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It’s often said that when you try to make everyone happy, you only succeed in making no one happy. So finding that perfect office temperature is a near impossibility — there are always going to be some who are hot, some who are cold, and many who complain loudly.
None of this is new for a veteran facilities manager. But when occupants take matters into their own hands to solve their hot/cold concerns, then you may have a problem. A recent story in the Chicago Tribune isn’t helping matters.
The story rounds-up a bunch of cutesy little products to help occupants stay “cozy” in a cold office. These include everything from a hand-warming computer mouse to joint-warming knee braces.
But a couple items on the list may cause considerable consternation for FMs. The first is the dreaded space heater, though the Tribune graciously mentions that some offices do not allow them because of “energy concerns.”
Another item on the list that would certainly be a nightmare is the DIY window insulator kit. Imagine making a daily walk-through of your office and seeing a couple occupants going to town on your nice, new double-hungs with a bunch of stickers and film. That probably wouldn’t sit well.
All joking aside, though, to head-off occupants taking these matters into their own hands in the first place, of course communication is crucial. Having a channel for open dialogue with occupants about their concerns, and making good-faith efforts to address them in a timely manner, is important. Otherwise, you’ll wind up looking like the “space heater police,” and then no one’s happy.
This post was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management and FacilitiesNet.com. Read his cover story about Chris Walinski and his mission to make open offices flexible and productive.