There’s nothing more important than the well-being of your employees if you want to operate an efficient and productive business. Your employees are, after all, the gears that turn the machine and will ultimately help you produce quality products and offer meaningful services to your customers.
Their safety is the top priority and if you neglect this, you could be liable for a wealth of different things that will ultimately slow down your business’s success and could even bring it down. So in this article, we’re going to teach you a few principles of smart office design and how they can be used to improve employee safety.
Identifying the Dangers
When speaking about employee safety, some of the most common places to mention would be construction sites, public spaces and generally anything that has unpredictable variables and laborious demands. However, in the office, the dangers are a lot more subtle so it’s important to identify what the safety concerns actually are before we make any kind of changes to our office layouts.
Danger 1: Ergonomics
Your employees are likely going to be sitting in their chairs working on their computers for very long periods of time. This can cause long-term effects on the body such as slouched back or even repetitive strain injury from typing too much. A proper sitting posture is very important for good ergonomics, and you may even want to consider encouraging your staff to take regular breaks in order to stretch their legs.
- Give your employees space to stretch their legs and use your office design to encourage them to take breaks
- Consider using adjustable desks or at least giving your employees the option to convert to a standing desk temporarily
- If your employees are typing or using the mouse a lot, you may want to consider purchasing ergonomic mice or keyboards
- Give your employees an adjustable monitor stand so that they can raise it to their preferred height
Danger 2: Clutter
One of the few physical problems that you may encounter in an office is clutter. Clutter such as cables, boxes and heavy objects can actually injure your employees or become a hindrance to their work. For instance, cables that stretch across the floor could cause them to trip, and heavy stacked objects could fall and injure someone.
- The goal is to cut down on office clutter so that there’s no need to stack anything high up or create a safety hazard
- Proper cable management should be utilized to prevent the need for cables to run across the floor where foot traffic will be
- Use smart office storage and designs to ensure nothing creates too much clutter and that everything is properly organized
Danger 3: Office Environment
There are a couple of areas in your office environment that need to be taken into consideration in order to provide your employees with a safer space to work.
Firstly, think about lighting and how it affects your employees. Lighting is an important element because not only does it ensure that your employees can see after sunset but it also reduces the risk of trips and falls and provides plenty of lighting that reduces eye strain.
You should also consider surfaces that are in the workplace, such as adding anti-slip mats to areas of high traffic to prevent people from slipping. Wet floor signs are also a necessity for when you need to clean carpets or shiny surfaces that are prone to being slippery.
Lastly, it’s important to consider the layout of your office to provide ample space for foot traffic in busy areas. If an emergency happens or there’s a sudden rush to get somewhere, the last thing you want is to bottleneck people down certain paths in your office
Danger 4: Safety Protocols
Be it locating where the fire exit is or learning where the fire assembly point is, it’s vital that you teach all of your employees the relevant safety protocols and also give them clear signs and stickers that indicate areas relevant to the safety protocols.
The more knowledgeable your staff are about the safety protocols, the safer they will be when something does happen in your office.
Smart office designs can help give your employees peace of mind when working in your office. You should always be looking for ways to make your staff not only work free from fear of injuring themselves but also use proactive methods to reduce long-term effects such as repetitive strain injury and eye strain.