Winter is coming and with it colder temperatures, holiday vacations, and end-of-the-year compliance updates. Team members are preparing for time off, just as HR and Finance departments are gearing up for year-end reporting. Meanwhile, changing weather conditions can wreak havoc on workplace heating and electrical systems. With so many details to take care of, the start of winter can be hard on both on office teams and the office itself. Here’s how to get ready for winter, hectic holidays, and colder temperatures without losing your cool.
Audit and update your office security systems
According to FBI statistics, December is a peak time for burglaries in the United for non-residential locations like stores and offices. About 400,000 burglaries occur during November and December each year and the FBI reports that electronics and office equipment are the fourth and fifth highest valued stolen property, after cars, jewelry, and cash.
With more people out of the office during the holidays, your office may be at risk for a security breach, so December can be a good time to test and update your office security systems. Conduct a test of your system to ensure alarms are properly triggered, security cameras don’t have any blind spots, and the footage they capture can be easily accessed and downloaded so you can review it if an incident occurs. This is also an opportune time to update your team’s key cards or code if your access control system requires one. You may also want to audit your office for security risks and ensure you have secured electronics and other valuable equipment.
Hire extra help for year-end reporting
The end of the year is usually very stressful for Finance and Human Resources teams. While their colleagues are enjoying the holidays and easing into the New Year, they are putting in extra hours finishing up year-end financial and compliance reporting. Before it gets too busy, consider hiring temporary such as an office assistant to help take some of the burden off of these teams.
Managed by Q provides comprehensive staffing solutions and access to vetted administrative talent. Temporary staff can help with financial and HR tasks such as data entry or filing paperwork, or take care of routine operational and administrative tasks so teams can fully concentrate on year-end reporting.
Check your heating and electrical systems
In colder regions of the United States, heating systems are already running 24/7, but more temperate regions also need to be prepared for the occasional cold day as temperatures continue to drop. To ensure your office is comfortable for your employees, you should have your HVAC system cleaned and serviced at the beginning of the season so that you won’t be left shivering due to malfunctioning heat on the coldest days.
No matter how efficient your heating, offices still may have drafts or zones of the office the heating system just can’t reach. For employees sitting in areas that are not effectively heated, space heaters can provide extra warmth, but also are an extra burden on your electrical system. If you are using multiple space heaters, you may risk overloading the system and blowing a fuse. Before the cold weather sets in, work with an electrician to ensure your electrical system is up-to-date and can handle the increased use.
Schedule a deep clean
Winter weather, especially in snowy locations where sidewalks and roads are covered in sand and salt, can damage your office floors, leaving scratches in polyurethane wood protectants or dark stains on carpeting. To ensure flooring stays in good condition and remains presentable, schedule floor buffing and carpet cleaning in the middle and end of the season. If you set up recurring cleanings, you may save money on the cost per session, which is significantly less than replacing a section or carpeting or refinishing your floors.
Scuff marks on entryway walls from boots can make your reception area look sloppy, so we recommend first trying to wash the marks off during a deep clean. If the scuff are still visible on lighter color walls, have a painter or handyman touch up the paint toward the end of the season.
Plan for snow removal
The Northeast and Midwest have already experienced significant snowstorms and more are on the way. Since snow is an unpredictable, but inevitable, part of winter in the Northern United States take some time now to ensure you have a plan for snow removal. Check with your building management to confirm if you, or your landlord, is responsible for snow removal in your building. If you are, identify a reliable service provider now—before the next big storm hits.
The temperatures may be dropping, but with a little planning you can make sure your office is ready to stay safe, sane, and warm all winter long.