Many years ago while working in an MNC, we were tasked to move office from a smaller one to a bigger but rental office across the road…
Having just been acquired, the people that formed the team came from various departments and working together for the first time.
Well, moving office is simple right? Just move a few furniture here and there and viola! Moved office!
It could not be further from the truth!
Nobody wants to pack, nobody wants to delegate and certainly, nobody wants to be involved as it was a weekend and family time!
We ended up delaying the process of moving until the new head of department came along…
Of course being adults and working professionals, he could not just scold or yell at us or forced us to do things, imperative it might be.
So what did he do?
He called in enforcements in the form of removalists!
The removalists got in touch with our manager in charge of our move and told him that the move is happening at this date and time.
Now having no choice of procrastination or excuse, our manager had to mobilize us and told us to do what is necessary…
This time, we were more willing to do the packing because now, we were just packing our own stuff while the removalists do the rest of the hard lifting and packing of the general items!
So what had changed? The objective stayed the same, that is, to move office…
What had changed is the psychological impart and effect that the move had on us.
According to grief studies, moving can generate a sense of grief due to the following:
- Concerns of all the work involved
- Worries about financial matters
- The sadness of leaving people and familiar things behind
- Fear of the unknown that comes with any relocation
(Source: The Grief Recovery Method article dated January 15, 2018. https://www.griefrecoverymethod.com/blog/2018/01/moving-can-generate-feelings-grief-0)
“So what’s the big deal?” Some people might say…
Basically what the head of department did was to provide us space to grieve through providing some help in the form of removalists to help us cope with the overwhelming sense of moving office.
And not only giving us space, he gave us the time to say our ‘good byes’ at our time and space through clearing our own desks…
Moving office, home etc is not just that, moving… Personally I had been with the company for almost 5 years and some even longer. Moving is not just the taking physical stuff with us, the memories of the past, colleagues we had worked with and relationships that were formed would be just that, distant memories…
Some coped with grief faster and easier, others would take a little while and as leaders, we have to be sensible to matters of the heart and if need be, provide the help needed because a grateful and thankful equal a productive staff!
As for us, after clearing our own personal items and now not having to worry about the other items, we all took the day like a team building exercise, helping each other to load and unload boxes, excited over the allocation of our new desk and space and after all is done, we celebrated by having a meal together!