Digitally Moving Forward with SiteDocs

Safety is a key component in our work environment, and especially in the industry of office moving.

How many site hazard assessment forms are you required to complete in a day? For CSS Office Solutions, depending on the sites our crew may visit in a day, it could be well up into the double digits. And with that it used to equal lots of paperwork and loads of physical pieces of paper that had to be handed in, tracked, recorded, and translated for safety stats. Plus, we all know that sometimes the physical paper disappears, or gets dropped in the snow or rain, and the information completed is lost and gone forever.

Better Managing our Safety Program

A number of years ago we sought to make a change in how we were managing our safety program. We came upon a program called SiteDocs that was introduced to CSS from a leading concrete company in Calgary. When it checked all our boxes and more, we decided to dive it and get it immediately intertwined into our safety program – and we’re sure happy we did! Now, this (and much more) safety information will forever be with our company, and all those juicy stats we all want to know are automatically calculated! Yes, yes, yes! It’s all true!

Customized Forms

This software has allowed us to create and customize our own forms and fields where required based on the type of work we do, and its all electronically completed! No matter where our staff are working, they have access to complete the necessary safety documents, and track hazards including uploading pictures. The software stores an incredible amount of other data such as being able to upload our safety policies and other pertinent policy documents to have right at our employee’s fingertips. With the added feature of adding certifications and trainings, such as forklift or fall protection, it has helped have this information handy when we’ve had to work at heights on a jobsite or operate a forklift at a different location. Our employees can open their app and present their certification right from the SiteDocs system to show to the general contractor or compliance manager!

Vehicles in Your Fleet?

Have company vehicles? We sure do! This program aids in the necessary safety checks and maintenance tracking we do for all our vehicles, service units and our 5-ton trucks! Checklists make it easy to instruct our drivers on what to look for, what needs to be checked each time, and what items can be checked less often. Again, the ability to upload pictures right into the form is an incredible handy piece for our procedures. How easy is it to have a vehicle concern flagged by an employee, pictures taken on the spot to upload and the report is instantly sent to the HR & Safety Manager to get the ball rolling on next steps. Just like that, and all the driver did was complete their check and made note of something that wasn’t regular. Want to know how many kilometers each unit has been driven, that’s an easy report and now supports creating the exact stats we need.

Supporting Toolbox Meetings

Toolbox meetings occur before any work is started and are conducted at the same time as the hazard assessments. One handy piece of added information in SiteDocs, is the feature of included toolbox topics. They are not all applicable to each industry, but it certainly helps when your teams are feeling as if they’re running out of content. They can simply login to the system and within seconds, you have a full toolbox meeting topic and information to share with your co-workers. What a brilliant addition, as it can sometimes seem like our crew is running on repeat as it was normally the same topics that would be brought up time and time again. Now, we’re able to mix it up quite a bit and include topics that are of importance, but never crossed their minds. At CSS, we’ve found this to be a practical part for our crew.

Why We Made the Switch – True and Transparent Compliance!

Transitioning our safety program management and tracking to SiteDocs has entirely transformed our in-house safety requirements! No more of our ‘safety IN’ basket being flooded with paperwork to review, check off from each job site or work location from each day, and no more lost paperwork! With the click of a few buttons, our team is able to view, verify, and communicate with the on-site crew about their safety documents.

At CSS Office Solutions we look back at how we were previously managing our safety program and couldn’t imagine operating our program, forms, employee access, etc. any other way! When we say that we now have true and transparent compliance, it isn’t a joke! We’re extremely proud of our exemplary safety record in our workplace, especially as compared with similar businesses. As our safety manual says on the front:

When everyone makes it home safely at the end of the workday, this is always a good day!

 Interested in learning more about SiteDocs or how CSS is managing our safety program?

Contact our office to have a conversation – we’re always willing to talk safety in the workplace!

Are you using Space-as-a-Service?

At CSS Office Solutions, we’ve been carefully observing the trends, questions, and articles that relate to the industry of office moving and setups, not only throughout the pandemic but continuing into the now. There is lots of information out there, so how do you wade through it and come at it with the best approach possible? We’re going to look at this from our client’s perspective in the support that’s needed for commercial office spaces.

