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Being the boss seems like the ideal position, until you learn what it means to be in charge of everyone. Whether you’ve just taken on a few employees in your small business, or you’ve significantly expanded to include more workers, you are responsible for their well-being during office hours. Since the average person spends around 40 hours a week at work, you’d better make sure the office is a safe environment.
Clear the clutter
If your office space is packed with old magazines, boxes, and other miscellaneous items, you’re not off to a great start. Not only are you asking for an accident to happen with all these tripping hazards, but you’re not presenting a professional image to your employees and customers. Filing documents properly, or going paperless altogether, will significantly reduce the amount of time you spend looking for what you need. Your employees shouldn’t fear being crushed and suffocated by a mountain of paperwork before they’ve even started on their own work.
It’s good to have a few comforts in the office to make everyone feel comfortable. Some offices have kettles, toasters, or microwaves in addition to a refrigerator so that everyone can have a hot lunch. However, it’s a good idea to make sure all your appliances are safe to use, especially if you got them second hand to try and save money. While most electrical safety defects can be found on visual examination, some types of defects can only be found by PAT testing (portable appliance testing), so book an appointment if you suspect something might be wrong. No one wants to suffer an injury while making themselves a cup of tea.
Much like you would take precautions to prevent someone breaking into your house, you need to make sure no one is likely to break into the office when no one is around. Break-ins don’t just rob people of possessions, they rob them of their sense of safety and security. Make sure this doesn’t happen to your employees by installing alarms, locking up the building at night, and liaising with the building’s security team if you have one. No one should be able to get into the building outside office hours, except the people who work there.
Holding regular fire drills might be annoying, but they will save lives if every member of staff knows where the nearest exit is, and is able to evacuate in a timely manner. You don’t need to have a fire drill every week, but you should definitely have them more than once a year.
Open door policy
We’re all human, and as such we all have issues sometimes. However hard your employees might try keep their private and work lives separate, sometimes personal issues spill into the office. While it’s important to maintain a professional distance, a good boss is someone who listens when their employee comes to them with a problem, whether it’s work-related, or something likely to affect their performance.