When you’re in charge of an office, you’re in charge of the place where people will spend most of their week. No matter how big or small the building may be, it’s your job to create a positive environment — one that lets them (and you, too) work without worry.
To help keep your employees happy, healthy and safe, follow these 17 tips for an office space:
- Consider carpeting. Certain surfaces can get slippery, quickly. If there’s marble or tile in your building, especially in an entrance way, laying down heavy industrial mats can help reduce the risk of falls.
- Clear the clutter. All halls, lobbies and common areas should always be neat and tidy.
- Practice safe stacking. In any storage space, be sure the heaviest boxes are at the bottom.
- Store a step ladder. When your employees need something that’s just out of reach, they usually look for something to stand on. But, in most offices, the first thing they’d see is a chair that rolls and swivels. Since standing on office chairs can pose significant danger, make sure a step ladder is easily accessible.
- Stock up on first-aid supplies. Keep a first-aid kit handy, and keep it full. (We suggest including these 31 items.)
- Don’t plug space heaters into power strips. When it comes to power strips, overloading can lead to overheating. Keep your office safe and warm by always plugging into the wall.
- Unplug your appliances. At the end of the day and over the weekend, unplug the things that could pose a fire hazard, like the coffee maker or microwave.
- Make space for your sprinkler system. Remember to keep at least 18 inches of space around each interior sprinkler head — just in case.
- Find a fire extinguisher on each floor. Are you prepared to put out a fire? Stay safe by storing a fire extinguisher on each floor of your building. Then, make sure all employees know where they are and how to use them.
- Stay secure. When an employee leaves your company, change your alarm code.
- Control the keys. If you can, limit the number of keys you give to employees. Or, switch to an electronic system so employees only need a key card or passcode.
- Encourage strong passwords. The more complicated a password, the less likely someone will guess it. When your new employees are creating passwords for their computer, give them some of our helpful hints.
- Invest in cyber insurance. What would you do if personal, business or customer information was compromised? Because cybercrime is on the rise, you may want to consider coverage that could help you recover. Could it be the right fit for you? Find out.
- Don’t let employees work late alone. Not everything can get done during normal business hours. When someone needs to work late, encourage a “buddy system” so they’re not alone. Or, if no one else is willing or able to stay, have the employee lock him or herself in and let someone know when they leave.
- Leave (at least a few) interior lights on. While it’s tempting to turn the office lights off at the end of the day, leaving one or two on signals that someone may still be in the building. Usually, that’ll make it less appealing to burglars.
- Promote comfort. Did you know bad office ergonomics can actually cause musculoskeletal disorders? To combat that, equipment should be adjustable, so it can accommodate everyone from the tallest to the smallest. Another little-known fact? The position of the mouse and keyboard can also play a part. Both should be comfortably within reach while allowing the forearms, hands and wrists to be parallel to the floor. Additionally, the mouse should always be beside the keyboard, which means if the keyboard is on a pull-out tray, the mouse should be, too.
- Plan an evacuation route. Consider the possible scenarios, like fires, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and even active shooters. Determine what your employees should do in each situation. Then, communicate them (and maybe even practice them).