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Worry and Fear: Tackling the terrible twins of workplace relocation

At a team meeting with the Cmove Dream Team we were talking about what really threatens the success of getting a company of people, their associated goods, technology, records, supplies and furniture relocated from Point A to Point B. I was amazed to see a common thread: the root of most problems was a lot of fear and worry.

When things go off track most of us point to a finite cause like, “Oh, we’re off-schedule because the third floor records are not packed and ready,” or “Leadership still hasn’t nailed down the transition date for our department,” or “Someone forgot to finalize furniture placement.” But, if you look at why these things aren’t done, it usually comes down to fear and worry.

That fear or worry might come from:

  • Someone dragged his heals on getting the department records packed and labeled—he was worried whether there would be enough space and should he reduce/archive the records.

  • Someone in leadership was fearful of missing some details, so she delayed the move date.

  • Someone put off decisions because he feared he didn’t have the information he needed to make the right decision and was afraid to ask for help.

It’s funny how you can trace slowdowns, schedule foul ups and failure to make a decision to fear and worry. So how can you alleviate some of the uncertainty that drives these issues?

  • Share the Strategy: Getting all the players—facilities managers, furniture vendors, relocation consultants, company leadership—involved in the early stages prevents a lot of “uh ohs” when someone fails to plan for something he or she was not aware of. Each of these players can help spot potential troubles before they occur and find out where additional coordination is needed.

  • Communicate Clearly: Make sure team members at every level are apprised of the whys, whats and hows, along the way. The more you communicate, the more you remove the fear and worry of the unknown. You may even want to share pictures or the progress of space planning drawings so the team understands and embraces the changes.

  • Play Well with Others: The smartest leaders are those who hire people who are at least as smart or talented as they are. Encourage playing as a team, sharing resources, experiences and best practices so everyone is a winner. Be willing to lend assistance rather than thinking, “It’s not my job.” A rising tide lifts all ships.

So these are just a few of the tips we came up with for tackling those pesky twins, Fear and Worry. When you feel reluctant to get things moving or to finalize a decision, ask yourself, “What am I afraid of or worried about?” Identifying the root cause will help get you past the sticking point and back on track.