You’ve probably heard the saying, “Perception is everything.” Change is inevitable in life. Especially when you’re overseeing a business that is preparing to embark upon a major change, it’s important to notify your employees, customers, vendors, and creditors well in advance of said change. It’s even more important to notify all of these stakeholders in a thoughtful way that puts a positive spin on the event in question. This is especially true when the change you’re about to embark on is an office move or relocation.
How to Tell Employees about a Planned Office Move
One of the most important considerations when informing employees about an upcoming move is to do it in one fell swoop. Instead of letting your team learn about this development through word of mouth (aka office gossip), hold an office meeting and spread the news to the majority of your staff at the same time. (Of course, your upper management team will need to be in the loop during the planning stages much earlier than the rest of your staff.)
Depending on the size of your staff and nature of your business, consider treating your team to a catered lunch as you update them on the pending move. Be positive and upbeat, explain the reasons for the move, and explain any expected benefits to employees. Leave room for questions at the end of your announcement. If you don’t have answers to some of the questions, admit that and promise to find out and get back to them.
How to Tell Customers about a Planned Office Move
Unlike employees, customers probably won’t be inclined to gossip or question the motives of your planned move. Instead, their only concern will probably be how the move will affect them. If your business is one that customers visit in person, customers will be very interested in whether your move will be more or less convenient for them. If your business is one that customers contact via phone or email, they’ll want to know if your hours of operation will change. Regardless of what type of business you’re in, all customers will want to know if your office move will cost them (or save them) money and make life easier or more difficult for them.
If you run a small business with only a handful of key clients or accounts, call them, break the news, then invite them individually to lunch or dinner to discuss the move in detail. If you have many customers, it’s more efficient and effective to create an announcement and e-mail and snail-mail it to all customers, as well as posting the notice on your website.
How Early Should You Announce Your Office Move?
It’s smart to announce your move to employees as soon as possible. Shortly after you are positive the move will occur (i.e.: you’ve identified a new space and have signed a binding lease or purchase agreement), update your employees. Even if you are just moving your office a couple of blocks away, employees who have been considering quitting or retiring may decide that a pending office move is the ideal time to make their move. If you will be losing employees, the sooner you know about it the better. Additionally, as soon as you update your team, you can divvy up move-related tasks and responsibilities so you’re not rushing around at the last minute.
What Does an Office Moving Announcement Need to Include?
Whether announcing the move verbally to employees or via a written announcement to customers and other stakeholders, make sure to include the following information:
- When do you expect to be up and running in the new office?
- Explain any downtime there may be between moving out of your old office space and moving into your new office space.
- What will your new address be?
- Include a map showing the location.
- Will you have the same hours and days of operation?
- Will you be adding any new services or employees?
- Will you continue to provide all of your existing services?
- Why are you moving (include this only if you can put a positive spin on the reason for your move.)
- Include the name, title, and contact information of who in your company can answer questions or provide more details about the move.