We all know that maintenance is an inevitable part of business, whether you’re in manufacturing, in the office, or in the field. Everything should be kept in top shape, but the process of keeping it that way can be majorly disruptive. That’s why you should do everything you can to make maintenance go with your workflow, and not against it.
Streamline your inspections
It’s easy to see how your regular maintenance schedule can mean regular downtime, depending on your industry, scope of operations, and other factors. You can make it go faster if you create targeted checklists to streamline the whole ordeal.
In each area, inspect the following factors:
- Construction: exterior features, supports, walls, roofing, masonry, and carpentry need to comply with codes and safety regulations.
- All openings: emergency exits, doors, and windows have to be accessible, easy to operate, clearly marked, and secured against burglary, inclement weather, and workplace-specific hazards.
- Fire safety includes inspecting your sprinkler system, flammable fuels (gas, oil), alarms (fire, smoke, CO2, and CO), and all fire suppressants (extinguishers, hoses, blankets, etc).
- Ventilation and lighting: check the wiring, switches, and other controls for all your fixtures, vents, ducts, heating system and AC units. Don’t forget the filters.
- Plumbing includes everything that uses or interacts with liquids: the water supply and distribution, sewage, waste, and fuel pipelines, and the surrounding soil (underground pipes are a commonly overlooked liability).
- Electronics: inspect all the kitchen appliances, drink dispensers, computers, printers, office telephones, sockets, extension cords, etc.
When you organize the inspection tasks into templates, it saves time on the generic checks, leaving more space for equipment-specific reviews and addressing any issues. Long-term, streamlined inspections contribute to a safer working environment, which translates to better overall productivity and workplace morale.
Modernize your facilities
Workplace renovation doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you do it incrementally over an extended period you can make your office or workshop more appealing to the modern employee, with little to no disruption to work. Start small – paint the space in a bright color conducive to focus and motivation, like blue, yellow, or orange. Upgrade your lighting with LED fixtures to improve visibility and save energy. Replace desktop computers with laptops where possible.
Gradually move on to larger remodels, such as swapping the open floor plan for team rooms: shared offices with an individual workstation for each team member. Your modernization project will obviously depend on the specific space and the type of work you do, but generally speaking, you should revamp the layout and design every few years.
It keeps the work environment fresh, which helps maintain employee engagement and prevents burnout and low moods among employees.
Know when to call the pros
Certain aspects of maintenance will require specialized skills and authorization. Know when to hire a third-party professional to avoid risks of injury or lawsuit. This will heavily depend on your country’s or area’s specific legislation.
For instance, an Ascot office will need to find a licensed plumber in North Brisbane, while a Houston-based business owner might decide to be their own general contractor (assuming they have the right liability insurance).
Remember that laws might differ on the city, county, territory, and state levels within the same country. They also get updated and revised periodically, so do your due diligence. The various government bodies should provide the information on their official websites.
If the legalese proves challenging, you can always consult a relevant agency or an inspector to help you digest it or find more user-friendly explanations.
Update the office furniture
It’s a minor point, but has a major impact: give your employees quality chairs, desks, lunch tables etc. Office furniture wears and tears much more quickly than home or lounge furniture, and the rate of its deterioration directly impacts your workers. Uncomfortable furniture translates to bad posture, which means low energy and poor focus.
Spending hours in awkward positions also increases restlessness, agitation, and grumpiness. People will be demotivated, communicate poorly, and their cooperation and productivity will plummet. You can avoid all that by replacing wobbly, creaky pieces with sturdy ergonomic solutions that’ll support your workforce for a long time.
Keep it breathable
Finally, air quality is one thing that needs maintenance too, but rarely gets active attention. Make an effort to change that. Like good posture, good air is essential to your employees’ blood circulation and brain functioning. Include the vents and ducts in your maintenance schedule.
Make sure they aren’t blocked with furniture, plant pots, etc. Open the windows whenever possible. If it’s too cold, noisy, or polluted outside, opt for AC, air purifiers, and humidifiers or dehumidifiers as needed.
In conclusion, maintenance affects your workflow and employee productivity in more ways than just keeping their equipment running. It also includes their space and supporting factors like furniture, lighting, and the very air they breathe.
Take some time to really analyze your business environment, troubleshoot any suboptimal factors, and update anything that might’ve fallen behind the times. After all, even the best tools and processes are only half as effective if they’re being used in inappropriate conditions.
⸻ Author Bio ⸻ ⸻
Brigitte Evans is a lifestyle blogger with a passion for design, culture, and health. She is a regular writer and contributor to numerous lifestyle blogs and online magazines. She also loves to travel and enjoy the great outdoors.