As this topic is still at the forefront of our industry, we’re going to share our experiences with office space changes these last couple of years, different approaches that could be realized from a facility manager’s perspective, and provide some hints about what we think will be next!

Incorporating Space-as-a-Service in your workplace

In the January/February 2023 publication of FMJ, from the worldwide organization IFMA, the article Space-as-a-Service written by Andrew Millar, has some interesting viewpoints to review.

What a concept to get the brain thinking and a complete spin on the service aspect that space provides, as a purpose, not just a function. Although the notion of creating adaptable workspaces isn’t anything new, the term is not something we’ve heard yet before. This was a great shift to think about space, as a service to your employees – especially for all of CSS’ large corporate clients that have employees into the hundreds and thousands. Is the space serving your employees with more than incentives of fancy coffee machines and a desk space, as the real question to be asked is this: is it serving the right purpose? In the article, Millar shares the idea of flexibility and agility in a workspace and creating a purpose that is supporting the space rather than the space being the purpose itself. When we view office spaces with an elastic lens, we can envision how it comes together for employees and the employers. And when it does there is complete harmony in the office, at least from a workplace setup viewpoint. This article was an interesting read, and its certainly matching of the work we’ve been performing for our clients, since the beginning of re-opened workplaces, and beyond today.

For most employees and employers, having to navigate hybrid or remote work was not in the initial game plan or strategy when entering 2020. A number of companies have taken to the challenge while others are still a little discombobulated as the information on best practices changes frequently!

This is what’s currently happening in the workplaces

As we share some of the first-hand experiences we’ve had with clients throughout the pandemic, we’re proud to have been able to adapt and be as agile as can be when it comes to supporting large corporations with their employee setups. Being in the know about a variety of the approach’s businesses are taking allows us to be more informed when we’re advising our clients on best practices and options available.

Here’s what we know clients and companies have been doing, as confirmed by the work we do:

  • There is absolutely no standard approach, no matter the size of company, or industry.
  • Each company is choosing different approaches based on their own workforces and needs of the company and employees.
  • Hoteling station are back at the forefront for companies. These are individual stations that can be reserved daily for employees and aren’t permanently assigned to any one employee.
  • Increased separation between staff where available, and companies actually expanding their square footage to provide more flexibility in the places available to work for employees.
  • Instead of the standard plexi-glass screens we’ve taken to customize and install for a number of clients, we’ve had some clients who have chosen a more design/esthetic-friendly version, such as Agility’s Perseus Pocket Screen.
  • More sanitization stations have been made available throughout all spaces, common and private areas.
  • Choosing to work from home for an employee, eliminates their access to a dedicated physical office space if one was provided pre-pandemic.

As you are reading this, perhaps you’re in your corporate office, or a co-working space, or your home office. Or maybe you’re in an office building’s beautiful lobby area, you could be on the couch or still working from your dining room chair – gosh, we sure hope not!  

Yes, CSS Office Solutions in the industry of office moving, services and furniture products, but that surely doesn’t mean we’re one-sided in this conversation or topic. We may be a little biased, but we also understand that as the world of work evolves, we need to be right there with it and ready to support as our clients need!

Random fact: CSS Office Solutions was deemed an essential service at the onset of covid in 2020. Our office never physically shut down. You would have seen our crews taking care of necessary work, assisting clients with setting up their staff at their homes, and creating adjusted office spaces to accommodate safety needs and new protocols.

Where does it go from here?

We’re still taking care of these items today! Assisting with work from home office setups and furniture deliveries and installations, plus all the usual stuff we’ve always done. Have we mentioned how much we love moving offices, especially the really large ones!

That’s right, our clients are active. There is positive movement and there’s negative movement.

Positive movement is what we term as increasing space or taking on more square footage, as a business expands their office space needs, or better utilizing the current space. Negative movement is what we at CSS refer to as a decrease in a client’s space needs or reducing their overall physical office footprint. As much as we think that there would be more negative movement, we’re also seeing signs of wonderful positive movement in office spaces and buildings. Different sectors are growing, and industries are changing their approach when it comes to occupying space.

