You’ve spent hours selecting the best possible chair for your new office. Complaints about uncomfortable furniture are the last thing you want to hear after sampling so many office chairs that your backside has calluses. That’s exactly what you’ll hear if you fail to educate your end-users about their new furniture and the various adjustments that can be made.
Furniture is one of the biggest costs associated with a company’s relocation and can have a major cultural impact – positive or negative. Differences in the furniture you have now and what you’ll have at your new address can impact employee seating assignments, clean-up/purge efforts and the need for file/storage space outside employee offices and workstations. So – it’s REALLY important that your workforce become knowledgeable about its new furniture. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to ensure your end-users understand their new furniture and how they can make it work for them – before you move.
Furniture mock-ups and demos are the best way to familiarize end-users with the new (or different) furniture they’ll have as a result of the relocation or renovation project. Mock-ups are often used to help companies decide between furniture manufacturers, and/or furniture styles and layouts before the furniture is ordered. They can also be used to educate employees on their new furniture. You can schedule furniture “tours” to show-off the new furniture – its components, their advantages and how to use them.
If you can’t leave the furniture in place long enough to educate your full workforce, you could create a video to post on your Intranet or Relocation Website. The demo should include the layout of the furniture – size and counts of drawers, storage shelves/cabinets and of course, how to make adjustments to chairs and monitor arms.
Even if you can’t create a mock-up, that’s OK. Ask your furniture dealer for help. Some manufacturers have demo videos on their website – especially for task/ergonomic chairs. You can also ask your furniture team to develop a virtual 360-degree tour of the furniture layout and components. At the very least, get 2D elevation drawings of the furniture – showing all the components; along with the measurements to help employees better understand the type and amount of space they will have compared to what they have now.
Even if you have had mock-up tours, virtual tours and/or provided elevation drawings with measurements before the move, you might consider having representatives from your furniture dealer at your new site on day one and/or day two. You can establish training sessions or have them walking through your space, offering one-on-one assistance with adjustments.
For other tips to think about the planning process, reference the Relocation Checklist.
Helen Dennis is the President and co-founder of 300 Decisions, a strategic, full-service business relocation management company specializing in helping organizations transition into new work environments without disrupting business operations.