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Office management – keep it safe, tidy and organised

By CCIWA Editor 

An office may just be a place to work, but putting some thought into layout, lighting, temperature and even indoor plants can have a dramatic impact on productivity and happiness. 

Temperature 

Air-conditioning must be one of the most complained-about aspects of office work. Studies indicate that turning your air-conditioning down can not only save electricity and money but it boosts productivity.  

A 2004 study found staff worked efficiently at 25c but productivity dropped off significantly when the temperature dipped to 20c.  

In summer, people are more comfortable at higher temperatures. 

Lighting 

Try to get as much natural light into your office as possible. Studies link exposure to natural light to increased alertness and happiness and lower stress levels.  

If that is not possible, install some lensed-indirect lighting to eliminate shadows and glare. Lensed-indirect lighting direct more than 90 per cent of the light upwards so it bounces off the ceiling and lights rooms more evenly. 

Clutter 

It can not only be distracting and inefficient, but clutter can be a workplace safety issue. Never resort to storing things in hallways or doorways. If it isn’t needed, keep it in a store room. 

Office layout 

Open-plan offices are not ideal. Some researchers suggest they are up to 30 per cent less productive than offices with segregated spaces.  

Consider privacy screens or movable walls to create quiet zones. Also, think about workflow.  

The location of equipment such as printers and photocopiers should not be dictated solely by the position of power-points. They should be closest to those that use them most.  

Likewise, staff who need to communicate frequently should be co-located. 

Plants 

They don’t just look good. Psychological studies have shown indoor plants can markedly increase the attention span of office workers. 

Go Lean 

The principles of running lean were pioneered in manufacturing, but are now applied to office-based business too.  

The idea is simply doing more with less by streamlining processes within your office to eliminate waste, duplication and low-value practices.  

There are many checklists online to help you and your staff identify any issues holding up workflow.  

Safety and risk inspections

 CCIWA has safety and risk consultants that can conduct an inspection of your workplace and offer advice and recommendations on: 

  • Health and safety legislation compliance
  • OH&S documentation
  • Risk management strategies
  • WorkSafe WA Inspectors’ priority areas.

Contact the team on osh@cciwa.com or (08) 9365 7415 to find out more.

An office may just be a place to work, but putting some thought into layout, lighting, temperature and even indoor plants can have a dramatic impact on productivity and happiness. 

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