If moving house is one of the most stressful events most people go through in their lifetimes, coordinating an office move might be even worse. After all, you have a lot more keys to track down and hand over. A lot more stuff to pack. And you have to take dozens (or even hundreds or thousands) of employees with you.
All of that can add up to a lot of stress. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, we found the recent relocation of our Helsinki office to be a pretty smooth and easy process, all things considered.
Here’s how we used Happeo to help make the move a success.
Back in January, we were facing a challenge that almost every organization comes up against at one time or another: the dreaded office move. Just kidding, we were excited to be moving to a new location. But moving offices doescome with a whole host of hurdles, questions, and challenges.
We needed to make sure our team had the information they needed about the new office. And we needed a way to get them engaged and excited about the process. Moving offices can be tough on employees. To make the move as smooth as possible, it was crucial to communicate about the move ahead of time, and make sure everyone knew where to find crucial details about our new location.
Our answer: using Happeo to facilitate our move
Just like our customers, we use Happeo internally to find and store information, collaborate with our coworkers, and share details about upcoming changes to our organization. The office move was no exception. Here’s how we used Happeo to make our office move as easy as possible before, during, and after.
Phase 1: Before the move
Once we signed our new office lease, the first step was to set out a clear timeline for the move and communicate this to our team. This included details like;
the date we’d need to be packed up and out of the old office,
the day keys needed to be returned, and
the date we’d have access to our sparkly new offices.
We added all of these key dates to our shared Google Calendar to help the team plan ahead.
To get everyone excited about the move — as well as share some practicalities — we delivered a 30-minute presentation showing the address of the new office and how to get there, as well as information about parking and overall access.
During this session we also ran through the timeline for the move and clarified what everyone would need to do at each stage.
Of course, not everyone was able to attend the presentation, so we also embedded it in the sidebar of our Helsinki office Channel, which we were using to communicate about the move.
Phase 2: During the move
Another way we used Happeo to make the move easier on our people was by creating a Page where we shared all of the information employees would need about our new location.
This wasn’t so much about the process of moving but focused on static information about the office itself. In fact, we already had a similar page about our previous office — and it was easy to create a new one using Happeo’s Page Templates. Our office page includes things like:
Full address and contact information
Access codes and WiFi passwords
How to get to the office and parking information
Snacks, storage, and shared calendars
It was important to share this information through Happeo rather than somewhere else, because Happeo is 100% accessible through our mobile app.
This meant that people would be able to access all that info on their phones upon arriving at the new office, without having to frantically search through their inboxes in the parking lot. Once the move was complete, we archived our old office page and forwarded traffic to the new one.
In the run-up to the move, we also sent regular updates through Happeo to let people know what was happening and what to expect in the next stage.
Because we used our Helsinki office Channel to send these updates, people could respond with any questions, and the answers would be visible to everyone. This saved a lot of time and repetition for those in charge of the move (in this case, our Head of People Operations and myself).
Phase 3: After the move
Once we’d successfully moved into our new office, we kept answering questions in the same Channel as they came up. We also wanted to continue building engagement around the new location, making sure everyone was excited about working there.
For example, we cooperated with the gym in the same building to give Happsters free access for a week, and let our people know through Happeo. We also used our Channel to gather feedback about this initiative, and sent out a survey to ask if employees would be interested in group classes in the future.
One thing we really wanted was for our employees to feel a sense of ownership over our new space. To add a bit of fun, we ran a competition for employees to name our new meeting rooms, and used Happeo to vote for our favorite names.
Our key takeaways
We’re now comfortably settled in our shiny new Helsinki office space. But in case we ever need to move again in the future, here are a few of the key insights we’ve taken away from the process:
Involve employees from (before) the beginning: Before we’d even chosen a new location, we sent out a survey asking employees what they needed from an office. We also asked them some practical questions like which part of the city they’d prefer to work from. After we visited a few potential spaces, we shared floorplans, photos, and video walkthroughs with our team and asked them for feedback. This helped everyone to feel part of the process early on and gave us some of the key insights we needed to choose the right location.
Set up your intranet as the single source of truth about the move: When you’re coordinating an office move, there’s a lot of information to share: from what to do with old keys to where to park at the new location. And since things inevitably change during the process, using static communication methods like email to share this information is not a good idea. By setting up Happeo as the single source of truth about our move and the new office, we made sure that everyone knew where to find the latest information.
Ensure all communications around the move are mobile-friendly: When you’re in the midst of an office move, you might not have access to a computer at all times. Even once you’re sitting at your new desk, you’ll need the WiFi password before you can start working. And that’s if you can get into the building at all… what was the access code again? That’s why it made sense to share important communications about your new office in a way that people will be able to access wherever they are — like through Happeo's mobile app.
Send regular reminders for key deadlines: In the weeks and months leading up to the move, we sent out regular updates in our office Channel about what was going on and what to expect next. For example: during our last week in our old offices, we sent out a reminder that everyone would be WFH the following week, and expected to come into the new office the week after that. That meant everyone had the information they needed — and we didn’t have anyone hammering at the doors of the new office a week too early.
Continue building engagement and excitement after the move: If you’re tasked with coordinating an office move for your organization, it’s important to make your new office somewhere your employees truly wantto be — and that means continuing to build engagement afteryou’re done unpacking. Using Happeo to gather feedback, answer questions, and get employees involved with fun initiatives have helped them to feel more connected to their new workspace.
Want to find out more about how Happeo could help you facilitate your next office move or get your team on board with another major project? Request a free demo to see it in action.