The Office Environment and Seasonal Problems

Having moved our operations to a new building, we'd worked hard to create the perfect office environment for the design team. Interior design is a delicate skill that requires a quiet environment to get the best results. We sound-proofed the design room and even installed carpeting to help reduce the noise. We moved in during spring, but a following hot summer meant we had to get air conditioning installed that hardly made any noise (not cheap, let me tell you). Finally, we'd created the perfect "quiet room" - a librarian would be impressed by the silence in this room!

However, with every season, a new problem. The colder months of autumn meant we turned on the heating for the first time.

Oh dear.

Clank, clank, clank. The plumbing would moan and groan after we turned on the heating. It was so loud that people we were on the phone to could hear it! It was a terrible distraction. Of course, we couldn't simply turn off the heating - being too cold is also rather inevitably I had to call in a plumber to take a look. He was not only helpful, but informative too. He guessed that these rooms hadn't been used in a few years (he was right), so the air pressure in the pipes was "off". I tentatively asked "so does this mean you can shut them up?" - he replied with "I'll have a word with them". The pipes obediently went quiet, and we've not heard a peep out of them since then.

I guess the take away point from this is to be aware that environmental issues in the office are often seasonal. Quite often, you don't know what problems you'll face until your staff have new needs that have to be met.

That's why it's important to leave a budget for "unknown unknown" issues - things that can appear out of the blue and have a detrimental effect on the workplace.

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