Mistakes happen… they’re simply a part of life!
They happen at home, at school, and of course, in the workplace. However, mistakes at work can be costly in terms of both time and money. Depending on the business itself, they can have a significant ripple effect on other departments. Obviously, mistakes should be reduced wherever possible.
But how exactly do you do this?
Training is the most common and arguably the most important way to reduce and eliminate mistakes at work. That’s because much of the time, employees make mistakes because they either haven’t been trained properly, at all, or for long enough! However, distraction also plays a large role in causing mistakes at work.
Did you know that rearranging or refurbishing your office can actually help to increase employee accuracy at work? In this article, we’ll take a look at the impact of employee mistakes, as well as how to identify and address the problem.
What is the impact of employee mistakes?
Mistakes come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the more common eras that might happen in an office environment include:
- Payroll mistakes
- Emailing the wrong person or department
- Accidentally sharing sensitive information
- Miscommunication about deadlines
- Clicking on a phishing link
- Misspelling or mistyping public correspondence
Obviously, there are many other mistakes that occur in the office on a daily basis. However, these are some of the most common, and ones that can be addressed and avoided. These mistakes cause all sorts of problems for businesses, management, colleagues, and of course, the employees themselves.
Certain mistakes can have a significant financial impact on the organisation. For example, if an employee sends incorrect information, the wrong quote or invoice, or accidentally forwards sensitive data, the business could lose clients and customers. In turn, this means a downturn in the amount of money flowing into the business. All because of a single mistake.
Reduction of confidence
Employee confidence goes downhill when they make mistakes. This can become a sort of downward spiral of sorts, where in the long term, they continue to make mistakes and become unhappy at work. That’s where a quick response from management, additional training, and ongoing support, is essential.
If mistakes are made by one department or employee, and these mistakes affect other employees, there may be dissent to deal with. For example, a mistake in payroll might result in employees being paid the incorrect amount, or paying too much tax. This will create a disgruntled workforce, which leads to unhappiness, lower productivity, and even further mistakes in the office!
Some mistakes made in a commercial setting can have legal ramifications. Much of the time, these kinds of outcomes arise from the improper use of sensitive information. For instance, if an employee accidentally forwards an email to the wrong person, and that email contains information regarded as confidential, such as medical records or financial information. The outcome of this is often legal action.
Health and safety risks
When someone makes a mistake on a building site, it can lead to catastrophic accidents. However, mistakes in the office can also lead to increased risk and hazards. Take for example, an employee who accidentally spills something on the floor and doesn’t realise. This kind of mistake can lead to a slip and fall incident, and possibly a serious injury to a colleague.
Identify distractions and user-problems
The first step in reducing mistakes is to identify the cause. There’s no way to eliminate mistakes entirely, of course. Human error makes that impossible. However, identifying distractions at work is an important first step in creating a more productive and accuracy-centric workplace for your people and your business.
Many mistakes in an office are caused by auditory distractions. These include other colleagues talking loudly nearby, the sound of appliances and electronics like printers, sound from outside the office, and plenty of other sources. In fact, 66% of people are impacted by noise at work, coming from all kinds of places. Identifying the kind of noise that is causing problems, and where it’s coming from, is a great first step.
Your employees are also more likely to make mistakes when they are distracted by what’s in front of them. That might be a view of the lobby, where plenty of people are coming and going, or being in too close proximity to a busy group of colleagues. Too-ing and fro-ing throw up all kinds of visual distractions and are likely to affect work performance.
There’s nothing worse than your computer breaking down in the middle of an important task. Ongoing technical problems will cause all sorts of mistakes because your people will be seriously distracted by whatever viruses and issues are attacking their computers. It’s up to the management to ensure that this doesn’t happen.
One of the more common causes of mistakes in the office is poor communication. That may be between managers and employees, or colleagues. Whatever the cause, incorrect or incomplete information delivered verbally or by email, has caused many a mistake in an office environment. The good news though is that this can be addressed easily. First, though, the issue does need to be identified.
Take the steps to fix these issues
Once you have found the most common causes of mistakes in your Sydney office, it’s important to take action. This can be done in a variety of ways, but in this section, we’ll discuss office design and refurbishment actions that will help you minimise mistakes.
Designing an office with better acoustics is a great way to help eliminate as much noise distraction as possible. Quality acoustic design seeks to muffle unwanted noise, or redirect it away from the areas that you deem quiet, or non-collaborative. At Niche Projects, we’re able to utilise a range of acoustic solutions in workplaces all over Sydney. That includes plants, acoustic panels, partitions, and much more. These design elements will ensure your people aren’t struggling to deal with noise in the office, and reduce mistakes in the long run.
Reduce visual distractions
Visual distractions can be just as impactful when it comes to causing distractions in the office. Therefore, separate working areas, partitions and plants can help to remove visual distraction, as well as noise. This strategy keeps your people focused on their work, and will have a really positive impact on the error rate going forward.
Provide a better user experience
User-experience is everything in an office. Your people should be given a positive experience at work, and that means great technology, well-maintained working areas, and quick solutions whenever anything is impacting their work negatively. The biggest offender is usually technology, such as computers. Therefore, a quality IT department and up-to-date equipment will help to eliminate errors from technical issues.
Exceptional communication throughout a business is essential for success. Designing an office for excellent communication won’t just eliminate mistakes, but will also help to boost productivity and efficiency throughout the business. We can design for communication by crafting wonderful collaborative workspaces, ensuring all of your tech and AV equipment is up to scratch, and by creating an excellent office layout.
Sydney office refurbishment
Is your business looking for an office refurbishment in Sydney? Niche Projects is here to help. Our expert design team and in-house trades are the best in the business. If you’re looking to create a workplace that eliminates mistakes in the office, we can help. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation. We can’t wait to hear from you!