Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Workplace Wisdom IX..Need for office conveniences


The most critical problem is the lack of good washroom facilities.  This is more glaring when a large female work force is employed.  Organizations must pay more attention to this seemingly trivial matter.  In majority of offices, a bathroom is shared by number of employees on the same floor and even perhaps from a couple of floors. Each office is given a key.  But the maintenance of a shared washroom is usually deplorable.  As no one lays claim to ownership, there is a tendency to slip up on the responsibility of keeping it clean.
 Some enlightened companies, however, employ an attendant whose sole business is to maintain the cloak room.  On the part of the employees, they must curb the temptation to visit the cloak frequently to brush their hair or freshen their make-up.  Some are prone to do this more often than necessary. Male employees tend to frequent the toilet for a quiet smoke which they indulge in more often than they ought to. Another misuse of the cloak room is to occupy it for frequent gossip sessions.  It is common to see a couple of employees signaling to each other to converge in the cloak room where they indulge in gossip, exchange personal frustrations or just embark on idle chatter.  The employer must be considerate enough to provide a proper cloak room for the employees but they, on their part, must not misuse it.
 No doubt, limited space is an insurmountable constraint.  Perhaps this is one of the reasons why few organizations can provide a lunch-cum-rest room for their employees.  With a bit of planning and some imaginative interior design, may be some secluded corner which is otherwise not congenial as a work place can be made into a corner for relaxation.  Of course, employees can either eat in a canteen, if there is one, or go out or eat at their own table.  But for those who like to rest, this cozy corner will help.  Besides, it can act as a temporary sick bay for those who suddenly fall ill or are attacked by a headache or stomach upset.
 Many organizations have a staff eating room or canteen.  This is a welcome facility but unfortunately, it is usually badly maintained.  Hygiene is the first victim in many of these.  Some canteens are very smoky and have rickety tables and chairs which are carelessly cleaned.  Lunch hour is a precious time for employees – giving them as much break from work as sustenance for the latter half of the day.  A little care and concern is this matter will go a long way in winning their gratitude.  Something as basic as drinking water and a cooler are denied to many employees who have to carry their day’s quota from home.  If a cooler is provided, either it’s not filled or cleaned or there are no glasses around.
 Employers are under the mistaken notion that annual increments, bonuses and surprise money incentives will keep their employees happy. Personnel and welfare mangers are kept busy working out allowances and cash benefits. But these, though welcome, are not enough. What an employee appreciates is the organization’s attempts to make their working life more comfortable and pleasant. It takes the sting out of a nine to five routine.