Moving to a new office can be a daunting task, let alone doing it in a pandemic. Because of the nature of the COVID-19 disease, there are many more factors to consider, such as how the equipment should be packed or if a moving company should be employed before an organization decides to switch up their office location. Here are some pros and cons to doing office relocation during the COVID-19 crisis.
Pro: Moving to a new office that employs healthy workspace principles improves your employees’ overall health, mood, and workplace productivity.
Multiple studies have already shown the effects of office design and layout on workplace productivity. Some ways that office layout and design affect productivity include:
- Indoor air quality: The World Green Building Council found that productivity can increase by as much as 11% when employees work in workstations with access to fresh air and reduced pollutants.
- Light: Another study, this time conducted by Cornell’s Department of Design and Environmental Analysis, found that when employees were seated within 10 feet of a window, they reported an 84% reduction in headaches, eyestrain, and symptoms of blurred vision.
- Comfort: The office should also be a place of comfort. Workspace design and layout should follow the principles of ergonomics if bosses and managers want their teams to be safe from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
- Greenery: A study by the Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace presented that individuals who work in spaces that make use of greenery reported a 15% increase in levels of overall health and well-being.
- Collaboration: The same study found that when there are spaces for collaboration between team members, not just for work but also for socialization, employees were more likely to feel relaxed.
If your current office does not employ any of these workspace principles, it may not be the most optimal place for your team to work. Relocating would be a great opportunity to provide your employees with a place where they can be healthy in more ways than one.
Pro: People will be forced to get organized.
If you’ve been in your office for years or even decades, chances are it’s already accumulated a lot of documents, possessions, and other unnecessary clutter as time went on—especially if no one has ever initiated a major cleanup. Doing an office relocation now will compel your employees to finally get their workspaces organized, and your company to finally digitalize your files and physical documents. If your company is on the more traditional side, doing an office relocation might be the push you need to go digital with your filing system.
Con: There are health and safety risks when moving during a pandemic.
Since COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease, relocating to a new office at the height of the pandemic might not be the wisest option. You will be risking not just your own health but that of your employees and those you hire to help you with the move. At the same time, making a big move now is a lot of work on top of what’s already been a hard year. You will have to weigh if it’s something you can add on top of surviving a pandemic and a recession.
At the end of the day, as the business owner, you should decide if the benefits of moving will outweigh the cons and the risks. If you employ the services of an excellent moving company that follows strict COVID-19 protocols and safety precautions, you decrease the chances of infection during the move. If you employ a skeleton shift system with your staff during the packing, too many face-to-face interactions between multiple people shouldn’t be a problem.