As a business owner, you know when you’ve outgrown your current office space. You have employees tripled up in a single office, interns working in the hallway, and an outdated color scheme or layout that is inefficient.

Realizing you need to upgrade your office space is the first step.  Taking action can be scary by you can see the benefits of a new space. Businesses often know they’ve outgrown their current space, but the complex logistics and perceived headaches make taking this next leap difficult. 

Taking the office upgrade leap is a huge decision for both your business and the people you employ. It’s not to be taken lightly and lots of planning will help.

But the perceived risks and associated nightmares with an office transition are not as bad as you think.  By following some practical tips and useful best practices, you can ensure a smooth office transition that will make your business stronger and your employees happier. And we all know happy staff members are more productive and likely to stay and become big advocates of your company.

Here are Kenwood’s six tips for a smoother office transition:

1.Build an office transition team and assign a team leader. If you run an established, small-to-midsize business, selecting trusted members of your team and naming a project lead, is a great way to manage your office transition. Building an office move team with a project leader helps ensure accountability, clear communication, and a smoother move. Plus, no one team member (or you for that matter) will carry the entire burden. If you're a home a business looking to get your first real office, or a small team with just a few people, you know how that goes – you will wear many hats and likely manage the whole process yourself. But your new Landlord should be able to provide suggestions for movers, phone and data cable installers and furniture suppliers. 

2.Select and fit-out your new office with the present and future in mind. Even if your office move goes smoothly, it’s not something you want to do again anytime soon. That’s why it’s critical to choose a new office space that meets your current needs but can also be flexible to meet your needs as your business grows and changes. This can be tricky to balance, but the most important thing to remember is to keep both your present and future plans in mind as you choose the layout and design of your new space. From total usable square footage to kitchen space and conference rooms, forecast as best you can your needs in five years and create an office space to match. Otherwise, you might be engaged in an office transition again sooner than you might think.

3.Listen to your employees and give them input into the process. A good business leader will reach out and listen to their employees during a major change event like an office move. Consider the commute times of your team; take into account access to convenient amenities, like restaurants; gather input on locations and what your staff needs to maximize their productivity and overall satisfaction at work. Now, you need to drive the process and make the key decisions, but steamrolling an office transition and communicating poorly with your staff is a sure-fire way to make what could be a great new start into an exercise in bitterness and bad feelings.

4.Don’t miss the chance to start fresh. Moving to a new office is a fresh start. Don’t overlook the benefits of cleaning house, downsizing, and rethinking how you operate. Perhaps you take the move as an opportunity to digitize your files or create new collaborative creative space. There is any number of new possibilities that open during an office transition. If you take a proactive and organized approach to the move, you have a greater opportunity to use the move to transform your organization and the way it operates.

5.Be flexible during the office transition phase. You cannot avoid some disruption during an office move. But you can minimize its impact by being communicative with your team and being more flexible with employee telecommuting during the transition. This will go a long way to maintaining team morale during what can be a stressful time.

6.Keep the big picture in mind. An office transition requires management, input, and thoughtfulness. Remember that your office space is more than just walls and square footage; it is a reflection of your leadership, the health of your business, your vision for the future, and perhaps most important of all, the workplace culture you want to create or enhance. An office transition is much more about people, including you and your leadership team, than it is about paint selection and the design of the corner office.

Kenwood is here to help. We can help you find the right office space, secure the best lease terms for your business, and advise you throughout your office transition process. Reach out to us. We’d love to learn more about your business and what it sees for the future.