Last year’s pandemic hit the business world hard, forcing new mandates for employees to work from home. Most companies quickly adapted to a form of virtual communication between management and their remote workforce. However, U.S. offices are slowly bringing onsite office hours back into their everyday workflow. Business owners are now taking the necessary precautions to ensure their employees’ safe return to work. However, this return to normalcy comes with its own challenges.
Many employees have come to enjoy the conveniences of virtual workflow, leading business owners to compete with the perks of working from home. If you’re a business owner or office manager, you may be facing the challenge of welcoming your staff back to work. Here, we will look at a few ways to make sure your employees are comfortable returning to the office.
HVAC and Indoor Air Quality
Over the past year, a new emphasis has been placed on the importance of indoor air quality. Although your office space’s HVAC system is important for employees’ overall comfort, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also stressed the health benefits of clean air technology in regards to public safety. Aside from recent COVID-19 clean air protocols, having strong indoor air quality is crucial for many other reasons. Members of your staff may suffer from respiratory issues, such as allergies or asthma. Ensuring that your office’s HVAC system is functioning properly can filter out toxic indoor air pollution. In addition, employees who have grown accustomed to working from home may have developed a preference for the comfort of consistent air conditioning. Keeping your office’s HVAC unit properly functioning addresses both of these issues at the same time.
Both professional HVAC technicians and various clean air technology center representatives urge building owners to change their air conditioner filters every two months. This simple task can guarantee that your air system is free of debris and dust, as well as hazardous indoor pollution. Additionally, clean filters keep the air conditioner running smoothly, which can lower your energy costs and increase the equipment’s longevity. As an added precaution, it’s always a good idea to have routine preventative maintenance conducted on your air systems throughout the year.
Water Coolers for Convenience and Safety
Most offices provide water dispensers for both their staff and incoming visitors. A common sight maybe a water cooler in the waiting area, while a cooler can often also be located in the employee breakroom. In recent years, employing water companies to provide fresh bottled water has become even more popular among businesses. This is largely due to the public’s awareness of the health benefits that freshwater has over traditional tap water. With current concerns regarding shared communal equipment, water delivery may now be regarded as both a convenience and a safety precaution. In fact, many people use water dispensers in their own homes for the same health benefits. With that in mind, providing access to a water dispenser in your office is a simple way to make the transition back to onsite work easier for your staff.
Aside from the safety and convenience that a water cooler provides your team members, modern water companies have also made the process easier for their own clients. For example, both deliveries of fresh water and pickup of empty bottles for recycling have become greatly streamlined. While previous promotions have often included free delivery, most water companies will now retrieve used containers on an ongoing basis. This service for the free shipping of recyclable materials can decrease the size of your business’s carbon footprint. Additionally, providing a refundable deposit only gives further incentive to integrate water dispensers into your staff’s daily comfort and convenience.