particularly if it’s a move involving many people and/or equipment, they can be involved in your business from the start to organize the entire process.
How you announce it will depend on what resources are available, but most businesses start with an internal notice, either via the company’s intranet or via email, which every staff member will receive. A video message from a relevant senior manager can also go a long way to helping to create a more digestible message than simple text.
Any announcement should give them time to absorb the news and how it may impact them. It should also provide them with a means of communication. If the move is to an office in the same city with better facilities and minimal impact on their lives, it’s likely to be easier to get employees on board. If you’re relocating miles away and staff will need to commute for longer or even move home, it will inevitably affect staff retention and those conversations need to be had as soon as possible.
Announcing the move to clients and business contacts
If clients come to the office, it’s obvious why they need to know where you’ll be in future. Even if you don’t see them face-to-face, it is good business practice to let them know changes are occurring.
If employees are struggling with an office relocation, work quality may drop, which can also affect clients. Clients also need to be reassured that they can continue doing business with you and their interests won’t suffer.
It may be sufficient to send an individual email to your database detailing the date of the move, any new contact details and who they can contact for further information. It may even be necessary to speak to individual clients on a one-to-one level to assuage any concerns.
Utilities and services will also need to be told of your move and again, this is something an office move consultant can assist with.
Creating your moving notice
Any moving notice about your office relocation needs to be as detailed as possible, particularly for employees, to assuage any concerns early on. It should include:
• Date of the relocation
• Details of where you’re relocating to
• Reasons for the relocation
• Benefits of the move, e.g. larger space / more meeting rooms / modern offices / better facilities
• Meeting dates
• Preparation timeline and deadline
• Contact details
• Name of the moving coordinator if using one
Channels you can utilize for your office announcement
Given the digital age we live in, there are multiple channels available. Your company website, intranet and direct email will likely be the first port of call, but traditional forms of media such as a newspaper announcement, press release or a written letter to staff and clients are still relevant.
Social media can be helpful for notifying people who you might not reach via traditional media. You can use sites such as LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook to make a public announcement, but you can also use them to engage with staff and the public, providing regular updates about the process as it unfolds.
How early should you start announcing?
The size of your organization could determine when you should make the announcement. If you have a lot of employees and equipment to move, the process may begin months or even a year or more in advance of the actual move date. Using an office moving consultancy can help you plan when and how the announcement should be made.
They may install a full-time office move manager in your organization to understand your processes and decide the best way to progress as well as when to make your staff aware. Regardless of what form your move takes, allowing plenty of time to make the announcement is important.
Moving an entire office, staff and equipment can be a potentially stressful experience if not managed well. But a well-thought-out office move announcement that is mindful of both employees and clients can ensure your relocation runs smoothly.