The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was established to help protect United States employees’ right to work in a safe and healthy setting. This is why it is always incumbent upon us employers to ensure that our workspaces are always clean, safe, and comfortable. Our offices don’t need to be luxurious or have to come with state-of-the-art tech upgrades, but they do need to be efficient enough to help keep disease and discomfort at bay.
If your company is still on a work-from-home basis or doing at least a combination of remote work and traditional office setup, now is a great time to do the necessary updates and repairs in your workspace to ensure that it’s in tip-top shape upon your employees’ full-time return. Here are some updates and maintenance tasks to do in your office as you wait out the pandemic.
Create a schedule to divide the tasks according to a set period.
Your maintenance guy or team is most likely already on top of the daily and weekly tasks, like the general cleaning and dust-up of all common areas as well as refilling essentials like soap and toilet paper or changing the bulbs. However, they might not be as proactive about more monthly and yearly tasks that need regular checking to ensure the health of your workspace, so the following are some maintenance tasks to remind them of doing every few months to ensure that your office is clean and healthy even if it’s unoccupied.
Inspect the HVAC system.
It’s tempting to ignore or neglect our workspace’s HVAC system especially when it remains unoccupied anyway, but maintaining our HVAC system is crucial to ensuring that it can last a long time and that your workspace’s indoor air quality is top-notch. You can employ the help of professionals to do all of the inspections for you, but here is a basic checklist to provide to your maintenance team to help them stay on top of the cleaning and upgrades:
- Change the filters every one to three months. This is to ensure that dust build-up is removed regularly, and at the same time, that your HVAC system will perform to the best of its ability.
- Eliminate debris in and around the units.
- These include fallen leaves during autumn and pollen blows around springtime. You will find that much of this debris will change depending on the season, which is why it’s crucial to have it maintained regularly.
- Eliminate the clogs before they turn into a buildup of harmful mold or algae. This can be done through a simple mixture of bleach with one cup of water.
- Check for strange noises in the units. These may indicate more severe problems that need addressing before they become bigger problems later on.
Check for structural vulnerabilities.
Check the interior and exterior walls for hairline cracks, water droplets, and other signs of wear, fatigue, or corrosion. You might not have the opportunity to do these inspections and the necessary repairs when your team returns full-time.
Hire professionals to maintain the plumbing.
Another aspect of our workspace that we often neglect is the plumbing. Did you know that we lose about 2 trillion gallons worth of clean and drinkable water simply because of faulty pipes? At the same time, we often forget about our drains and other unpleasant workspace maintenance tasks like having the sewer line cleaned and repaired.
And it’s understandable; we would much rather think about decorating the office or making sure that it’s aesthetically pleasing, but these tasks are just as important because they directly influence the health of your workspace and, if left unattended, can cause even more costly property damage in the future. At least once every few months, have a team of professionals inspect your plumbing to see if anything needs cleaning, repairing, or replacing. It will keep your team working in a clean and healthy workspace, can save you a lot of money in water bills, and can help you prevent more harmful damage later on.
Mind the landscaping.
If your office is located in an area where you have your own yard or shrubbery, make sure that it’s well-kept even if there aren’t a lot of employees coming in daily or weekly. Here’s a basic weekly checklist:
- Trim the shrubs and trees.
- Mow the grass and fertilize now and then.
- Sweep off the fallen leaves and other debris.
- Develop a watering schedule for the office plants and the grass.
It may seem like a lot of work, but maintaining your workspace to the best of your ability can help prevent it from deteriorating and can ensure that your employees work in a clean and healthy environment. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.