The way you prepare your office space for winter adequately is perhaps even more important this year than usual. With the world in the throes of a potentially serious pandemic, the impact of COVID-19 is expected to rise during the colder months with temperatures that allow the coronavirus to thrive. If you and your employees have been working from home for most of the summer and are preparing for a return to the office in the winter, making sure that the space is ready to take on the chilly weather and keep employees safe from the virus is essential. This could mean upgrading and adjusting several interiors and exterior areas of the building to ensure employee comfort and boost the longevity of the office building itself in the cold weather.
Upgrade the Heating System
If your memories of last winter include a lot of grumbling about fluctuating temperatures and employees struggling to stay productive because they’re working in their winter coats, it’s probably time to think about upgrading your office’s heating system. This will not only improve employee comfort and satisfaction at work during the winter months but can also help you save money on your utility bills when you upgrade to a more energy-efficient option. So far, heating options have typically consisted of fossil fuels and electrical energy, but there’s an increase in renewable options today, including these air source heat pumps in Glasgow. Provided by Incognito Heat Co., they provide an economical, environmentally-friendly option for keeping your office at a comfortable temperature for everybody and are popular in the Nordic regions.
As the colder weather draws in, and you prepare your office space for winter, it’s more likely that employees are going to be bringing some of the elements in with them and mud, snow, slush and salt from the bottom of people’s shoes can quickly ruin your floors, not to mention the fact that it leads to trip hazards. Regular maintenance checks should be scheduled throughout the winter to ensure that employees have all the resources that they need to keep the office clean, spotless and hazard-free even when the weather is raging outside. Floor mats and clear signage placed in entryways is a good way to protect your floors and make it safer for employees coming in out of the cold. Employing cleaners to keep these areas clean at all times will help you maintain your company’s good image and protect the safety and wellbeing of your valued employees.
Seasonal bugs and flu can cause disruption in the winter months and this year, we’ve got the coronavirus to consider as well. It’s more important than ever before to ensure that your employees have easy access to tissues, hand sanitiser, and waste bins at their desk so that they can clean up germs quickly without spreading them to any other surfaces. In the wake of COVID-19, you might also want to implement some extra measures to keep your employees as safe as possible while working throughout the winter in a pandemic.
This could include the option for employees to work from home if requested, social distancing measures with desks located further apart, and temperature and wellness checks at the beginning of the day. Ideally, staff who can work from home should be allowed to do so, as not only does this help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but it can also help your office save on utility bills and more when fewer people are using it.
Keep it Cosy
Your employees spend around eight hours per day of the working week in the office, so making it a cosy and pleasant place to be will help everybody ward off the winter blues. Along with providing good heating options, consider adding some more comfort to your office space in the form of comfortable sofas in break rooms and adding some plants to boost aesthetics and keep the air clean. Help to brighten up the workday by ensuring that the gloomy, darker days of winter don’t get in the way of the natural light coming through into your office. Fit blinds that can be fully opened to let as much light in and maximise the natural light coming through by keeping windows clean on a regular basis.
Reduce Energy Consumption
Just like at home, business premises are more likely to consume more energy throughout the winter months. This could be due to more heating requirements or the fact that indoor lighting typically needs to be used earlier compared to in the summer where you may be able to avoid switching lights on at all. Thankfully there are several ways that the entire office can work together to reduce energy consumption. Switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs can make a huge difference and make sure that all employees completely switch off computers at the end of the day since computers can consume huge amounts of energy even when they are left on standby. You might find that allowing employees to work from laptops not only saves energy since they can be unplugged when charged, but can even encourage more collaboration when employees have the option of moving around the office with their work.
Office work throughout the winter is set to look a little different this year thanks to COVID-19. With the festive season approaching, it’s looking unlikely that the usual Christmas parties are going to be able to go ahead as normal, and businesses will need to come up with fun and different ideas to boost staff morale during the colder months. You might want to throw a socially distanced office party at the end of the working day for Christmas, for example, rather than going out as you normally would. And getting the whole office involved in decorating for the festive season can create an atmosphere of fun that gives you all a boost during these unprecedented times.
Whether your office needs to remain open throughout the pandemic or you’re in the process of having everybody return for the winter after working from home, things are looking a little different this year. Keep these tips in mind to ensure that you prepare your office space for winter, and it is a safe and pleasant place to be for each employee.
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