As an entrepreneur, you spend a lot of time fine tuning the details of your business. From your website to your app, your marketing approaches, you scour manufacturers and suppliers for the best deals and you stalk your competitors. But one area you might be overlooking completely is your office space. Not only does a good office look impressive to customers and clients, but it also helps to keep your staff safe and happy too. Here are a few things to consider.
When it comes to working environments, an office is one of the safest. Unlike on construction sites, in factories and warehouses, there are no heavy machines or vehicles that could cause an injury. You’re not likely to fall from great height, get burned by chemicals or get cut like you could at other workplaces. However, the office still isn’t completely safe. Slips, trips and falls account for some of the biggest injuries in the workplace. And often, they can be completely avoided. Make sure you’re sticking to health and safety procedures if a floor has been cleaned and is still wet there should be a sign alerting people. Loose carpets should be secured, and walkways should be free of boxes, files, wires and other items which could be a tripping hazard. Changes in levels can often be a cause, if there is a step up or step down in your office you should mark where this starts with a bright colour along the edge. Did you realise that poor lighting could also cause these kinds of accidents? Ensure everywhere is properly lit, bulbs should be bright enough, and burst bulbs should be replaced quickly.
Keeping Employees Comfortable
Making sure employees can work comfortably is something to bear in mind when putting your office space together. Neck, back and eye strain are the types of injuries that occur over time, but can be extremely debilitating. As an employer, it’s also bad news for your business since it’s likely to lead to sick days and absence which will affect productivity levels. One of the best things you can do as the boss is ensure every employee has an ergonomically designed desk and office chair which will prevent neck, back and wrist strain. Coloured overlays on monitors can help to prevent eye strain and migraines, encourage employees to be looking away from the screen for a few minutes in every hour. If you position desks close to windows, the natural light has shown to be a mood booster which can make employees feel happier too- and in turn boost productivity.
In the event of a natural disaster, fire or other emergency situation, do you have a good evacuation procedure? This means staff should know how to exit the building calmly and safely, and where they can go to be counted. Some of the biggest fire hazards in the office include damaged power cords (since these are everywhere in offices) and incorrect usage of extension leads. Extension leads are designed for temporary use only, and shouldn’t be overloaded or used as a constant source of power. If you’re short on sockets, an electrician could fit more within a couple of hours. Computer equipment poses a small fire hazard, make sure machines are well maintained and are turned off at the end of each day. Fire exits should be clear, with the correct fire extinguishers in easy to access places. Make sure your fire alarm is regularly tested too.
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