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HR Office Relocation Checklist

written by: Sylvia Cochran•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 9/26/2010

Leave the basic office relocation checklist to the operations manager--but be sure to devise a human resources department list that ensures employee morale before, during, and after the move. So how can you accomplish this feat?

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    Why Does HR Need an Office Relocation Checklist?

    “Box Moving an office may seem like it is more the kind of logistical planning that falls under the umbrella of the operations manager’s department. While it is true that the latter undoubtedly goes through the intricacies of having new phone jacks installed, keys made, and moving boxes ordered, the human resources department is every bit as affected by this move. Employees want to know what it happening to their offices, where they will go to work, and also if there will be any changes in either staffing or positions.

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    Key Points

    • Staff reductions
    • Promotions
    • Lateral changes
    • Demotions

    These events should take place prior -- or concurrently -- to an office move announcement. It is advantageous to terminate employees ahead of the move and then discuss position changes on subsequent days. This leaves the company with a group of core employees who will take charge of the new office and ownership of the move.

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    HR Checklist

    1. Formulate a relocation expenses policy. Whether the office moves across town or across the country, if a worker’s move becomes necessary, employees want to know whether the company will pay some or all of their relocation expenses. Determine whether mileage should dictate a relocation bonus, paid time off for house moving, or expense reimbursements. Remember to keep it fair and equitable among all workers.
    2. Form a transition team. Depending on the size of the company and pool of workers to choose from, it is possible to make this team instrumental in maintaining employee morale. Provide tasks such as new office décor planning, drafting of newsletter updates covering the move, and also planning a new-office party.
    3. Meet operational goals through teamwork. The operations and human resources manager work together to apprise employees of benchmark and achievement dates. Full disclosure of deadlines and plans is a must once the move becomes public knowledge. Association Management Magazine explains that this is the time to discuss what works – and what does not – in the current office setup. Plan on making appropriate changes in the future office.

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    Although not part and parcel of the office relocation checklist, it is a good idea to hold an all-office meeting that discusses the nuts and bolts of the move as well as any departmental time lines. The more the employees know, the less rumor mongering goes on. Knowledgeable employees become active team members who make the move a success and also help to transition customers or clients. On the flip-side, workers who know something is going on but are kept in the dark about the details until the last minute generally spend more time and energy on conjecture than they invest in job performance and meeting company goals. It is good business to avoid a “need to know" kind of management style.

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    *The Center for Association Leadership at

      Photo Credit: “Box" by HarrisonB/Wikimedia Commons