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The move - top 5 things we learned

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We’ve been in our lovely new home for two months now and are well on the way to developing what the next stages will be like. Chloe, Opal, Chris and Sarah, who helped orchestrate the move, filled us in on the top five things they learned from the process, and how they made it such a great success.

1. Don’t try to do everything in one go, take time to be in the new space and get feedback from everyone to shape what you do next.

We removed some desks to free up space, but instead of filling it with new stuff straight away we waited. There’s no point investing money in things that may not be needed.

We’re also experimenting with different ways of doing things, for example we’re currently on our third iteration of the kitchen furniture arrangement. And some elements that we initially wanted to do were deprioritised to make sure we delivered what was essential.

2. Give the team regular updates on what’s happening…even if there’s no update, keep talking about it.

A working group of volunteers kept the lines of communication open with colleagues. They kept in touch with them by asking for feedback, updating an ‘inspiration wall’ with progress made, and talking about the move at weekly and monthly meetings. It made sure we were all in tune with one another from beginning to end. 

3. Get people involved from the start and keep them involved throughout.

We set the department a challenge – to come up with names for the new meeting rooms. The eventual winner was Richard Beaumont, head of design, who came up with a David Bowie theme.

Throughout the whole process we always made sure to listen to what people had to say and try and incorporate their ideas. And when it came to actually moving we got everyone to add their photos to a ‘memories board’ and had a proper send-off with food, drinks and one of our infamous quizzes. 

4. Find out what’s important to the team and invest time and money on those, rather than on things that just look nice.

From the very beginning we discussed what was required with the team. We needed to know what was important for each and every person in order to make it a success. Rather than spending money on fancy things, we spent it on practical stuff – such as writeable magnetic walls.

Without doubt outdoor furniture has been one of the best investments, as it has enabled us all to have lots of meetings outside in the sun and made the new space feel even bigger.

5. Make people feel like it’s their space, and get them to add their personality to it, and they’ll feel proud of it.

On the first day in the new office we asked people to write a little something on the walls to reflect their thoughts about the space. We’re also gathering people’s favourite quotes together so we can put those up for inspiration. And now that people are starting to get settled in, we’re gathering feedback to help decide what should happen next.

It’s vital not to underestimate the importance of moving – it’s not just a location change, it’s about celebrating the achievements in the old space, and building excitement about what’s to come.

We’ve allocated a section of the wall where people can jot down what they like about the office, what they don’t like and any recommendations for things we could improve. There are all kinds of comments that people have been putting on there, like wanting to have more plants around the office. We’ll be using all of this feedback to plan stage two of the move, which will be happening in the next few months.

We can’t wait to see what it’ll be like.

You can watch a video about the move in our article The big move - we did it!