The formula for successful relocation is to start on time, plan, coordinate, communicate and inform, regardless of whether it’s a major relocation project or single workstations.
Jonas Carvbo, a Project Manager at Coor, has been participating and coordinating relocation projects for over 20,000 people a year for the past decade, everything from a single person to 1,500 staff at a time.
“With such high volumes, we quickly understood that we needed to produce a functional process with the associated checklists for how you should conduct a relocation. The process has become a guarantee of project execution and the checklists are now our self-check to assure the quality of our work.”
Plan the relocation thoroughly, ensure there’s time and space to prepare. Use processes and checklists. Start communicating in good time. Understand how a major relocation affects people and working conditions.
“Nowadays organizational changes are often part of the picture for relocation projects. We should get involved early on to be able to contribute and influence the outcome of the project. We also need consensus between ourselves and the client, we have to understand the customers’ wants and needs to be able to address them,” says Jonas.
Often, a big relocation will trigger a lot of feelings, especially if the company is also reorganizing. Some people get worried, while others don’t mind at all. On those occasions when relocation projects have been unsuccessful, it’s often because of insufficient effort to inform and communicate ahead of the project. Tell your people about your expectations and results.
“Sometimes, companies have got extremely strong corporate cultures that are tied to specific geographical locations. In such relocation projects, we conduct a dialog well in advance on the essential facts; what the setup will be, what facilities will be in place or how communications will work. Internal corporate communication is vital in such projects,” continues Jonas.
New working methods and superior technological performance have altered the trend for relocation. Ten years ago, you used to pack up everything in people’s work-rooms, creating huge volumes. Nowadays, Jonas thinks that volumes have been slashed.
“We migrated from individual offices to open-plan solutions, and then on to free seating, where people no longer have dedicated workstations. Where previously, everyone had eight to ten boxes of personal stuff, nowadays, it’s more like two. And that’s the reality we build our processes around.
Previously, the focus was on the physical relocation because that was the most complex. Nowadays, the psychosocial considerations are more important. New environments influence people and their working methods. Progress and improved performance have resulted in employers understanding that they need to adapt: give people the opportunity to work wherever they want, rather than assuming each individual has a specific workplace, they move around freely.
“Nowadays, companies use their premises more optimally, and in this way, make major savings, it is important that people understand the whole context without feeling their significance has diminished.”
When relocation volumes reduce, so do the costs. And so does the wear on real estate and furniture. Even if companies are now putting more emphasis on planning relocations, it’s time you win back many times over afterwards.”
Apart from Coor contributing processes and experience to relocation projects, it also has reliable contractors that it has put through screening processes, exposed to competition and put through tendering processes. “We put the focus on monitoring the whole relocation sector, which should offer security for our customers. We also have a single main project manager to facilitate contact pathways for the customer. Using us should be easy,” concludes Jonas.
- Start early.
- Plan, plan and plan again.
- Gain a consensus over what is to be delivered.
- A single clear communication plan.
- Conduct communication in the right forum with the right people.
- Continuously inform people about what’s happening—when it’s happening according to plan and also when it isn’t.
- After moving in, have resources on site, partly from the relocation project but also from the organization that will be delivering services in the new site.
- Don't depart from your process.
- Don't start planning too close to the project start date.
- Don't lose coordination on your project. Some external parties affected by the relocation will need to be involved, such as IT providers or landlords.
If you want to discuss this topic
Please contact Jonas Carvbo.