Winter is right around the corner, which can spell problems for offices that are unprepared for the changing seasons. Colder temperatures and inclement weather can complicate operations and potentially shut down the office if the right steps aren’t taken to prepare for winter.

Here are five tips to get your office ready for the winter season.

1. Prepare for Seasonal Illnesses

tips to get office ready for winter
‘Tis the season – for illness. Colder temperatures mean that workers are more likely to develop a cold, the flu and other bugs. Along with encouraging sick employees to stay home (no one wants to spread a cold or the flu), you can prepare the office for seasonal illnesses by:

  • Making hand sanitizer readily available
  • Providing tissues
  • Adding more plants

The last tip may sound strange, but plants help clean and purify the air. They also add natural elements to the space, which can keep moods up on those dark and gloomy winter days.

2. Winterize the Pluming System

When temperatures plummet, there’s a greater risk of pipes bursting and other plumbing problems. Winterizing the office’s plumbing system can go a long way in preventing a plumbing emergency.

“Purchase some fiberglass tubing or foam insulation, or wrap your exposed pipes using heat tape to prevent plummeting temperatures,” says the website of Marvel Sewer and Drain.

in the break room, keep the cabinet doors open if a cold spell is expected. The heat from the room will help keep the pipes from freezing. Additionally, you’ll want to keep the faucets dripping to prevent freezing.

You can also call your local plumber to come out and winterize your plumbing system. You may be able to deduct the cost of the service from your tax bill.

3. Service the HVAC System

hvac winter
Have the office’s HVAC system inspected and serviced if necessary. You may also consider automating your HVAC system, which will regulate and maintain comfortable temperatures in the office.

An automated system can regulate indoor temperatures during seasonal changes. And if the office is closed for a holiday, the HVAC system will kick into power-saving mode to save you money.

4. Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested regularly, and batteries should be changed as needed. Each detector should have a test button. If the alarm sounds, the detector is working properly. If you don’t hear an alarm, you may need to change the batteries or replace the entire detector.

5. Prepare for Inclement Weather

Winter weather can be dangerous. Ice and snow may keep some employees out of the office, but some are sure to show up if you keep your doors open. Make sure that you’re prepared for these weather conditions to prevent injuries and accidents. This means:

  • Clearing sidewalks of snow and ice
  • Laying down salt to prevent slips and falls
  • Keeping entryways and common areas dry
  • Clearing parking lots of snow

Prepare for these expenses, and have a professional on speed dial to take care of these tasks when winter weather arrives.

winter enviroment
One last tip: take steps to boost morale during this cold and dark season. SAD (seasonal affective disorder) can affect many workers and hinder productivity.