Nonprofit Office Moves: How It Impacts Your Staff
I was at a church meeting recently when the topic of nonprofit office moves came up. One individual said he had been moved at least six times during his career in the same city. In fact, every person in the room had been affected by at least one nonprofit office move during their career.
The reason for my question to them was the fact my office was moving to another location 12 miles away in the next two weeks. As a manager of staff, I was wondering if this move would impact these individuals. We have been at our current location for 22 years.
According to Movers.com, the biggest change employees will face is the adjustment in their daily commute to the new building. It is suggested that managers discuss the move with staff to obtain their feedback and to answer every question they have regarding the pending move. It is important to keep your staff updated every step of the way. Request employee feedback by having a suggestion box somewhere in the office. You need to have employees feel involved with the impending move. Allow your employees flexibility of time while the adjustment to a new location is taking place. Engage your employees to become physically involved by recruiting them to do light packing in the office and cleaning the new facility so they can experience it in advance of move-in day.
If you are thinking of moving offices, there are pros and cons associated with this decision.
According to Interactive Space,” the pros of moving offices are:
- It allows for a better use of space.
- Proximity to clients.
- It gives businesses room for uninhibited expansion.
- Lower costs.
- Gives the company a fresh start.
- It gives your business a makeover.
The cons of moving offices are:
- It can be expensive.
- It involves a lot of planning.
- Upheaval for staff.
- You will need to install new furniture and technology.
The Elm Workspace Blog provides good insight for those thinking about the impact of an office move. Such a move is a big step for your employees. Moving to a different work space and different location can have a major impact on your staff’s morale. To prepare your staff for an office move, issue a company-wide message about moving at least six months before the actual event. Keep your staff regularly updated through various communication channels. Request feedback regularly and encourage group and one-on-one meetings. Tell your staff the benefits of moving to the new location. Get your staff involved in the move by showing them office designs, asking for opinions about their new space and make them feel valued.
According to the Orange Movers Blog, a major factor that contributes to the success of an office move is involvement of the business’ employees in the moving process. It recommends for you to ask for your employees’ opinions and provide open communications. Manage your employees’ expectations for the move. Understand every aspect of what the move will entail, and share it with everyone. Staff leaders need to be positive and show enthusiasm for the move with employees. Seek to keep employee morale high during an office move. Engage your workforce and use the moving opportunity as a new beginning for better customer service, higher productivity and greater enjoyment for work.
As a nonprofit leader engaged in an upcoming office move, understand the challenges the move will bring. Note that a move could affect the culture, communication, personality and interaction between staff members. New offices could bring a team closer together or create silos of functionality. Seek to be more visible and helpful when the office move happens and anticipate potential problems before they occur.
Realize everyone could be under a new level of stress. Some of this will be visible and some invisible. Understand the fact that not everyone will be happy with this change. Try to promote the concept of flexibility in the office. Your staff will be impacted by any office move and the faster things can get back to normal after the relocation process, the better it will be for the organization.
I look forward to the upcoming office move with excitement. I see this scenario as a new beginning and chance to stimulate my team to higher levels of productivity. This activity will also give our organization and my team the opportunity to invite neighbors, prospects, donors, friends, volunteers, community leaders, board members and others to our new facility, so we can engage others in new ways. Office moves certainly impact staff. Use this change to your advantage!
F. Duke Haddad, EdD, CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition, he is also president of Duke Haddad and Associates, LLC, and freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the past 13 years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration, master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University in business administration, with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.