9 tips for a successful multi-site transition

Sometimes, a company must face a rapid transformation due to internal or external constraints, without having the time or the elements to establish a long-term strategy. It is therefore a question of building an intermediate situation, just the right balance between maintaining the company's markers and a springboard for the target to come.

Here are some tips if you need to set up an effective intermediate real estate response while you build your real estate strategy.

Several events, internal or external, may lead you to increase your real estate holdings from time to time:

  • Strong growth of the workforce
  • External growth
  • Merger / reorganization
  • Creation of a subsidiary
  • Total or partial rehabilitation of your building

It is thus a question of relocating part of the teams in a short time, while maintaining the unity of the group and the cohesion of the teams, as well as an equity of services for all the collaborators. The duration of these relocations can be evolutionary, if your company is in mutation or if the rehabilitation works are subject to technical or legal complications. It is the opportunity, following the generalization of telecommuting and associated hybrid modes, to experiment new working modes on these temporary locations.

Gain flexibility in your rental commitments

It can be difficult to estimate the space requirements needed to support your company's growth and evolution. Flexibility in your lease commitments is essential to prevent them from becoming restrictive over time. We talked about this in a previous article, 5 tips to make your leases more flexible.

We recently assisted one of our clients on this subject. He chose to install some of his employees in a coworking space to give himself time to think about his real estate strategy without committing himself to the long term.

The privatization of spaces in a coworking site offers several advantages:

  • First of all, a flexible commitment, with an easy exit
  • On the other hand, taking charge of the redevelopment work, which can be decisive in a constrained schedule
  • And last but not least, the quality of service is appreciated: coworking spaces generally have a personalized welcome, a catering service, and neat-looking spaces that are appreciated by employees and visitors.

The counterpart is a higher rent than on a classic lease. This transitional solution is therefore to be optimized over time.

Maintain the unity of the group in a multi-site context

In the context of a partial relocation, the unity of the group must be taken care of, so that the employees moved to the satellite sites keep the feeling of belonging to the group. 

For employees who are used to living in a single location, this splitting up of locations must be accompanied:

By marking the membership of the group

Logo, colors, unified communication on the home screens... it is important to pay particular attention to ensuring that each site reflects the DNA of the group.

(c) Thibaud Poirier for Parella

By facilitating inter-site interactions

By providing for transit stations, so as to limit the number of return trips and allow employees to come and work at the different sites by organizing their day.


One of our clients has set up inter-site shuttles during lunch hours to allow employees to organize their presence on site by half-day

Ensure equity of service for all employees

When relocating, it is important to ensure equity of access to services for all employees, while tailoring services to their needs and expectations. It is also necessary to adapt the modalities according to the size of the sites and their distance from the main site.

Some examples of adaptations to the main services are:

  • Catering is always the first concern of employees on a daily basis. What dictates the offer depends essentially on the available kitchen space. In order to ensure a good diversity and quality of service in spite of a reduced surface in the back office kitchen, the choice of a self-service restaurant in a remote kitchen can be made.
  • The presence of the Works Council is also a strong signal to employees. Regular meetings at remote sites allow to maintain the level of service to the employees. It should be noted that this can be a heavy burden for the members of the CSE.
  • On the subject of concierge services, connected lockers can help meet local needs for dry cleaning and shoe repair.
  • For the occupational health and prevention service, depending on the size of the site, an infirmary or an organization of duty hours can be set up.

(c) Thibaud Poirier for Parella

In addition to access to services, the feeling of equal treatment is also due to the quality of the site in general, particularly in the care taken with the decoration, the decoration of the corridors, the embellishment of the cafeterias, the choice of original window displays, in a fair balance between respecting the brand identity and enhancing the identity of the site.

Ensuring team cohesion in the context of a merger

In addition to bringing in complementary employees, a merger also means bringing together teams in order to initiate future collaborations. A great deal of preparation and construction work is required before the various phases of the move can take place.

This translates into a reorganization of the spatial locations in order to ensure this team cohesion:

By studying the links of proximity between the teams and their specific needs (customer reception, ...). This study allows to define an optimal spatial organization and to establish a new macro-zoning.


Don't underestimate the negotiation time to anticipate the movements of the different teams!

Organizing moves to free up space for the teams being hosted, close to their twin teams. This rapprochement must, of course, be part of the absorption process.

Valuing your identity for the creation of a subsidiary

The transfer to a new site can also be an opportunity to bring together the employees of an entity and to federate a group. In the context of the creation of a subsidiary, this is very important from an internal and external point of view.

The transfer to a new site can also be an opportunity to bring together the employees of an entity and to federate a group. In the context of the creation of a subsidiary, this is very important from an internal and external point of view.

Moving this entity to a separate building enhances its identity:

By affirming the values of the subsidiary in the decoration of the spaces. This can be done by using the color of the logo in the entrance hall and living areas, by dressing the corridors and planting the workspaces, making the new building a place of identity for the teams.

(c) Thibaud Poirier for Parella

By setting up working methods and spaces specific to this activity. The creation of a subsidiary is often driven by a new dynamic, with project and agile work methods. Providing teams with the appropriate spaces will help them to improve their performance and attractiveness.

