Smooth Move – How to Avoid Stress During Your Office Move

Dustin Staiger

75% of employees who follow their company in an office move will consider their move stressful. In fact, a study conducted by the medical researchers at Health Status found that along with the death of a loved one, divorce, a major illness, and the loss of a job… moving is among the 5 most stressful events in a person’s life.

But your office move doesn’t have to be so stressful. Doctors and moving experts alike have weighed in on effective ways for your company to go in and out of your move as smoothly as possible. Here are 5 ways to avoid stress during your office move.

#1 – Research the Area Around Your New Office

Your employees most likely have their morning commute to the office locked into a routine. They know where they like to stop for coffee and where to head for lunchtime meals. According to Dr. Carol Morgan, a bit of research and conversation about your new environment may turn low morale and stress into excitement. “People are always most comfortable when they feel prepared, so do your research,” Dr. Morgan says, “See what events regularly happen in that area.” Share this information with your employees. You may even want to provide a printed guide, which you can create or acquire from the area chamber of commerce or business district.

#2 – Hire Professionals for Your Office Move

Approaching your moving date will be far less stressful when you and your employees know you won’t be counted on to do a bunch of heavy lifting. “Having movers do all the work takes away so much stress,” Dr. Morgan says in her Huffington Post article on stress, “It’s definitely worth it.” 

People are always comfortable when they feel prepared, so do your research on events that regularly happen in your new area.

#3 – Purge

Paula Pant is an award-winning journalist in personal finance, real estate, and entrepreneurship. After years of approaching moving from an entrepreneurial perspective, Paula says the number 1 stress reliever during moving time is purging your old office of anything and everything you don’t need. “Clutter is stressful,” Paula says, “Minimize the junk that’s clogging [space], and you’ll automatically breathe a sigh of relief.” As an added bonus, Pant suggests turning the stress-inducing clutter into tax deductions by donating those items your company can afford to get rid of to Goodwill or another charity. A large cardboard bin can be used to collect garbage and another can be marked for donations to make it easier for workers to triage clutter.

#4 – Plan An Event to Take Care of Yourself and Your Employees

It’s tough to stay stressed when there’s pizza around. LifeHack contributor Lori Lynn Smith suggests that even though stress is inevitable during an office move, it shouldn’t get to have the last word. Stressful office moves can be countered by planning a celebratory event around moving time. “It can be very easy to say you have no time, but you need these things to keep your energy high and to relieve stress.” Whether it’s a party to celebrate the achievement of moving or a pre-moving kick off celebration, employee morale can benefit. Regardless of the reason for the office move, a celebration sends the message this is good news for the future of your company.

Plan a celebratory event around the time of your move. It’s tough to stay stressed when there’s pizza around.

#5 – Set the Tone Early and Often Throughout Your Office Move

As soon as you announce your office move to your employees, the large volume of questions and concerns will make it easy to become overwhelmed. For this reason, Psychology Today’s Melody Warnick suggests setting the right tone for your office move as early as possible. In her book, “This Is Where You Belong,” Warnick outlines her research on spatial attachment and the importance of leaders communicating how the company is going to feel about the new location. Once the tone has been set, much of an executive’s emotional energy must go into keeping the tone where it’s at, overcoming discouragement and employee concerns by focusing on the positives of moving. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Avoid stress by informing your employees and getting them excited with research about the area around your new office.
  2. Hire professional office movers so no one but the experts needs to think about careful / heavy lifting.
  3. Increase tax deductions for your company by purging your office and donating what you can.
  4. Plan an office move celebration to take care of yourself and your employees, congratulating one another on a successful relocation.
  5. As the leader of the office move, set the tone for the move as early and often as possible.