Every business must provide a safe working environment for its employees. Often, when we talk about safety at work, images of a building site or an industrial workplace pop up. That’s because these areas are associated with high-risk activities.
However, offices can hold a wide range of risks for employees, many of which are invisible to the naked eye.
It’s essential that managers and business owners in the commercial space provide an office that is safe for their people at all times. Doing so will reap many benefits, on top of the fact that your people will be safe at work and face reduced risk in the workplace.
What is a ‘safe’ office?
So, how exactly do your define a safe office?
Clearly, it’s a workplace that minimises risk of injury as much as possible, through careful design and ergonomics. But it’s also an office which cares for the mental and emotional wellbeing of employees, again through quality Sydney office design.
What are the benefits of a safe office space?
There are a number of benefits to a safe office space.
- Much lower chance of employees being injured at work.
- Happier and less stressed workers.
- Fewer days lost due to physical and mental illness.
- A better reputation in your industry. Competitors will take note!
How do you design a safe workplace?
There are many elements to consider when it comes to safety in the office.
Think about your layout
The way your office is laid out will actually have a big impact on the wellbeing of your employees, both physically and mentally. This is because the way your desks and workstations are positioned can impact the flow of light, air and cause (or minimise) tripping and falling incidents in the workplace.
Work with your office design company to ensure that the layout of your space maintains the safety of your people. At Niche Projects, we’re experts in designing functional and safe office layouts, so that you can maximise productivity and employee happiness.
Consider wet areas
Bathrooms and kitchens are hotspots when it comes to slip and fall injuries. This is due to the constant presence of water and other liquids, but it can also be impacted by the floor finishes that you have in your wet areas. You simply must choose tiles or vinyl that is non-slip, and ensures wet areas are safe at all times.
In Australia, we do have standards for slip resistance in wet areas. Unfortunately though, there are still building contractors who will use tiles that don’t meet these standards, putting you and your people at risk. That’s why it’s always critical that you work with an experienced and highly-regarded Sydney office fit-out company.
Ergonomics at all times
Ergonomics are an absolute necessity in every office, and will contribute greatly to keeping your workers safe and injury free. That means providing furniture including desk chairs and workstations, which promote good posture and healthy movement at all times.
Back injuries are one of the most common ailments in Sydney office workers. Many of these injuries occur from lifting heavy items incorrectly, or slipping over, but a huge chunk of them are caused by poor ergonomics. In essence, that means your staff utilising chairs that do not support their back, or they are not using them correctly.
Educating your employees on good posture, regular movement and other ergonomic elements will help to reduce the chance of injury or strain. This can come in the form of regular emails, professional training for management and employees, or seminars by a third party specialist.
Mental health must be considered
It’s not only the physical health of your people that you must care for, but their mental health also. And the way that your workplace is designed has a direct impact on the mental and emotional wellbeing of your people.
In a busy office, there are a number of elements that can create stress, which is the number one offender when it comes to mental illness. These elements include:
- Excessive noise
- Poor lighting
- Poor airflow
- Poor culture
- A lack of fun!
All of these problems can result in instances of anxiety and depression among your employees. However, with positive action and quality office design, the mental wellbeing of your people can be greatly improved.
For example, designing a workplace that provides ample natural light, ensures noise does not carry throughout the office, provides a good flow of air and excellent ergonomics, will be naturally conducive to happier and healthier employees. Work with a professional Sydney office design and fit-out company to maximise these elements in your workplace.
Quality breakout rooms
Good quality breakout rooms tie into your employees mental and physical wellbeing. These dynamic spaces provide an area for your people to relax and unwind, as well as versatile areas for a range of different activities. That might include fitness, gaming, brainstorming and much more.
Your people will want to spend time in a well-designed, engaging breakout room. On the other hand, if this room is poorly put together, it will be of no benefit to your staff. In fact, it may well impact productivity and cause meetings and collaborative sessions to drag on… and on… and on!
Think about your floor finishes
Floor finishes should look good, but they also need to be safe for your employees. The most common floor finishes that appear in office spaces around Sydney include:
- Carpet tiles
- Polished concrete.
Some of these finishes are safer than others. Carpet provides more traction underfoot than hardwood floors, for example. Tiles can be slippery and polished concrete can also lack traction if it’s not correctly sealed and coated. Therefore, you must choose your floor finishes wisely. Otherwise, trip and fall injuries can easily occur.
Work with a professional Sydney office design and fit-out company
The best (and only) way to ensure your office is safe for your employees is to hire an experienced Sydney office design and fit-out company like Niche Projects. We have an immense amount of experience to draw on and fully understand how to ensure your people are safe throughout the workday.
Get in touch with us today for an obligation free chat. We can’t wait to hear from you!