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Our Workplace

We are continually changing the way in which we work to achieve more. By working smarter, we can be more effective.

Steps to a better work environment

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Workplace1 image

  • It's good practice to log into your phone when you arrive at your desk
  • Workspace Manager is an easy to use system for booking a meeting room or Worksmart desk. If you no longer need the meeting room, remember to cancel it on the system so others can use the room
  • Security is extremely important.  When at work, always wear your ID badge and council lanyard. The Civic Centre Admin team can provide council lanyards
  • Turning our mobile phones onto silent whilst at work helps to reduce unnecessary noise
  • Our safety is important so don't leave anything lying on the floor for people to trip over.

‚Äčpdf icon Download PDF of Office Working Protocols [943kb]

What do we mean by a clear desk?

Everyone's desk should be kept tidy at all times. The amount of paper and other items on desks should be kept to a minimum. 

Staff may keep small personal item/s on their desk but all staff are asked to ensure that their desks are tidy, clean and free of clutter, especially when they are not at work or are away from their desk for a long period of time during the working day.  

Everyone is expected to observe this guidance.

Why is it important to have a clear desk and workspace?

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Workplace2 image

Our Hygiene

Many of us eat our lunch at our desks, or at the very least have cups of tea and eat a snack. For this reason, it may interest (and concern) you to know that office workers are exposed to more germs from their desk areas than their staff toilet seat. Maintaining a clean desk reduces this risk.

Our Action

You are responsible for cleaning your desk and if you have a clear desk, you are far more likely to have a clean desk. We don't need a germ-free office, but we can minimise the risk by keeping our desks tidy and regularly clean our office furniture like phones, keyboards and desks.

 

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Workplace3 image

Our Protection

Everyone handles documents that contain important and often confidential information. That means that everyone in our offices must protect documents and data from unauthorised access, externally and internally. Maintaining a clean desk reduces this risk.

Our Action

Get in the habit of putting all papers, documents and files safely away when you leave your desk at night,  or if you are away for a long period of time during your working day

 

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Workplace4 image

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Our Safety

People working in different types of job obviously face a range of different hazards but there are a range of common accidents and injuries which occur across all sectors - and trips/slips and falls is always in the top three causes of accidents at work. Maintaining a clean desk reduces this risk.

Did you know?

All staff have a legal responsibility for their own health and safety, and those around you.

Our Action

  • You have a legal responsibility for your own health and safety, and those of others around you so please familiarise yourself with your 
  • Do not leave files, documents or other items on the floor, particularly where they may create a trip hazard
  • You should ensure if you spill any liquids that you have these cleaned up
  • You should not carry out heavy manual handling tasks unless you have completed the appropriate training
  • You should familiarise yourself with all fire escape and evacuation arrangements in respect of your building and comply with these at all times
  • Personal evacuation plans should be completed for all staff with mobility issues - if in doubt ask your fire marshal

 

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Workplace5 image

Our Professionalism

When everyone's desk is clean and all areas are free from paper and clutter, your office space looks attractive, professional and efficient. Employees feel more in control in a well organised environment and your colleagues and customers are sure to have a good impression of your company. Maintaining a clean desk helps achieve this.

Steps to a clear desk

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Workplace6 image

Plan first thing in the morning

Ask yourself what you need for your work day?  Then make sure that only the relevant documents and files are on your desk.
Start each day with a few minutes of planning so that you can organise the documents you need for immediate work. File away all other documents and folders for when you actually need them.

Protect information when you leave your desk.

You obviously have to leave your desk to attend meetings or take quick breaks. But whenever you are away from your desk for longer periods of time, make sure confidential information is locked away. Don't forget to lock your computer also and put your phone onto voicemail or transfer it to a colleague.

