1. Information Flow – communication is the key to a great project. Listen to staff comments.
And then act accordingly. Provide information. Hold meetings.
2. Management endorsement – projects need involvement from the top all the way down. Without senior management endorsement you open yourself to problems with the budget, timeline, design and management approval process when the hard decisions and milestones are reached.
3. Balanced staff input - initiate discussion with staff, invite feedback and involvement. It’s important to find the perfect balance.
4. Assess the needs - spend time gathering information on what out each department (or individual) requires to handle their roles. Run through the storage requirements, workspace functionality, quiet area needs, level of interaction, quantity and size of meetings etc.
5. Design considerations – consider giving the best natural light and views to staff areas such as open plan, lunch and breakout areas rather than offices and the boardroom. Present the layout to your staff before final sign-off, so constructive feedback can still be incorporated into the design.
6. Open plan and offices - the truth about fitouts is that not everyone wins. Not everyone can have an office. Some offices are larger than others. Some workstations are in better positions. Both current trends and management push for open plan layouts to maximise square metreage, reduce fitout costs, maximise natural light, and improve communication and airflow. But not everyone loves open plan. So it is more important than ever to openly explain how the design has been formed. Communicate how staff requirements were researched and incorporated into the design.
7. IT assistance - have IT staff or consultants on hand on the first day in the new premises to trouble shoot any IT issues. Staff stress levels from change mixed in with IT frustrations is a volatile combination. Any new systems (eg: phone system) will need user training – these are best handled in the first week but not on the first day when information intake is limited.
8. Relocation presentation – most people are fearful of change. Packing, moving and new environments can be stressful. As the move approaches, hold a relocation presentation to discuss the process and staff responsibilities. Provide the information in hardcopy so staff can refer to it when packing. Be as clear and concise as possible.
9. Log all concerns – after the move setup a central log of staff issues and concerns. This also saves you being hounded twenty times by different people for the same issue. Ensure everything logged is responded to. Minor issues left unanswered can fester and grow into larger staff grievances.
10. Celebrate – often companies are relocating for positive reasons. Create a welcome pack to help staff learn about the new location. Handle a presentation to discuss the new facilities. Consider holding a function for customers, suppliers and staff to toast the company’s recent successes and project completion.