Relocating Office and Enhancing Employee Performance

Your office lease is going to expire within the next 2 years. Do you try to re-negotiate the lease to stay in your existing building or do you look for another location that better meets your needs and perhaps your image as viewed by your employees, partners and clients?

How much space do you actually need? Should you move to a ‘remote first’ model where everyone works at home and only comes to the office when really necessary? Or do you want everyone in the office every day because of the nature of the business?  Can you use the relocation as a way of re-shaping and modernising the business and its operating practices? It may be time to consider a Hybrid Working model.

At first sight, office relocation can be seen as purely a moment to move your office base from one place to another with a better design addressing the failings of your existing office. In fact, some leaders may see it as something of an inconvenience. It’s a lift, shift but no change.

But office relocation provides a rare and unique opportunity to re-think and re-shape many practices, processes, norms and rituals within your organisation as well as creating an environment to propel the business forward presenting a new face to the world. It can also be used to re-shape the organisations cost profile, flexibility and attractiveness to new recruits.

At AWA, we recommend taking time to stand back and consider relocation not as an office move, but as a trigger to consider strategically what you are seeking to achieve, the challenges and opportunities that surround your organisation and the behaviours you need in your business going forward to achieve success. It is a rare moment to shape the future not to be squandered.

There are a variety of factors you may wish to consider in determining the needs for your new office. They include:

  1. How will your workplace support a hybrid working population?
  2. How do you want to reflect your brand and the personality of your business in your workplace experience?
  3. How does your workplace experience stack up against the organisations you compete with for talent?
  4. How can you improve the attractiveness of your workplace and create an employee experience that will appeal to the best talent in the market?
  5. How can you improve human performance and create a friction-free workplace experience that will enable your people to be on their ‘A’ game every day?
  6. How flexible is your workplace experience? What is the office and lease’s ability to let you evolve your business? Should you include services and co-working space in your thinking?
  7. What types of activities will your people will be performing today and tomorrow and how will your space enable that evolution?
  8. How aligned are your leaders?
  9. What can you invest to make this happen?

Enhancing human performance and productivity is at the top of the list of leaders’ priorities for a new workplace and at AWA we have the best research to guide the design of the new office to create the conditions that support high levels of performance for the individual, the team and the community as a whole.

The new property may contain an award-winning view of the River Thames, but does it have the capacity to hold your growing workforce? Will it excite your people? Will it help you achieve your business objectives?

Office Relocation and Change Management

To maximise the value from an office relocation, meticulous planning needs to be done at a design and logistical level. Designers should only be appointed once there is absolute clarity in a workplace strategy derived from extensive research. The new workplace is a business tool that will have to last the organisation into the long term and support many generations of leaders, so it needs to be designed to last and to remain contemporary in its design into the long term whilst being designed for change.

The primary goal of relocation is to enable a smooth transition to the new space with the least downtime or disruption. A change management programme needs to be developed, particularly when new practices, processes, rituals and behaviours are going to be implemented.

Sometimes leaders mistake Project Management for Workplace Change Management. Project Managers obsess over timescales and budget. Workplace Change Managers obsess over making sure all the different workstreams deliver a joined-up workplace experience that aligns to business goals and to make sure every individual, team and community are properly prepared for the changes associated with the relocation.

For an office relocation to be successful, top management and staff need to be fully aligned against a shared vision for the organisation’s evolution and the role of the office. This is achieved through a comprehensive process in which the true needs (not wants) for the different aspects of the business are captured and where possible quantified.

AWA have supported many leading organisations in the determination of their workplace and office relocation strategies and managing the transition to new models of working and workplaces.

For more information about workplace strategy and workplace management, contact us on +44 207 743 7110 or by emailing

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