De-clutter

  • Try to regularly de-clutter your work area
  • Notices and posters must only be displayed on designated notice boards and will otherwise be removed by caretakers

Phones

  • Don't forget to log on to your phone when you arrive at work (IPT users)
  • Be aware of how a loud telephone call might be disturbing others nearby
  • Turn down ring tones, particularly on mobile phones, or better still put them on silent

Interruptions

  • Think before you approach someone to avoid breaking into their train of thought. 
  • Avoid holding noisy discussions around desks, especially on non-work related subjects
  • Please don't conduct loud conversations across the heads of others
  • Any music or other recorded sound that could disturb your colleagues is not allowed within offices

Security

  • Always wear your ID badge and the official council lanyard so that it is clearly visible - if you see someone not wearing ID, bring it to their attention or report it to security/caretakers if you are suspicious.  Landyards can be purchased via PECOS from Inprint, as can new or replacement ID badges. 
  • Always enter or leave your building by a designated entrance or exit
  • Always go to meet your visitors from reception and escort them back after your meeting
  • Visitors should not be left unattended at any time
  • Be aware of possible tailgating by non-staff members when entering or leaving your building through swipe activated doors

 

Cleaning and recycling @ work

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Workplace7 image

Staff are responsible for cleaning their own desks and keeping the immediate areas around their desks tidy.
Kitchens are cleaned daily by cleaning staff but everyone is asked to follow a few simple steps:

  • Make sure you tidy up after yourself once you have used the kitchen facilities - that includes putting mugs and cutlery away once you've washed them
  • Please monitor your own supplies stored in the fridge and do not allow milk or food to overstay their welcome
  • Be fridge happy! Fridges should be cleared out on a monthly basis. To help, remove any items that belong to you which are not clearly identified and/or are out of date - if they are not removed, the cleaners will throw the items out
  • Please monitor your own supplies stored in the fridge and do not allow milk or food products to overstay their welcome
  • If you use the kitchen facilities make sure that you clear up when you are finished
  • The only bins within offices that are to be used for general waste are located within kitchen areas. Try to use these bins as little as possible and use all other bins for recyclable materials.  The council wants to increase recycling rates from within council buildings, so please play your part. 

Like all householders, the council is looking to increase the amount of waste that is recycled. The aim is to reduce the amount of waste that we send to landfill.  We want to make it easier for staff to recycle.

Waste

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Workplace8 image

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Food Waste

Food waste recycling facilities have been introduced in the Civic Centre. The food waste caddies are located within kitchen areas and will be uplifted daily.

Recycling bins

New recycling bins have been introduced and have replaced the general waste bins. Just like at home, all materials should be washed/rinsed before being placed into the bins. The bins will be emptied regularly when they are full. However, if any recycling bins are full and require to be emptied please inform the caretakers. 

General Waste

One general waste bin is located within each kitchen area.  They are uplifted daily.
It is hoped that these bins are used much less frequently than the other waste facilities and that staff use the recycling facilities as much as possible. 

Building cleaning

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Workplace9 image

There have been changes to the cleaning arrangements within council buildings and they are designed to make the cleaning provision more efficient. Many of the changes are very subtle but some will impact on staff and service users. Although toilets and kitchens will continue to be cleaned each day, the frequency of cleaning will change in some areas and is based on need and user type.
 

Meeting rooms and meetings spaces

We have a limited number of meetings rooms and spaces in each of our buildings so it's really important that we all use them effectively.
Workspace Manager is an easy to use system for booking a meeting room or Worksmart desk. However if no longer need your room or desk, please cancel it on the system so that others can book it. You should inform your reception in a timely manner of any visitors you are expecting, and provide them with your contact telephone number.

When you leave your meeting room, always ensure:

  • It's clean and tidy
  • Tables and chairs are put back to their original position
  • Close the doors. Sounds simple but if doors are left open the sensor lights inside the room do not switch off, burning energy and increasing energy costs
  • Please make an effort not to start or continue discussions outside meeting rooms

If you arrive at a meeting room and it is not clean and tidy, please inform civiccentreadmin@westlothian.gov.uk

pdf icon Download PDF of Office Working Protocols [943kb]