Friday, February 15, 2013

Winter Weather Advisory

We're right in the midst of winter right now, and offices in colder regions have a lot to contend with. Snowstorms can make it difficult for both employees and customers to arrive. Businesses need a proper policy on closures, working with a reduced staff and making sure slow days are accounted for and workers stay safe. Any sort of precipitation brings unwanted snow, water and dirt into the office, which can be a mess to clean up. A proper system of outdoor and indoor mats can reduce dirt and save floors. Finally, cold weather means jackets for everybody, which requires storage space that should be incorporated into the room's design rather than a seasonal eyesore.

Since weather events are inevitable, policies should be set in advance to cover them. This guide outlines some of the basic questions to answer in this policy, and additional factors such as parents dealing with school closures and the prospect of working from home should be considered.

However, just because a blizzard doesn't happen every day doesn't make snow, rain and cold temperatures any less routine. The wetter and dirtier the natural elements are, the more likely it is that they will be tracked into your office. Without proper floor mats, it's estimated that a thousand people over twenty days can track 24 pounds of dirt. It only takes 1,500 people to strip away almost half of a floor's finish in that time.

The solution involves the proper use of both outdoor and indoor mats, both spanning the width of your entrance. Outdoor mats do the bulk of the work, scraping shoes to take care of the dirt. These mats are usually rubber or polypropylene surfaces with a reservoir underneath to hold dirt and water. Indoor mats use polypropylene, nylon or olefin fibers to wipe the shoes off, giving them one last clean and drying them properly before they enter the office.

For a better way to give employees a place to put their coats, consider whether you use a central area, an enclosed closet, or if each person hangs coats near his or her own workstation. Central areas use coat trees or garment racks, which should be part of the room's d├ęcor. Wet climates will also want one with an umbrella holder. An alternative is a wall rack that can fit somewhere out of the way. Employees hanging coats up in their office will need a hook for their wall or cubicle, which again can be incorporated into the room.

Check out our buying guide to see our full selection of racks, hooks and hangers.