How to make the office move as painless as possible
In case you missed it, Workopolis has moved to a swanky new office space on the waterfront in Toronto. It’s kind of amazing. Still, there’s no way to sugar coat it: moving sucks.
Packing, unpacking, re-organizing, and re-establishing daily routines; these are all things we’d rather not be doing – even when we’re benefiting from a kick-ass new work space.
Here are a few lessons we learned on how to make the office move as painless as possible:
Yes, it’s cute that you’ve collected a dozen new novelty mugs for every year you’ve worked at the company. And yes, those files from 2005 are bound to come in handy someday…but do you really need all those tchotchkes? Are all those files necessary?
The first step in simplifying the move is to lighten the load as much as possible. Purge anything that isn’t necessary, and aim for Zen-like minimalism. Sure, sometimes it’s hard to part with a coffee mug that says “this might be whiskey,” but it’s worth the sacrifice when your new desk is completely clutter-free.
Know where you sit (or stand)
If possible, take a peek at your office’s new desk and office layout. If you’re big on the whole visualizing success (but don’t believe your eyes!) thing, knowing where you’ll be helps prepare you for what’s ahead – especially if you’re now seated next to one of these 8 difficult office personalities.
If you don’t like what you see, though, ask if you can make a change. Tread lightly though. It’s one thing to ask about changing seats, and quite another to start making Van Halen-esque requests (the band’s tour rider famously asked for a bowl of M&Ms – without the brown ones). It is, after all, just a desk.
If, on the other hand, your new desk really, really bothers you, have you thought about finding a new job?)
Prepare to change
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Socrates said that, and he spent most of his life in sandals and a robe. It’s safe to say he knew what was up.
For many of us creatures of habit, setting and relearning our daily routine can be the toughest part about a new office. The trick, though, is in preparing ahead. What, for example, is the best way to commute? Do you have to drive through two construction zones and a parade route to get to work? Is the commuter rail line convenient? These are all questions you should be asking and answering – before you make the move.
It’s also a good idea to talk to your co-workers. I mean in general. It’s a good idea to talk to them! But while you’re doing that, why not ask how they plan to get to work? Can you carpool? It’s all part of creating your new routine.
Know the facilities
The easiest way to ensure a painless transition is to become the master of your own domain.
No, not in that sense (get your head out of the gutter). I mean, do you know where the kitchen is? The supply room? The restrooms? Inform yourself on all the practicalities, not only for your office space but the building as a whole. You’ll feel more at home, and you might even discover a few hidden gems, like that Thai restaurant in the lobby (or if you’re not into stuffing your face during the day, that yoga studio on the third floor).
Be willing to explore
It’s also good to know the lay of the land before you get into a new office space. Do some reconnaissance on the neighborhood, keeping an eye out for restaurants, cafes, shops, and any other amenities. Aside from informing your future business lunches and happy hour choices, and helping you plan errands, it’s good to know what options are available to you.
But learning doesn’t stop once you’ve made the move. Take walks at lunch and on your breaks. It’s good for your health, but it also gives you the chance to explore what’s around you. If you’re in the middle of an urban jungle, look out for parks, public spaces, and markets. And if your company has moved to suburbia, just look for a way out (just kidding – sort of)!
What have we learned?
Change is inconvenient and often times annoying, but it’s good. Be proactive and embrace it.