Dear Aunty B,
The business where I work (about 25 employees) is about to move from a cosy inner-city warehouse-style office to a floor of a CBD building with character. Half the staff are ecstatic about being in the buzz of the big city; the others are worried we’ll become too corporate and lose our “bohemian” feel. Who is right?
This is a common issue for growing businesses, especially for staff members who have been with the business from the beginning and watched it grow from infancy through to puberty.
They’re concerned about maintaining a “small company” ethos and culture, which is completely understandable. But that view overlooks the fundamental reality of culture inside a business – that it’s the people, the attitudes, the openness and the integrity that determine culture, not the building or the carpet or the chairs or the walls.
You won’t be able to calm their concerns about the move until it happens and then they will quickly make their judgements about the new office based on whether or not it has affected their satisfaction levels and enjoyment of their work. You can’t trick them into believing it’s a good thing if it isn’t – but their concerns will disappear if it is.