Relocating and Office Space

How Relocating and Office Space Affects Your Employees

There is no greater asset to any company than the people who make up its team of employees. It, therefore, makes sense that a significant investment needs to go into your team to ensure their happiness, growth and wellbeing. Ultimately, if employees benefit and thrive, the organisation as a whole will perform better, leading to increased performance and greater success.

As the wellbeing of employees is receiving more and more attention of late in South Africa, an increasing number of companies are exploring what affects employee happiness and how to improve it. The reason is simple: the happier employees are the more productive they tend to be, the better the quality of their work is, and the less likely they are to leave a company.

Managing the wellbeing of employees is no mean feat. It is an intricate and complex exercise that incorporates many different aspects, including aspects such as skills development and support, facilitating communication and conflict resolution, creating healthy work habits, managing stress, and accurately remunerating and rewarding efforts and achievements to name but a few.

With so many facets of people management to consider, one of the main factors that impact employee wellbeing and performance is often forgotten – the state of the actual space in which your team is expected to operate.

The Impact of Office Space on Employees

The workspace provided for employees can impact team morale and productivity in a number of ways. A good workspace can be inspiring and increase productivity, while a sub-standard space can conversely have a negative impact on the attitude and performance of staff. These are the office features that have the biggest impact on employee performance, and which should be kept front of mind when setting up a new office or relocating an existing business:

  • The Quality of Air

Good ventilation is vital for performance. The availability of fresh, clean air plays a major role in promoting employee health, which leads to less sick days and improves productivity in the workplace. In fact, researchers at the Center for Health and Global Environment at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and Syracuse University have noted that elevated levels of CO2 and other irritants in the air have a negative impact on attention span and one’s ability to focus. They suggest that even small improvements in air quality has a positive effect on people’s ability to perform and make decisions.

  • The Amount and Type of Light

Light plays a huge role in productivity. Humans have always had a natural psychological connection to light. Sufficient natural light has the most profound positive effect on alertness and productivity. The Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell conducted a study of the effect of lighting and found that complaints about eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision – all factors that can impede performance – were on average 84% among those sitting within about three metres from a window. It is thus worth clearing anything that blocks windows to maximise the exposure to natural light. Alternatively, fix faulty light bulbs immediately, avoid harsh light where possible, and use different types of lighting within an office space, including ambient and task lighting.

  • A Touch of Nature

Greenery helps to alleviate stress and create a more relaxed atmosphere in the office. Choose an office space where greenery is visible through the windows. Alternatively, choose a space that is big enough to allow for the addition of plants inside the office.

  • Workstation Ergonomics

Do not underestimate the importance of comfort. This is not an “employee benefit” but a necessity for optimal performance. Make sure the premises you choose has the necessary space to accommodate suitable furniture that is fit for purpose and support the tasks employees need to perform. Consider things like large enough work surfaces, sufficient storage space and ergonomic chairs. The seating is specifically important, as poor-quality chairs can lead to back pains and discomfort, which leads to impaired focus and health problems.

  • Ease of Movement

The easier it is to move around, the more likely employees are to move around. This is not only a matter of convenience, but also a health consideration. Increased movement leads to improved blood flow. This, in turn, boosts energy levels and alertness, which helps to improve concentration and the ability to make skilled decisions.

  • Additional Healthy Features

Any additions that support employee health should be considered. In addition to good lighting, fresh air and improved movement, also consider things like water coolers and rest areas. If your office has a canteen or lunch service, add fresh, healthy food options. The healthier your team is, the happier and more energetic they will be. This results in optimal performance and a decreased need for sick leave.

  • Workflow Architecture

We have touched on ease of movement and we have mentioned the need for ergonomic workstations. And when choosing a new office space, is how all the departments or teams will fit together. Where will the office printer be? Where are the bathrooms? All of these impacts the daily flow of work through the office. The space needs to be able to accommodate a logical flow of traffic to make it easier for people to collaborate and perform their tasks. This will both speed up the flow of work, as well as minimise frustration among employees. Both of these factors influence productivity directly.

  • Collaboration and Isolation Spaces

Consider the activities your team needs to perform. If team collaboration is a common requirement, make sure there is a dedicated space for this collaboration to take place uninterrupted. If some employees need to take part in video or conference calls, or need to focus without any interruption, provide a space where they can be alone in a quiet environment to do what they need to do.

The Benefits of Relocation

As companies evolve a space that was sufficient before might not be as ideal anymore. As your business grows, you may have to consider relocating. This is a good thing – a successful venture is supposed to move forward.

A recent survey by Clutch – a company that specialises in data collection and marketing insights – revealed that 68% of employees feel they benefit from an office relocation.

When you get to the point where relocation is being considered, make sure to keep the tips above in mind when selecting your next premises. Providing a healthy and inspiring space from your employees can lead to:

  • Improved team morale
  • Increased productivity
  • A decrease in staff turnover
  • Healthier employees
  • An improved bottom line

Smoothing Out the Impact of an Office relocation

Now, they say that moving to a new house is one of the most stressful activities to undertake. It is also said to affect employees in a similar way. However, a well-planned and executed move is possible and can minimise the disruption and associated stress significantly.

To achieve this smooth transition, it is advised that you partner with a professional moving company with a demonstrable history of moving businesses that provides a full-service offering like Elliott Afrovan does. We cover the entire South Africa and our experienced office and IT relocation teams are focussed on providing you with the most convenient solution based on your company’s unique requirements.

Our range of services covers the entire process of relocating – from planning to unpacking. It includes:

  • A project manager to meet with you, define the scope of the move, provide a cost estimate, manage the project and schedule, and work closely with your designer, space planner or office manager to adhere to floor plans.
  • Workshops with your team leaders and those in charge of the move to make sure everyone is informed and prepared.
  • Full packing and unpacking of boxes.
  • Sequential packing and unpacking of files.
  • Moving of all furniture, safes, bulk filers, filing systems, office screens and partitions.
  • Safe relocation of IT systems.
  • Rigging of heavy equipment.
  • Warehousing and document storage.
  • Safe moving of pianos and fine art.

With such a wide service offering – and a track record of executing hassle-free office relocations on schedule – it is no wonder that Elliott Afrovan is one of the top choice of businesses in South Africa that need to relocate. Give your business and employees the space they need to grow into their full potential. And make Elliott Afrovan your partner in making this happen quickly and successfully. Contact us to discuss your needs and to arrange for a comprehensive quote.