Large Multinational Organisation – Technology & Communications Sector (2012)


Relocating European Head Office in UK +20 Miles

This project saw the relocation of 500 people from a large owned site in Essex, where the business had been based for 50 years, to a multi-tenancy site in Hertfordshire over 20 miles away.


75% of the employees lived within 15 – 20 minutes travel to work and their journey was set to increase by over an hour each way in rush hour to the new location.

The business operated a hierarchical, traditional and presenteeism based culture with 85% of the employees working Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm in the office. The leadership team had estimated that 50% of the employees would leave rather than move.

Our task was to create new ways of working that would enable as many people as possible to make the move work for them, therefore retaining key knowledge within the business and avoiding a negative impact on revenue or productivity during and following the relocation.


Working with the organisations’ leadership, management, and core employee teams, in addition to a temporary financial support arrangement, two key cultural changes were designed and implemented.

These changes enabled the “9 to 5” approach to be removed and replaced with a flexible way of working based on trust, outputs and choice around where, when and how employees and teams worked.

This also supported the organisations’ globalisation, which was occurring in the business at the time, and enabled employees to balance their lives, work needs and demands to work across time zones.


Following the relocation, only 1.5% of employees left the business immediately as a result of the move, this was a reduction of 48.5% from the original estimate of 50% loss.

One year after the move revenue and productivity had increased rather than the feared decline.

Three years later NO additional employees had left the business as a result of the move and employee engagement had increased by 10 percentile points each year.

The new ways of working introduced as part of the project are now a key recruitment and retention tool and anecdotal comments are still made talking of employees refusing significant increases in pay to move companies when similar flexible and agile approaches to the way of work are not in place.


  • Reduced redundancy costs
  • Increased knowledge retention
  • Reduced turnover and increased revenue
  • Enhanced well-being
  • Enhanced recruitment and talent attraction
  • Increased employee engagement

Word cloud from employee engagement survey post the move

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