Overcoming Conflict After an Office Move

Dustin Staiger

You may think your office relocation is done once you’ve arrived in your new location and set up your offices, but that’s not the case. After a hectic office move, conflict is practically inevitable. Relocations bring a large dose of change, and employees will react with different expectations for what that change means to them and the company. According to Tamara Lytle of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), conflict takes place when differences over varied expectations attempt to coexist.

Lytle believes waiting for your HR department to acknowledge and resolve conflict is harmful. “By the time a clash comes to HR’s attention, it’s often too late—such as when a valuable employee is quitting.” Thankfully, there are proactive things leaders can do to prevent and resolve post Office Move related conflicts.

Prevent Post Move Conflicts Before Your Office Move

Pepperdine University professor Lee Jay Berman has spent 10 years mediating conflicts at a litigation level. His conflict resolution method is two-fold. First, leaders must prevent conflict by addressing it’s inevitably with employees beforehand. When your employees are warned and prepared for the conflicts their departments are sure to encounter, they can proactively prevent them with proper planning.

Attack Conflict As Early As Possible

Inevitably, many conflicts are unavoidable and difficult to predict. Perhaps your new layout has upset some employees who liked their configuration the way it was before the move. For those cases where conflict is unavoidable, Berman advises leaders to catch conflict as early possible.

Before your move, hold a meeting where you address your upcoming office move and its impact on your office environment. Warn your employees about the likelihood of changes they won’t be used to and the tendency to blame others. “Attack the problem, not the person,” Berman suggests.

By being prepared, your employees know to look out for possible conflicts. It’s helpful for leaders to realize employees want their issues to be heard, but they understand there may be very good reasons all their requests can’t be met. Once your office move is complete, another tip is to celebrate your company’s milestone and pay particular attention to how your employees react to change and conflict.

“Attack the problem, not the person,”

Believe it or not, conflict after an office move can actually be a good thing for your company. “Many believe it’s a vital ingredient to organizational success,” says Tamara Lytle, “Experts have found that the most effective teams are those… where dissent is allowed, or even encouraged, can spur innovation, diversity of though and better decision making.” By being proactive and using conflict as an opportunity to communicate openly, your office move can be the impetus for even more growth.

Key Takeaways

1. Throughout your office move, conflict is inevitably going to arise somewhere in your company.

2. Avoid preventable conflicts by addressing them before your office move.

3. Resolve unavoidable conflicts by catching them as early after your move as possible.