This guest post is brought to you by Kisi. Kisi makes it easy to manage employee and visitor keys to your office with smartphone access.
Companies relocate for a number of reasons. Whether it’s real estate prices, office size, or strategic business reasons, keeping employee morale high is important for promoting company culture and maintaining high productivity.
With so many moving pieces involved with a business changing locations, it’s important to prioritize the employee when settling into your new space. Employees are the lifeblood of your business and keep the wheels turning, so ensuring the transition is as seamless as possible for them is imperative.
After the Move
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of five strategic ways to promote company culture when moving offices.
1. Design with Openness in Mind
The new office layout will probably be the question you’ll hear frequently from your employees; they want to know where they’ll be sitting, who they’ll be sitting by, and how it will affect their work. No company — or even team — is alike in their work environment preference, so finding a way to meet the needs of all your employees can be challenging.
The holy grail of office design is one that encourages collaboration and communication among employees, yet offers privacy and tranquility for those who require it. When designing your space, keep in mind what your employees need; is it small conference rooms for meetings or conference calls? Enclaves for your dev team to escape to when coding? Or maybe it’s a recreation space with a ping pong table and couch for employees to take a break in? Depending on the size and types of teams at your company, you should create a space where your employees will be comfortable and, most importantly, productive.
Bonus tip: Liven up your space with branded furniture and swag to support your company vision, values, or story. By choosing furniture that matches your brand colors or putting inspirational quotes on the wall, you’re creating an environment that is visually instilling your company’s narrative. Poppin in a great option for modern office furniture that will speak to your employees and customers.
2. Invest in Smart Office Technology
Technology in the office can be used to promote collaboration amongst the team, make the office run more efficiently, and even control the climate and environment. When employees rally around specific tools, the team naturally becomes more cohesive. These tools add a layer of empowerment to your business and company culture.
If you have meeting rooms in your office, add a Robin room scheduler to enable employees to schedule meetings in the room. The Robin iPad provides visual queues to those in the office for when a room is booked or open for use. If the meeting has guests or outside visitors attending, you can issue visitor keys to them through the Kisi smartphone access control system. The key is sent to the visitors’ phone and enables them to unlock the office door upon arrival — an impressive touch to add to the meeting experience.
This type of technology use in the office provokes curiosity and innovation amongst employees — two characteristics of a very healthy business.
Pro Tip: Connect the speaker system to a Spotify collaborative playlist and ask everyone to contribute. This encourages each employee to bring their own flavor to the sound of the office, empowering everyone to be a part of the culture.
3. Plan for Growth
A common reason for moving the company office is the need for more space. For growing businesses, leases are often too long and static. In New York City, it’s common for startups to outgrow their office by the time their lease is up. If you move offices and have no room for growth, you could be putting your next hire in the IT closet, which isn’t great for morale.
Not only do cramped offices reduce productivity, they have a negative effect on your overall culture. Employees should get the sense that there is room and a plan to scale the team. Your space should reflect this — there should be ample room to grow your team within the terms of your lease.
Tools like PivotDesk, a marketplace that allows growing businesses to find flexible shared spaces, give employers the option to sign a flexible agreement (as opposed to a lease) for a shared space where they can grow without fear of having to break their lease.
4. Organize Company Events in the Office
Hosting a company event in your new office is a great way to get your employees acclimated with areas of the space they might not have had the chance to explore. Something as simple as a catered lunch in the new boardroom gives your employees the opportunity to step away from their work and enjoy a meal with coworkers.
Bit.ly, a link management platform, takes catered lunches to the next level and hosts a weekly “Lunch and Learn” for their employees. Every Wednesday, one Bitly employee presents to the team on a topic they’re interested in, a cause they’re passionate about, or a side project they’re working on. Employees are encouraged to ask questions and engage with the presenter, as it helps build community among different teams, fosters learning and growth, and encourages transparency across the company — things that are crucial during a time of transition sparked by an office move.
Other ideas for company events in the office include: bagel Fridays, happy hours, professional development classes, blood drives, organized sport events through Zogsports, yoga classes through Exubrancy, and potluck meals.
5. Encourage Exploring Your New Neighborhood
If you’ve moved your office to a new neighborhood, your employees are going to have to find their new favorite “spots”: coffee shops for morning joe, restaurants for lunches, and nearby bars for happy hours. A great way to get employees out and about in the neighborhood is to host an event at a nearby bar or restaurant. It could be something as simple as a happy hour at a neighborhood bar or a weekly company meeting held at a local lunch spot.
If your offices are in New York City or Los Angeles, Hooch, a members-only cocktail app, is a great way to encourage your employees to explore the neighborhood without having to do any of the planning of a more formal meal or meeting. By giving your employees a monthly subscription to Hooch, they’ll have the option to get one free drink a day at local bars and lounges. Your employees can explore local watering holes with their teams on their own terms and familiarize themselves with the neighborhood at their own pace.
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Focusing on company culture is important for any business, especially during vulnerable times like an office move. When relocating your office, focus the on the needs of your employees to help promote the culture in your new space.
Carly Dell is the Senior Marketing Manager at Kisi based in Brooklyn, NY. Kisi is reinventing access control to be smarter and more efficient in your office.
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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.