How a Mobile App Can Streamline an Office Move for Employees

Submitted by on Tue, 04/19/16

office_move_mobile_app

There comes a time when your corporate offices need to move to a new location. This can be a stressful time for those organizing the move, as well employees.

It’s critical for internal communications, HR, and facilities and real estate teams to work together to communicate a clear, consistent message to employees and keep everyone informed throughout the process.

With modern smartphone adoption, and given the fact that sometimes the moving process means loss of access to traditional communication channels – like laptops, Wi-Fi, VPN, or desktop phones – a mobile app focused on the company move can be one of the most effective communication tools during this time.

Native mobile apps provide users with immediate access to only the most relevant information, meaning they don’t need to navigate through pages and pages of a website (even a mobile-optimized one), or dig through a folder of emails, to find the information they need. Native apps also have the advantage of accessing mobile device’s inherent features – such as push notifications or GPS technology, which can be essential communication tools during an office move.

How can a mobile app help during an office move?

Maps – Both Indoor and Outdoor
The biggest question for employees during an office move is, “Where do I go?” Adding outdoor maps with special pins clearly shows employees the new office location. Pins can also be added to show specific buildings, parking structures, nearby public transit, or other areas of interest. Directions can also be added to the app – such as driving from the old office to the new, or walking directions from transit stops or parking to the office building.

Indoor maps are especially critical to help employees’ transition to their new surroundings. Indoor maps can include a wealth of information including new office or desk locations, conference rooms, kitchens and break areas, restrooms, elevators, stairs, and even specific amenities such as printers, water fountains, or coffee makers. Readily sharing this level of detail with employees will make the transition to the new space go much smoother.

Special purpose content
Robust mobile app platforms allow you to not only drag and drop fixed features, but to easily build custom screens and modules to share any content you wish. Moving-specific content might include:

  • The plan – dates, how to pack, who will take responsibility for IT-related packing, and other preparatory details
  • What to expect upon arrival at the new space – security check-in or badges, the office location, how employees should find their desk, how to get connected to Wi-Fi, where to find restrooms, kitchens, etc. (deep link to the indoor map for additional clarity)
  • Features of the new location – access to an employee gym, cafeteria, special lounge, or other unique spaces
  • Transportation plans – employer-sponsored shuttles and stop locations, nearby public transit options, parking details
  • What’s nearby – orient employees to their new surroundings with a module focused on local restaurants and other areas of interest

Push notifications and other messaging
One of the most powerful features of native apps are their messaging abilities. Push notifications immediately reach all app users whether or not they are currently using the app. During a move, push notifications can reach employees with the most important messages, even a friendly reminder to go to the new office on the first day! Push notifications can also be used to alert employees to any hiccups along the way and provide solutions. Beacons can also be used to provide additional communications, by sending highly contextual messages when employees enter a certain area of the office.

Seek feedback
The best communication is a two-way street. Add opportunities for employee feedback within the app to gain insight into the moving process, as well as how they are adapting to the new space. Specialized feedback forms enable employees to provide quick feedback to the facilities staff and even attach photos – maybe an area of the new space seems consistently too warm, or the lighting isn’t quite right, or maybe some desk spaces are missing needed storage or whiteboards. Using these feedback forms streamlines requests, making it easy for facilities teams to prioritize and respond. This process can be further streamlined by placing QR codes throughout the office. From their app, employees can scan the code, add details about an issue, and submit the form, which will already have location information from the QR code.

How difficult is it to implement an app for an office move?

An app for a corporate office move can be included as a module in an existing employee app, or provided as a standalone app. Either route is easy to achieve using new rapid mobile app assembly platforms that empower any business team – such an HR, corporate communications, or facilities – to easily create a special-purpose app, with no coding required. Especially important for an event such as an office move, with so many moving parts, is the fact that these apps can be updated in real-time, without requiring resubmission to the app store. This ensures employees are kept up-to-date at all times, reduces stress, and ensures a smooth office move for all involved.

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