There is some anxiety inherent in any change of workplace. But move offices?

The move can be surprisingly disruptive for many employees. What some see as an exciting opportunity, others see as a threat. But it’s not always easy to know how employees really feel.

Recognize the signs of emotional distress

For office managers, maintaining a safe and comfortable work environment is the top priority. It is also one of the biggest challenges in times of change. Recognizing the signs of emotional distress, however, can help you create a supportive environment that reinforces the culture of your office.

Employees stressed by the move may be unable to make important decisions in their jobs or even focus on simple daily tasks.

They can become withdrawn or aggressive. This can lead to strained relationships with colleagues, decreased job satisfaction and lost productivity. Some signs of emotional distress are more subtle – a slight change in mood or behavior.

If you observe these behavioral clues among your employees, invite them to explain how they really feel, individually. In this way, you can provide them with the support they need to move to the new office.

How moving offices contribute to emotional distress

Moving offices can:

erode the stability of a business if it is accompanied by too many other changes
trigger feelings of insecurity that employees may have about their work
cause confusion and doubt when mismanaged
overload employees with too much responsibility
create a perceived loss of control

How can you help employees cope with the stress of moving offices?

1. involve them in the process

If you announce that you are moving without warning, your employees will certainly be concerned. They will question other major changes that society has planned without their knowledge or contribution. This kind of mistrust can fuel the negativity that affects both the company and its employees.

Prepare your staff by introducing the idea slowly. And do it in person. Memos and emails are impersonal and cold ways to broadcast such news. Instead, call a staff meeting, arrange interviews, or schedule brainstorming sessions to invite ideas about new office spaces from the beginning. This approach allows employees to make changes, rather than simply being affected.

2. Open communication model

Start by sharing a clear process and schedule for your move. Establishing a process makes it easier to communicate the information your employees need at every step. It is important for employees to know that their voices are valued. So maintain communication in all directions, at all levels.

Reduce stress and anxiety with visibility of events and milestones so everyone knows how the movement is progressing. Hiring professional movers to prepare a comprehensive relocation management plan will allow you to provide a clear plan of action that will improve overall project communication and relieve the stress of your management team.

3. Be optimistic

Create an inspiring (but realistic) vision of what your business will achieve by moving offices. Remember that good business decisions are good for the entire organization. So make sure your office benefits your employees and your bottom line. To maintain employee morale, do not attribute your move to a particular service, project, or person, especially if your business is downsizing or relocating due to poor sales or budget restrictions.

4. Be honest

If moving means losing jobs, better be honest about it. Give everyone at the office as much notice as possible. Above all, treat your employees with dignity and respect. It means being transparent and empathetic. Offer advice and support to employees and their families. If your company can not afford to provide advice, provide a variety of resources ranging from websites to therapists, controlled by human resources.

5. lighten their burden

Divide the tasks related to the move among the staff. Or consider reducing their basic workload during the move. Listen to the concerns of your employees and take them seriously. If you can not help, make recommendations for a private council.

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