If you’re in charge of a successful business, it’s likely you’ll be focused on the work you do, rather than keeping a strict eye on your day-to-day office operations or slight office management mistakes. But that’s no problem, because everything’s ticking over nicely…isn’t it?
Unfortunately, substantial amounts of profit – not to mention many valuable hours of staff productivity – can get lost with these office management mistakes and messy internal processes, often without anybody understanding why because there’s simply no time to focus on it. After all, everybody’s busy and there’s always work to be done.
As an experienced office consultancy, improving morale while saving hundreds of thousands of pounds in partnership with our clients every year, it’s fair to say that here at Black & White we’ve encountered many office management mistakes along the way!
Read on for some of the most common blunders we’ve seen. Is your office guilty?
- They don’t have a regular housekeeping plan
One of the most common errors we see at Black & White is reactive, rather than proactive, office housekeeping. Not only do regular checks – making sure all your equipment is in safe working order and that there are no leaks or trip hazards anywhere – save valuable time in reducing complaints and safety concerns, but getting out into the office on a frequent basis will mean you’ll pick up vital on-the-floor information about how your company is working.
If you’re in need of an in-depth office review, we can help you to manage your office pro-actively, as well as recruiting an experienced office manager if needed – so you’ll never be caught out!
- They fail to safety-check electrical equipment
Once, when working with a large organisation that will remain nameless, I witnessed several Office Management mistakes such as a very old PC screen bursting into flames! Luckily nobody was hurt, but a simple PAT (Portable Appliance Test) would almost certainly have stopped this from happening at all. If you move your electrical equipment around frequently – and even if you don’t – you should schedule regular checks and tests to ensure they remain safe for your employees to use – avoiding potential injury and any resulting claims.
Black & White can support you by putting a PAT plan in place and connecting you with approved contractors to facilitate testing of equipment.
- They fail to plan for the unexpected
Most businesses operate in buildings containing electricity, running water and other potential hazards, yet don’t effectively ensure they can continue to trade when things go wrong. For example, I was once working in a large building housing a prominent investment bank, when the ceiling suddenly gave way to a shower of water following a huge leak.
The recovery plan the business had in place was superb, and they managed to relocate their staff and continue operations within an hour – but it’s not hard to imagine the chaos that would have ensued had there been no plan at all!
Asking an expert to cast their eye over your business continuity plan, or helping you devise one, can bring valuable benefits, ensuring you can keep working effectively through all manner of unexpected incidents.
- They don’t understand Health & Safety regulations
Do you know the legal minimum Health & Safety requirements for your office? If you don’t, you’re certainly not alone. However, if you employ over five people in one location then you’ll need to make sure you have at least one ‘competent person’ trained in Health & Safety procedure in case of emergencies – and that’s just the beginning.
Black & White can review, organise and implement a robust Health & Safety plan for your business, with regular updates and staff training to ensure you can take care of business as safely as possible.
- They think moving office location will be a breeze…
If you’re moving to a new office, there are two clear essentials that will make sure the move is a success. One is to implement an organised plan to overcome any potential complications, and the other is to ensure you know everything you can about your new office in advance. Understanding service rates and your responsibilities as a new tenant (as well as those of your new landlord!) will help eliminate any last-minute disruption.
From initial planning to managing operations on the move day itself, we can seamlessly project-manage your office move.
- They don’t make their suppliers work for them
So many companies don’t put services such as coffee vending, cleaning and engineering out to tender – and in not doing so, are missing out on the best possible service and rates.
Even if you’re happy with your current suppliers, there’s nothing wrong with checking in just to let them know you’ve got your eye on what else is out there. I’ve seen hundreds of thousands of pounds wasted on poorly constructed or un-tendered contracts, so trust me – it’s worth the effort!
In our business we understand the importance of developing strong supplier relationships, and would be very happy to connect you with an extensive portfolio of established and reputable suppliers as well as advising on your current contracts.
- They don’t vet contractors
Contractors work on your behalf, and therefore act as an extension of your business. It stands to reason that you should check their insurances, that they are a reputable business with no bad debt, and that there are no clashes with your own internal policies, such as anti-bribery.
Black & White can connect you with a range of fully-vetted service providers to ensure your work can continue as smoothly as possible, no matter who does it! There are also firms we partner with who do the vetting for you, so you never have to worry.
- They don’t streamline and fix internal processes
How long does your on-boarding process take? Are new recruits sitting around, wasting the salary you’re paying them right from Day One, because HR or IT aren’t quite ready for them yet? This is an all too common scenario, and you’ll be amazed by the motivational benefits – not to mention time and money saved – that can be gained with a simple review of your standard office procedures.
A full and detailed review of internal processes can be extremely useful at any stage of business, offering valuable expertise regarding improvements that can save time and money.
- They don’t have fun!
One of the most common Office Management mistakes we’ve heard is that often, employees don’t feel involved in decisions that will directly affect them. If you’re guilty of this from time to time (and a great deal of companies are!) – why not involve them, and make it fun at the same time?
For example, if you’re looking for a new coffee machine, get a few on trial and have a taste-test. I’ve even organised ‘soap surveys’ before changing brands and scents in the offices I’ve worked with – events like these can be fantastic talking points, everybody feels involved and you’ll end up with a far more motivated workforce as a result.
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So, did you recognise your office in any of these unfortunate Office Management mistakes or scenarios? If so, it’s worth considering that Black & White Office Consultancy works in harmony with your business to improve and streamline office operations as well as motivating staff, to bring benefits that have resulted in dramatic effects on both profit and morale.
Why not get in touch and see if we can do the same for you?