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5 Tips for Managing an Office Move

By on December 20, 2017

We did it! We have officially been settled into our new office space for over a month. And what a time it’s been! We spent the first few weeks balancing excitement with exhaustion, building new habits, and gaining clarity together about the culture we want to cultivate in our new space. I have learned that a move like this is equal parts exhausting and invigorating and no matter what, foresight, flexibility, and a lot patience are required. Based on this experience, and the shifts in our work that drove this change, here are my top 5 tips for managing a change and move of this scale.

5 tips for managing an office move

  1. Add buffer time to your buffer time.
    • Even when you plan to the minute detail, things will go wrong and you’ll be glad you had contingency plans. When we moved in, some of the construction wasn’t complete, connectivity was an issue, and some of our core work tools weren’t yet available. We adapted our schedule, communicated openly and often with the team and managed their expectations of what that first week (and beyond) would look like.
  2. Give your team space to settle in and create new patterns.
    • We created a rule that we weren’t taking grievances right away. We invited everyone to settle in and and report any issues that would interrupt their work, however, for matters of personal preference, we asked everyone to wait and see if those things were still bothering them after the first few weeks. We also made time for the team to work out new practices both together and independently, making the space their own before bringing in clients and stakeholders.
  3. Spaces to eat really matter.
    • As a part of our move planning, the team asked for a lunch room, and since we’ve moved in, they have really used it. Aside from a place to eat, it’s become a shared workspace and a “brain space” for them to recharge. It’s important to recognize the value of team productivity requests and of having a space to step away and take a break.
  4. Let your leaders shine.
    • Our Operations Coordinator, Elyse, was the leader of our “move team”, and it was important that the team knew that. It allowed her to delegate, seek support, and have the autonomy to make decisions. On the move weekend, she knew we were there to follow her lead, that this was her project, and let her have her moment to shine. And she rocked it!
  5. Throw a party!
    • By planning to have an open house shortly after the move, we were forced to make everything not only liveable, but polished. Remaining boxes were emptied, the last Got Junk run was done, and all the little details (that you’d risk getting used to) were taken care of in the early days. Plus, we got to show off our amazing new space!

Making a move is a huge undertaking but also a chance to rejuvenate a team. It has been so exciting to see the space being used in the ways we planned but also to be surprised by innovative new uses we never expected. The exciting part now is to see how this space is inspiring new communication, collaboration, and creativity in our team and I am so excited for how our work will evolve as a result. Stay tuned!

Tweet us: What tips would you recommend for engaging your team and managing a large office move?

By Amy Coupal

Amy CoupalI am CEO of Learnography and have been with the organization since 2006. I have a M.Ed. and have worked with the Toronto District School Board, Japan’s Osaka School Board, and the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario before joining Learnography in 2006. I champion the role of the learner in the training process and advocate for all learning levels. From working closely with My Class Needs, to allocating resources to create free adult courses, I believe in true learning advocacy. I live in Toronto with my husband and children.