Tips for Working in a Temporary Space

One of the less-than-ideal parts of renovating your office includes the interim plans that come with change. Chances are you are either adjusting to working around the updates, taking time away from the office, or in a temporary space during the transition. Regardless of what tactic your team chooses, how you adjust to the changes within your office will impact your team long beyond the present. Luckily, we have a lot of industry experience that’s allowed us to adapt to working in temporary spaces during office renovations. We have come up with ten of the best tips for surviving your office renovations and how to work productively in a temporary space. Keep reading to learn more about the best tactics to keep in mind during your office transition.

1. Be upfront with your team.
Being upfront with your people is a top priority when making decisions surrounding the office. Chances are, you are looking to upgrade your office interior to attract top talent and keep the valued members of your team happy. Where people physically work is a big part of their overall experience within your organization, whether that impacts their commute or the daily office environment, this adjustment can impact people in various ways that go beyond just where they’re located during the workday. Letting your people know is obviously an important step in the plans and doing so in an open manner will ensure as smooth of an adjustment as possible. As you prepare to loop in your team on the plans, be ready for lots of questions and possibly some concerns.

2. Let your clients know.
Logistically, this will want to be one of your first steps after letting your team know the plan forward. Not only will you want to let people know for the sake of mail, visits, etc. but also to share in the excitement of the upcoming new space! Moving, upgrading, or refurbishing your office is an exciting project and is something that you should be proud to share with your network in and around your industry. This is even a great chance to touch base with your clients and industry stakeholders. Make it a big announcement, send out mailers, and share the big news as if it were a gender reveal! You can benefit from the investment in more ways than just the space by using the move as a chance to kick off a marketing campaign about the move.

3. Keep the timeline clear. (And add some cushion)
We are no strangers to the ever-evolving project timeline. Although common in the construction industry, updating the parties involved will allow for quality communication and will cut back on issues that could arise. With an office move, there are always a lot of moving pieces that are out of your control. From product lead times to lease agreements and construction timelines, there are a lot of things that go into creating a new space. Even if things adjust throughout the process, updating your people will keep things moving as smoothly as possible. The new office is often the light at the end of the tunnel so keeping it as far from a dangling carrot is crucial for keeping your team motivated during the move.

4. Ask your team what they need.
This is such a simple step but is often one that is overlooked. With so many moving pieces, it’s easy to get caught up in the details to be addressed to make things happen- but try not to lose focus on your team. Asking them what they need throughout the process is an important step for keeping your people happy. Topics to touch base on could include temporary workspace needs, working remotely, adjusted office hours, or even company socials. Like we’ve mentioned, it’s very easy to get caught up in the move and make that the main source of attention for the organization. Something to consider is that your people are likely not the ones that asked or initiated the move in the first place so making the transition for them as seamless as possible should be a top priority. Maintaining the company culture outside of your typical environment can be hard but is something that can make or break the spirits of your team throughout the move.

5. Put effort into the temporary space.
It’s easy to act like the temporary space is something fleeting that doesn’t deserve attention but considering that your team will be in that space day in and day out, investing a little bit into the space will go a long way. Whether that means technology, meeting spaces, breakrooms, etc. trying to consider what your team needs to operate and ensuring that those resources are in the temporary space can make the world of a difference for your people but also the productivity and efficiency of your business.

6. Let people add personalization to their new space.
Encourage your people to decorate their desks, bring their personal items, etc. This is a great way to make them comfortable in the space during the transition. Tell them to treat the space as if they would the traditional office environment. Having your people be comfortable in the temporary space will help with the culture and productivity of your office.

7. Increase the number of touch bases with your team.
Staying in touch with your people is important during the transition. This can be done through 1-1s, department meetings, or company-wide touch bases. Create an open dialogue where people can share how they’re feeling, get updates on the project, and ask any questions that they may have. It has been proven that employee burnout often comes from a lack of resources or a lack of perception of resources. Communicating what resources there are for people to utilize and how they can access those will help eliminate a lot of potential controversy within your team. Process, organization, and clear communication are all things that will help your people feel more in control during the transitions going on around them.

8. Keep the energy up.
A change in environment will also likely come with a natural change of energy. At the start of the project, it’s easy to keep your team motivated but as things progress it can be a challenge to maintain those high energy levels. Finding ways to make the transition fun is important for an issue-free transition. This can include playing music, hosting company events, or catering lunch every once and a while.

9. Give your team updates.
We talked about how important it is to let your team know the plan at the start of the project, and that same level of communication can help alleviate tension throughout the entire project process. If there are small or big wins along the way, share them with the team. If there are pictures of progress, updates with the timeline, or finishes you can share with the team this will help keep them involved in the process and excited for what’s to come!

10. Make the transition fun!
Although moving can be a hassle, with the right team and a plan in place, it should be a fun and rewarding experience! Make it fun for your team by adding socials and keeping them in the loop. Whatever fun means for your organization is exactly what you should do. Every group is different so talk to your people and see what they would enjoy.

At the end of the day, there’s no wrong way to do an office move. You know your organization and what it needs. You know your people and how they’ll react. You know what’s to come and how exciting it’ll be for the team. Try to focus on the end result and get excited for your stunning NEW workspace that’s to come.


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