By building a collective around this new location by animating the managerial network and organizing events that bring employees together (rituals, sports tournaments, etc.)


A Global Design approach can help you do just that.

Deploying a global communication

It is important that all employees have access to the information to ensure the transparency of the project.

The marketing of the project is a first step, the project must be named and be accompanied by its own visual identity (logo, graphic charter). The construction of a communication plan must then be based on a variety of media: synchronous (plenary, breakfast, webinar) and asynchronous (email, intranet, corporate social network, posters).

Consistency of communication must be ensured throughout these projects, which can last for many months:

By making the launch of the project official through a global communication carried by the Management, ideally an editorial by the CEO in the first Newsletter.

By providing a regular flow of information on the intranet in free access to allow everyone to follow the project in real time and in transparency.

By providing impactful communication actions at key moments of the project, starting with information on access and building services.

Organizing site visits prior to the moveto facilitate immersion.

By building a post-move-in feedback.

Relay the communication through a network of ambassadors

It is sometimes difficult to reach employees, who are busy with group news and a flood of emails. The relay of a community of ambassadors proves to be essential to ensure the diffusion of communication in proximity.

(c) Thibaud Poirier for Parella

We usually appoint about 20 ambassadors to cover all the teams directly impacted by the moves.

The success of this community is due to its animation and the valorisation of its members throughout the project:

By identifying and highlighting the ambassadors through dedicated communication and information to managers. The objective is that they are well identified within their teams.

By integrating the ambassadors in a co-construction process. This will encourage their appropriation of the project and allow you to test certain proposals. They can be involved in the definition of user paths, the design of the architectural thread, the construction of macro and micro zoning, the definition of rules of life...

By regularly animating the community with question and answer sessions about the project. It is a matter of continuously feeding the community. All events, such as site visits or service demonstrations, help to keep the community active. the community.

By thanking the community at key stages of the project for their commitment. Your ambassadors are voluntary employees, and generally the driving force behind the company and/or social relations. It is therefore important to highlight their commitment and thank them, for example with a box of chocolate.

Capitalize on project management

These successive projects are an opportunity for all stakeholders to learn together: real estate, services, IT, security, HR, etc. When this project involves several successive stages, it is important to capitalize on the learning at each stage.

First of all, here are some good practices to structure your project management: 

  • Establish common objectives for the success of the project and define them by site
  • Consolidate a project book, including the worksheets written by each pilot, defining the objectives, timetable and means implemented
  • Set up a cross-functional project management system for the various projects, integrating all the stakeholders, including the business lines, to ensure the project's cohesion
  • Establish the various project bodies including coordination times to unblock cross-cutting issues
  • Project the project load and sequence the steps to smooth the load and preserve the teams
  • Plan face-to-face meetings and moments of conviviality to strengthen the teams
  • Organize site visits so that everyone can take ownership of the building
  • Celebrating victories with sponsors

(c) Thibaud Poirier for Parella

Beyond these good project management practices, it can be very enriching for the process to organize feedback sessions at each phase of the project. This allows for the validation of successes and the exchange of ideas on how to improve project management. This iterative approach has demonstrated a real increase in collective competence.

Experiment with new ways of working

A new location is an opportunity to test the implementation of a flex office with a volunteer team on a limited volume.


The IT professions are often willing to work in this way because it is particularly suited to their project and agile configuration.

The experimentation allows to test different items:

  • Nomadic methods: wifi, IT equipment for employees and collaborative spaces
  • Typologies of work positions and lockers, as well as typologies of collaborative spaces
  • Setting up rules for team life and face-to-face management
  • Whether or not a job reservation tool is needed

This experimentation allows you to better anticipate your investment: if certain computer equipment, spaces or furniture prove to be not very functional in use, it will be possible to change the model in the case of a generalization.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that an experimentation is only efficient if you give the necessary time to evaluate all the aspects and to implement corrective actions, that is to say 6 months for a consolidated feedback. It is based on different steps:

  • Informing employees in advance about how to appropriate work methods and spaces
  • The implementation of a collective management (inter-team) by the managers
  • Collection of adjustment points from ambassadors and managers
  • The distribution of a survey to employees to obtain a qualitative and quantitative analysis
  • The proposal of an improvement plan, its follow-up and publication
  • The organization of a consolidated feedback to all stakeholders: project team, sponsor, manager, HR & staff representative

To conclude

Of course, these 9 tips also apply in the case of a permanent switch to multisite.

Thus, there are several levers to successfully implement a multisite in a context of temporary occupation. It is necessary to take into account this reflection from the conception of your project and throughout its development. Let experts accompany you on all the dimensions of the project:

  • By experts in transformation and new ways of working, to help you define the vision of your project and lead the change by involving your employees.
  • By experts in the market and in lease negotiations to enable you to build your real estate strategy with peace of mind and to make your rental commitments more flexible.
  • By experts in workspaces to design custom spaces and offer a customization of the decoration of your spaces.

Our teams are at your disposal to analyze your needs and answer your questions.

Follow us on Linkedin to benefit from the next articles, between deciphering and market views of our experts.