Getting to know your business infrastructure is a valuable task for boosting your productivity.
If you’re a business owner or manager, then there’s a lot you need to bear in mind as you go to work each day. It’s important that you know the names of your employees and are able to address them politely and respectfully; that you know when to delegate and when to lend a hand for a difficult task, and it’s also important to be on hand when business infrastructure issues arise.
It may not be your strongest subject, but when the water leaks, the electricity jumps, the internet leaves, the air con breaks, or part of the roof falls in, you need to know how to remedy such situations. When disaster strikes, it’s ultimately going to be your responsibility to keep up productivity while working out how to solve the problem. That’s why you need to read this guide to getting to know your business infrastructure.
Many businesses rent out a room in an office block, or they rent out a shop close to a town centre rather than buying their location outright. However, even though renting does come with some security, if something goes wrong that the owner can’t solve quickly, then it’s your business that will suffer. You need to be able to take a healthy amount of responsibility.
If you rent, then it’s firstly important to know who’s responsible for maintenance of your room or building, and it might be worth contacting them in a drill so you can have more confidence in your lines of communication. If you own your own business location, then make sure that whoever’s responsible for your maintenance is equipped to deal with the full range of problems you’re likely to face. Have a builder inspect the premises and give you a list of things to watch out for, and learn what you can do yourself so you can fully understand these issues.
Heating and Water
If your heating breaks, then it could be a big problem, particularly in winter. Rather than making your workers make do with a jumper and a plug-in radiator, learn the basics of troubleshooting a boiler or central heating system. There are several steps you can take before resorting to calling in a professional, like checking the electricity supply, restarting it manually or at least identifying the problem to save your maintenance person time. It will also be useful to learn about the different kinds of boilers, as each one needs a different approach.
When it comes to industrial water pumps, you’ll find there’s something you can do about a range of problems that your workers could be facing. Contact a professional to find a car park drainage solution, to deal with any sewage issues, or to install or repair a water feature. These could all improve the day to day experiences of the workers and therefore raise morale.
Faulty electrics can be a risk to customers and workers a like, and an accident with either will be both tragic and expensive for you, as the owner or manager. Even if nobody has been hurt, faulty electrics are a big turnoff to customers. If you own your location and you’re experiencing blinking lights and sparking equipment, then you’ll be putting off customers on the day, but you’ll also leave them with the memory of your shop as a death-trap.
Whether you own your office or not, if you’ve got a basic level of knowledge then you’ll be able to tell if substandard work has been done – and even if it isn’t your responsibility to fix it, it will always be useful if you’re in a position to report it. This is important because there are thousands of unqualified electricians leaving buildings with substandard or dangerous electrics.
Internet and Office Equipment
If the internet keeps cutting out, or if everything you pick up in the office or shop breaks, then you’ll find that your staff have lower morale on top of the reduction in productivity that the fault is causing. It might be that you always play music but you’ve been unable to for a few weeks due to faulty equipment, or it might be that you can’t physically do any work without the internet working – these problems can grind a working day down to a halt. All you need is a basic level a computer knowledge, and you’ll be able to contribute every time there’s an issue.
It’s important to earn respect by being a capable problem-solver when workers are facing difficulties, but it’s also important to be able to engage with these everyday problems. If you say that you don’t know anything about it, then you’re also saying you can’t help anyone. You should know what you can and can’t fix, and it’s also essential to know who you’re going to for help with each type of problem you might face. When office equipment breaks, which it will, you can make a difference simply by foreseeing in advance what problems might occur. Have a stock of everything your workers need, from head phones, to spare chairs, to fans.
When you walk around the office, you shouldn’t be afraid of any of the problems that you might notice or that might be raised with you. You should know how to fix the more basic problems, who to talk to about the more advanced concerns, and how to categorise the issues you’re dealing with. You don’t have to do everything yourself, but being informed can save you money and time, and it can earn you respect.
It’s also worth getting to know your workers and getting to know what everyone’s skills are. It may be that someone used to be an electrician or builder, in which case you should make sure they know how helpful they are to the business without piling more on their plate or forcing them to do something outside of their job description. Most people who have some extra skills or knowledge will naturally be pleased that they can be even more useful, so make sure you’re giving credit where credit’s due.