When people get distracted by their environment, it’s hard for them to focus on their work. Facilities managers can prevent this from happening by making sure that the workplace is as comfortable as possible.
Creating a Better Office Environment
But where to start? The list below can give you an idea of common office complaints to watch out for.
1. Uncomfortable Temperature
According to a survey conducted by IFMA, the two most common HVAC complaints are that the building is too hot or too cold. Temperature can be a particularly challenging issue, because it lacks a one-size-fits-all solution. Solutions may vary, but some of the fixes devised by the respondents include using digital thermometers to spot-check the temperature in problem areas, surveying workers to settle on the best general temperature and ensuring that the HVAC system was working properly.
2. Too Much Noise
Office chatter and other ambient noises can be distracting for staff, particularly in open offices. Design elements like desks with adjustable partitions, carpeted flooring and plants can help reduce noise. FacilitiesNet writer Naomi Millán points out, however, that when it comes to acoustics, “the key is to implement them at the design stage, rather than try to retrofit a bandage solution once the space is occupied.” Any transition to open-office plans thus requires a careful consideration of acoustics and sound-blocking or noise-masking. These could include the materials incorporated into the office design, or the planning of space that incorporates quiet zones and areas.
3. Poor Custodial Service
Dirty restrooms and other public areas not only annoy employees; they also reflect badly on your organization. If a building isn’t welcoming and presentable to its visitors, guests may think the company doesn’t care about its business relationships, either. You can avoid all the negative effects of a poor cleaning job by carefully vetting your cleaning vendors before hiring them. If you currently work with a vendor that isn’t living up to expectations, address the problem and see what steps they take to remedy the situation. If their response still isn’t satisfactory, it may be time to start looking for a different vendor.
4. You Can’t Find Anything
When staff want to reserve a conference room of a particular size, how do they know where to look? What about when they want to find a colleague that they’ve never met before? In the former case, it may involve calling the reception desk to ask about available rooms, or visiting different floors to see where the conference rooms are located. In the latter case, they may have to call the person, get directions and still experience the frustration of getting lost along the way.
While it can be difficult to ensure that every single person in the building is 100 percent satisfied with their office conditions, in most cases it’s still possible to find a happy medium that occupants can feel more comfortable with. The important thing is to listen carefully to what the complaints are, and actively let your colleagues know what you’re doing to remedy the situation. Even if you can’t resolve their issue completely, they’ll likely appreciate the effort.
Article by David Spence, OfficeSpace