Building Fails: Common Problems in Modern Office Buildings

When we think about modern businesses, we often think about a bunch of people crammed in an office. To be fair, that statement could have been made at any point in the past three decades and it would have rung true. And, to be fair (again), modern offices certainly aren’t as dreary as they used to be. But there are now more people than ever working away each day in an office, sitting down for over eight hours for at least five days a week.


The problem here is that many modern offices suffer from a few building defects. Thankfully, they’re often things that can be remedied. And if these problems do affect your workplace, you should look into them as soon as you can. They affect the health and productivity of your employees, so get to it!


Indoor air quality

The air quality of your average interior isn’t great. Even modern homes that look clean are often filled with dusty, germ-infested air. Sturdy ventilation systems don’t seem to be as prominent in modern buildings as they once were. In offices, however, things are often much worse.

If you want your workers spending most of their week in the office, then it’s only fair that you get the air quality under control. You have to make sure the ventilation is working correctly, and that the air ducts are free from dust clogs. Any chemicals used in the building process, as well as throughout your tenure, will affect the air quality. Consider talking to the building owner, and perhaps look into getting an air filtration system.



The lifts

Problems with lifts (or elevators) seem to be getting more and more common all the time. It seems strange, given that our technology here should have evolved. But lifts installed in the past decade or so seem to be more prone to error than the ones that have been around for a long time.

I’m not someone who feels that comfortable in lifts at the best of times. But if it breaks down, or is running slowly? Then that will cause immense stress. It will also lose you time, which will drastically cut productivity. Getting these things fixed often take way too long. But this shouldn’t be the case, nor does it need to be the case. Make sure you look up the best lift maintenance service you can get.



Over-illumination isn’t something you may have heard of before, but you probably already know what I’m talking about. Over-illumination is such a prominent problem that it has its own Wikipedia article! An overabundance of artificial light is a problem in department stores, gyms, and - of course - offices.


There’s an over-reliance on fluorescent lighting in offices. It zaps away so much energy - and I’m not just talking about electrical energy. Worker energy is also affected. There are certain things you can do to maximize the light that does come in. But, if it’s up to you, you should look into adding windows and skylights. They’re not quick, easy, or cheap solutions, I’ll grant you that. But when you consider the positive effects of increased natural light? Whatever price you pay could end up being a bargain.


These are just a few examples of how you can improve your office space. Being intentional and thinking about all the details of your office and how they can better support your team is important. It impacts employee productivity and retention, two crucial parts of a successful company culture. Think about the return on these investments and you should be able to get buy-in to create a physical space for your team that works for them as hard as they work for you!

Batman and the Open Work Environment

YY0du When I was in college there was a blissful place in the library called the quiet area. I could go to this place and something magical would happen – no one would talk to me or around me. It was my own productivity cave. Then, I got to the real world and I was introduced to the open work environment – also know as a fashion show of headphones.

The open work environment – an airy creative space to give you room to think. To allow you to collaborate with your colleagues and to really get some “innovative” work done. But what if collaboration isn’t for every minute of every day? At first I thought, I was a broken millennial. I am terrible at ping-pong and other games that frequent the open work environment, and I prefer not to drink beer at work. For the record, I like my cave. I want to be alone.

Someone who prefers to work alone? An endangered species. But then it hit me – Batman (no he didn’t actually hit me, that would suck and I would probably be dead). Batman liked his space and he did a pretty good job juggling a double life as a super hero and millionaire. Not only that, but he knew when to work with a team and when he was the only man for the job.  If he ever did yoga, his balance would be a sight to behold.

Working styles differ and finding the best one for you is important.  Realizing the space and environment I thrive in boost my productivity and creativity. Some prefer the active and energizing open work space, other prefer a coffee shop buzz or working at midnight.  Whatever you prefer, finding the right fit will be a great improvement on your work life.

If anyone needs me, use the signal. I’ll be in my cave.

Bethany’s background includes working for startups, corporations, and ad agencies. Her area of expertise is digital communication and marketing strategy. She works as the Marketing Director for CordiaGrad and graduated from University of Kentucky (Go Cats!) with her B.B.A in Marketing.

Bethany has lived in 6 different states and enjoys taking spontaneous weekend trips to explore new cities. She is a Memphis native and volunteers with St. Jude Research Hospital.  She follows Kentucky Basketball when they are winning which, according to her, is always. Connect with her on Twitter to keep the conversation going.