Tips to Prepare Your Office for the Winter Season
Unless you’re living somewhere in the sunny south, it’s time to prepare for chilly winter weather. For facility managers (FMs), this means adjusting and upgrading many areas of the office, including the exterior of the building and the surrounding property. Here are some ways FMs can ensure the comfort and safety of their employees, as well as the longevity of the office building during a cold spell.
Automate your HVAC system
Are you still using a manual heating and cooling system? Are your employees constantly grumbling about fluctuating temperatures? By installing an automated HVAC system that regulates and maintains temperatures, FMs can ensure the comfort, happiness and productivity levels of their employees stay at their full potential. Automated systems not only help regulate the facility’s temperatures during season changes, but can do so during office closures as well. Annual holidays may mean that your facility will be closed for a prolonged period of time. By kicking the HVAC system into power-saving mode over a break, FMs can lower energy costs—and these savings are crucial with the parties, vacations and slower periods that the holiday season brings.
Tip: Consider these additional building automation products for your facility.
Maintain spotless floors
As the FM, it’s your job to schedule regular maintenance checks to avoid asset breakdowns or damage. Doing so ensures that employees have all the resources they need and that the office stays clean and spotless. An easy way to tackle all of these responsibilities is to place floor mats and signage in commonly used entranceways as storm season approaches. Mud, slush, snow and salt can ruin floors, therefore increasing facility repair and replacement costs. These are all great reasons to invest in high-quality floor mats that are durable and absorbent.
If mats are only solving half the battle, avoid permanent damage to the floor by employing cleaning staff to do a daily clean. You can also suggest that employees bring an extra set of footwear for indoor use to avoid mud-drenched and salt-caked boots ruining the floors. All of these important steps play a role in protecting the company’s outward presentation and more importantly, the well-being of valued staff members.
Tip: When wet weather persists, don’t forget storage spaces and racks for sodden coats and umbrellas.
Avoid seasonal bugs
The changing season brings with it the inevitable flu bug. That’s why making tissues and hand sanitizer available in commonly frequented locations around the office is key to maintaining a healthy office. And while sending sick staff home—and encouraging them to stay there—is a given, there is another way to help promote a purified office space: plants. Plants can play a vital role in helping clean, revitalize and remove chemicals from the air. They are proven to reduce indoor air pollution, and add a calming, natural element to any indoor space.
Speaking of adding vitality and Feng Shui into an office, you can help brighten workdays by ensuring that the winter wear and tear doesn’t disrupt the light entering your facility. The gloomy conditions and darker days of the season mean that there is minimal natural lighting coming through office windows. To maximize natural light in your building during frosty days, ensure that windows are cleaned on a regular basis.
Tip: Learn about the best plants to help clean the air in your office.
There are many ways to lower your energy consumption during the holidays. Computers consume an enormous amount of energy, even when they’re left on standby. For this reason, it’s essential to ensure that all staff switch off their computers during winter breaks and vacations. Additionally, holiday lights and decorations are likely to increase your energy consumption over the final months of the year. To optimize this consumption, use energy efficient lighting such as LED lights on your Christmas trees, the rest of your workplace and whatever other space you decide to illuminate this holiday season.
These techniques and technologies are just a few ways to get ready for the season ahead. To ensure that you’re fully prepared, dive into your office’s reports and analytics to understand which areas could use the most revitalization.
Does winter incite endless work orders and requests from employees adjusting to a new season? Use a request manager to take full control of requests from beginning to end.
Photos: Shutterstock / skyNext, Shutterstock / Roman Samborskyi, Shutterstock / racorn