When it comes to planning and executing office move projects, your team needs to prioritize orchestrating tight schedules and controlling costs. Your end users, however, often have a different set of concerns. Meeting their expectations is key to a successful project, so before the relocations start, consider some of the things users are likely to ask for that you may not have anticipated.
1: Quick access to IT support
Despite the technology team’s best efforts to plan for connectivity requirements during the move, someone is sure to report a problem. Maybe they can’t access the wireless network or a piece of equipment won’t connect to the internet. Your users are likely to consider these requests urgent.
Ensuring that technology resources are on hand during desk relocations can help address any glitches, particularly when checkerboard moves mean tight turnaround times. Whether you rely on your internal IT department or a vendor, having a few skilled folks available to quickly respond to issues and get end users up and running can make a huge difference in customer satisfaction.
2: Office items that aren’t theirs
Work areas typically contain a mix of personal items, furniture, and office equipment. Which items can relocate along with each worker as they move to different areas and which are expected to remain in the original location varies widely. Your end users might ask to bring items with them that aren’t theirs to take.
Work with stakeholders early in the planning process to determine the resources needed in their new location. A week or two before move day, provide a list of items that are relocating and place signage on furniture and equipment that will remain in place. These two steps can help set expectations early and eliminate most of the requests to move fixed-location items.
3: More space
Desk area continues to be an important element for users, and your team is sure to run into at least a few who want more space than they’ve been allotted. That means they either want a larger desk area than they had before (which may or may not come to fruition as part of the relocation), or they desire more office space than their new area can support.
There may not be enough room to accommodate every request, or your team might not have the authority to revise how much space is allocated to individual users. Include department heads and other senior staff in the project planning phase, so everyone is clear on how much space they’ll have post-move. If your organization has a desk matrix in place, proactively present it as part of your end user communications.
4: A different desk location
Assigning desks can be a tricky balance. Departments typically want workers located near each other. Building configurations play a role, with fixed elements—restrooms and hallways, for example—dictating where furniture can be placed. And individual users expect their work areas to support their roles, whether that’s having a quiet space away from busy traffic areas to do detailed work or sitting in the center of the team to provide convenient administrative support. If users don’t like their new spot, your team is probably going to hear about it.
Work area assignments should be made as far in advance as possible, so everyone has ample time to negotiate where they’ll be sitting. Ahead of that exercise, it’s important to involve stakeholders—both end users and line managers or department heads—to gather comprehensive and realistic desk requirements and desires. When the process is transparent, you’re far less likely to encounter pushback once the move day arrives.
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