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My work location has been moved to another building so that I could be closer to my boss and he could supervise me more easily. I have been instructed to move my computer and work related materials there.

I have been at my current work location for over a year. If I move suddenly without telling anything to my office-mates, they would likely speculate as to why I moved or have questions. My office-mates may also be indirectly the reason for my move. There was a period of time when I took my lunch hour at a different time than them, or came in a bit later than them, leading to them speculating why I was not in office. This likely bubbled up to HR, who asked me to move via my boss.

I am concerned that if I just pick up my things and move without any notice, it may negatively affect things. At least two of my work-customers expect me in my current location. My boss and HR are aware of the move, so I am not concerned about them. However, I am concerned more about my floor neighbors, who typically come to me for various tasks or questions. If I disappear silently, there will surely be questions like, "Where did he go?", "Why did he move?", "Was he fired?", etc.

How do I best handle this? Do I say "I'm moving" to everyone or only to people I have been working with closely? My goal is to not create a bigger rumor mill, and execute the move smoothly.

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    I think you're overthinking this. Just move your belongings to the new location, and leave a note on the door/wall in your location indicating that you've moved offices, and let them know how to find you. Office moves happen all the time for any number of reasons. This "rumor mill" you're worried about, if it exists, doesn't matter. – Kent A. Jul 5 '17 at 17:41
  • alright. Should I be concerned about "telling as many people as possible", as JeffO suggested, or it doesn't really matter as long as they know how to find me? I think I at least will tell directly the two people I work with the most just as a work-related courtesy and leave a note and others can find me through the note or through those people. – Chris Jul 5 '17 at 17:49
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    Just tell those you are closest to (just that you're moving, no need to go into why unless they ask). The note on the door/wall that you leave behind will tell anyone looking for you at the old location to find you at your new location. If your phone number changes as a result of the office move, then you'll probably want to send out an email and make sure it gets updated in the company directory. – Kent A. Jul 5 '17 at 18:42
  • Just shrug and said HR is shuffling desks. Happens all the time. If you want to continue meeting up with them due to friendships, tell them where your new desk is or ask them to email/IM you when they go to lunch. – Gabe Sechan Jul 7 '17 at 6:30
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Don't overthink this. There is no need to waste time inventing conspiracy theories about your move or worry about what other people will think of it, because:

  1. They don't really care. A couple of days, hours, or even minutes later, they will forget about you and get on with their work. Out of sight, out of mind.
  2. If they gossip about your move, it is not your problem. You get only one life, keep it simple, and don't go looking for reasons to worry. Your boss asked you to move, so you do that and get on with your job. Forget about why it happened and what others think about it.

It would be courteous, though not strictly necessary, to have some small talk with your closest neighbours, and maybe a couple of "friends", shortly before your leave. Just tell them where you are moving to and politely ask them to inform any "visitors" who come looking for you.

Don't draw unnecessary attention to things you don't want to talk about. Avoid digging out the old stories about lunch times and coming in late, and trying to defend or justify your actions. If they are "curious" to know the reason, just keep it brief and to the point, "My boss asked me to move closer to his office."

I am also certain the backstory did not pan out the way you have described here. To begin with, it is highly unlikely your office mates care about your lunch times so much that they would take it to HR. Even if they did, HR certainly wouldn't take such petty issues seriously.

  • 3. If they do care, they know where to find you. – Jan Doggen Jul 6 '17 at 12:37
  • thanks.. well one thing that did come to my attention is boss asking me to be in office during core hours, so that he wouldn't have to hear more about that from HR. He also mentioned there were reports that I come back from lunch at various times. True that I may never know the real story, but I do trust my boss and his gripe was that there were conversations about my hours and he wanted those conversation off his back. The move request originated from HR, not my boss. – Chris Jul 6 '17 at 13:39
  • I can see HR not being happy about me not being in office during part of core hours, but who or what it came about I can't be certain. My office-mates all were very very punctual about their hours so maybe someone did say something but true I can't be certain. HR could have been watching me directly as well. Apparently I have moved though and it did not come in a vacuum, so I don't know how petty HR is or not or if there was something else in play. – Chris Jul 6 '17 at 13:40
  • @Chris It could have been a "customer" who came looking for you when you weren't there, or it could have been your boss who happened to pass by, or the HR, or the office-mates. Anyway the point is it doesn't matter, it is already in the past, and you can't do anything about it. If your boss has asked you to be in office during "core" hours, then do that. Consider this move as a clean slate handed to you, and start from scratch. – Masked Man Jul 6 '17 at 14:18
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This move isn't your officemates' issue whatsoever. The only people that really need to be involved are the mailroom, your boss, HR/payroll (in case you need a paycheck or similar delivered to you personally), and maybe facilities and IT. It's not your responsibility to make everyone else comfortable with why you're moving.

You're dealing with grown people. They're going to say whatever they're going to say whether you add in your own "defense" or not. The only person you can control is yourself.

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If you don't want any rumors being created, then tell as many people as possible. People may want to know where to find you.

There's not much you can do about other people's involvement in why you're being relocated. Hopefully, you could have a conversation with your boss and ask if there are any circumstances about this move. Tell him you were on a different lunch schedule and others may have assumed you were slacking off.

Make sure you get some clear parameters about when you need to be at your desk. Moving you without any warning about a potential attendance problem/concern doesn't seem right. Just make sure you have things worked out with your boss. What everyone else thinks is secondary.

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    the circumstances per my boss were persistent rumors that i have not been abiding by the work-hours schedule (aka coming in & going to lunch on my own time rather than work time). My boss is aware of my time schedule and was okay with it, but he has to abide by HR, and HR has been setting guidelines. As far as telling other people, what do I say? i.e. saying "I am moving because my boss needs to work with HR to supervise me more closely so to ensure compliance with company time" is probably the truer statement but may sound a bit off. But then my boss knows, HR knows so it's not a secret.. – Chris Jul 5 '17 at 17:07
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    @Chris they don't need to know why. Our boss requested I move, I didn't ask why. – SaggingRufus Jul 5 '17 at 17:11
  • Thanks, so I will probably say something like "Hey I am moving and tomorrow I will be in location X, you can find me there if you have any issues". Then if asked, I can say what SaggingRufus suggested. I know some will pry more to where I will be tempted to offer more information but I can act as if I really don't know & that "I'll ask my boss later" or something to put a stop to questions. – Chris Jul 5 '17 at 17:19
  • I will also do that at the end of day to avoid questions during the day. And tomorrow I'll be elsewhere and not easily accessible so likely no more questions from floor-mates. I think in overall scheme of things, the move indirectly will help satisfy & put the rumor mill to rest. So while not the most desired move, it may be best for the situation, as any other way to stop the 'rumor mill' will likely be harder. – Chris Jul 5 '17 at 17:26

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