Moving offices, as you probably know, is a huge pain in the backside. Not just for the company in question, but for every single member of staff too. As a business owner, it is easy to see an office move as only a step in the right direction: a bigger premise, a postcode that better reflects your business, and a shiny new revolving door with your logo sandblasted into it for all to see.
It is easy to forget to ask yourself: how is this move going to be for the people that make my business possible – the staff. Are you going to lose some of your best talents because your move means that some employees are being forced to double their commute distance, or because they will lose money based on the fact that an annual train ticket will practically force them into bankruptcy? Unfortunately, these are realities that are hard to avoid. You must think long-term and see the move more as an opportunity to be in a catchment of new talent, rather than a vehicle to wave goodbye to your best employees.
Regardless – you are going to lose a few. So what can you do to ensure that the people who are on the fence about their decision to stay or go end up choosing to stay? Well, you make the new office a better working environment than the last one. In their eyes, the disadvantage of having to travel further may well be outweighed by the advantages associated with more pleasant working conditions.
It is very popular at the moment to include a ‘games’ or ‘lounge’ room in offices. Do it. Paint the walls in the bold colours of your logo (if your company logo or company provide clipping patch service, then obviously change it. What ARE you doing with a dull logo anyway!?), throw a few Sony Playstations around the place, a few basketball nets, and, if you REALLY think you’re going to be as cool, trendy and Silicone-Valley-esque as Google, install a slide/fireman’s pole down to your Starbucks-sponsored in-house canteen.
You may wonder when your staff are going to do ANY work with all these distractions around them but fear not – lots of studies have proven that there is an uplift in productivity when staff are encouraged to take breaks and are comfortable in their surroundings.
So this is all well and good for your staff, but what else can be easily overlooked when moving offices? One is your data room (if your company is big enough to have to worry about this obviously). Data rooms, often referred to as the ‘engine rooms’ of a company – are pivotal to the success of your business. Are your servers cool enough? Can engineers easily access every server for maintenance work? Don’t take the risk of getting it wrong. There are lots of excellent firms out there specializing in data center design who are worth their weight in gold.