How you adequately prepare your office space for winter 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 to return to the office in the winter, ensuring 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

Suppose 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. In that case, 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., provide an economical, environmentally-friendly option for keeping your office at a comfortable temperature for everybody and is popular in the Nordic regions.

Floor Maintenance

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.

Winter Maintenance Checks

It is essential to conduct regular maintenance checks throughout the winter. This practice ensures employees have everything they need to maintain a clean, spotless, and hazard-free office. Even during severe weather, these checks are crucial. A practical step is to place floor mats and clear signage in entryways. This strategy not only protects your floors but also increases safety for employees entering from the cold. Hiring cleaners to consistently maintain these areas will not only uphold your company’s image but also safeguard the safety and well-being of your valued employees.

Protecting Health

In winter, seasonal bugs and flu, along with the coronavirus, can disrupt operations. Therefore, it’s more critical than ever to ensure easy access to tissues, hand sanitiser, and waste bins at employee desks. This accessibility enables quick clean-up of germs, preventing their spread. In light of COVID-19, consider additional measures to maximize employee safety during winter in a pandemic.

These measures could include remote work options, social distancing with desks spaced further apart, and daily temperature and wellness checks. Ideally, allowing staff to work from home helps curb the coronavirus spread. Additionally, it can reduce office utility bills and resource use when fewer people are present.

Keep It Cosy

Employees spend approximately eight hours daily in the office during the workweek. Creating a cosy, inviting environment helps combat the winter blues. Improving heating options and adding comfort elements like cosy sofas in break rooms and plants for aesthetics and air quality are beneficial. Ensure the winter’s gloomy days don’t hinder natural light in your office. Installing blinds that fully open allows maximum light entry. Regular window cleaning also maximizes natural light, enhancing the work environment.

Reduce Energy Consumption

Business premises, like homes, tend to use more energy in winter. This increase often stems from greater heating needs and earlier use of indoor lighting, as opposed to summer when lights might not be needed. Thankfully, there are effective strategies for the entire office to cut down on energy consumption. One impactful approach is switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs. Additionally, ensuring all employees turn off their computers completely at day’s end is crucial. Computers left on standby can consume significant energy. Allowing employees to use laptops, which can be unplugged when charged, not only saves energy but also fosters collaboration by enabling mobility within the office.

Employee Morale

This winter, office life will look different due to COVID-19. With the festive season near and traditional Christmas parties likely not feasible, businesses must think creatively to uplift staff morale in the colder months. Consider hosting a socially distanced office party for Christmas, as an alternative to usual outings. Engaging the entire office in festive decorating can create a fun atmosphere, providing a morale boost during these challenging times.

Regardless of whether your office remains open during the pandemic or you are transitioning back to in-office work for the winter, the environment will be different this year. Remember these tips to prepare your office space for winter, ensuring it’s a safe and enjoyable place for every employee.

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As an experienced business and finance writer I understand the corporate landscape and the driving forces behind it. Over the years I’ve shared my insight and knowledge with key industry publications and dedicated my time to showing how business leaders can make their organisations more effective.