What do you need to know or plan for the future of your workplace? Be agile, and adaptable while being open to options. And work with a service company that really listens to your needs as a client and provides you with a variety of options based on those needs.

Are you struggling with how to use your office as a service to your employees, with the right purpose? Give us a call today, or send us an email, to learn more about the available options for furniture support within your office space and how CSS can provide all you’ll ever need from an office furniture service company!

Reference: IFMA, FMJ Publication

2023 January/February. Space-as-a-Service. IFMA, FMJ. Page 34-35/85

Safety is IMPORTANT!

At CSS Office Solutions, safety is part of our everyday practices and routines.  Literally!

When our workers are kept safe and hazards are identified and controlled, everyone goes home safely at the end of the day.

In fact, the cover page of our comprehensive safety manual reads:  When everyone makes it home safely at the end of the workday, this is always a good day!  We stand by this through and through as our work family’s safety is of the highest priority.

It is our responsibility as a company, to ensure that all of our workers are safe, performing their job duties safely and are aware of their rights as they relate to workers’ safety.

Do you know the rights of workers as per the CCOHS (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety)?

As a worker you have three rights that are fundamental under the OHS law:

  • The right to know.
  • The right to participate.
  • The right to refuse dangerous work.

It is also good to know that as an employee, you are expected to work in ways that ensure your own health and safety, plus the health and safety of others.  At CSS, we always evaluate a workers’ awareness and how cognizant of the surrounding they are when it comes to safety protocols. Think of all those split-second decisions that are made, and then something catastrophic happens because someone didn’t take a moment to ask: is this safe, what should I be doing, or asking for, to make this safer for me and everyone else?

Awareness and openness are critical components of a safety program.  It is one thing for your workers to be aware, but it takes it one step further when a company can create an open, non-judgmental environment when it comes to safety practices.  As in life, and as in safety, there are never stupid questions!

Including safety practices and protocols as part of our business operations is crucial to keeping our workers safe.  In fact, there are a number of inclusions, practices and policies that are mandatory if operating a business in the province of Alberta.

At CSS, we have a couple of practices that have become second nature for our staff.

One of the first items we require before any worker can step foot on a CSS worksite (aside from all the on-boarding stuff in the background), is STEEL TOED FOOTWEAR.  This seems like a no-brainer, our staff are working with heavy items, are moving items that have multiple pieces and chances are high that something could drop and land on your foot.  We actually had a worker many years ago, while carrying a safe with other workers, have the safe drop on his foot…holding your breath?  You can breathe knowing that because this worker had steel toed footwear on, his foot was saved from intense damage!  The footwear had to be replaced as the steel was literally crushed inwards!  But his foot was safe, the worker had no lost time, and now we have a real-life story to share about the absolute importance of wearing the proper equipment.  For our workers that includes mandatory steel-toed footwear, no exceptions!  If a worker shows up to work, and isn’t properly outfitted with the necessities, we send them home to get what they should have arrived with.

You would think that workers in our industry wearing steel toed footwear would be a standard, right?  Well, think again.  Sadly, having workers in this industry wear steel toed footwear is not always the norm!  When we see other companies performing work like we perform, and their staff are wearing running shoes…we’re absolutely in shock and it should raise a red flag to have you ask, does that company really care about their workers’ safety?  What happens if…?

If a company can take little steps and create simple rules and regulations to maintain workers’ safety, then it should be undeniably implemented.

We have a policy at CSS, that if we’re working under a desk and are drilling into the underneath of the desk surface, we have a mandatory rule that eye protection of some kind must be worn!  Why all the time?  Why is this mandatory?  Because many years back we had a staff member that did not wear safety glasses while drilling a hole for an install on the under part of the desk surface, low and behold shavings from the desk landed in his eye – OUCH!  This equated to a time-lost claim as the employee had to be off for a couple of days to ensure his eye would heal properly from the scratched eyeball, not pleasant, right?  So, now we have a mandatory rule because we have learned that reviewing incidents and implementing steps to avoid potential hazards is paramount to our safety program.

We know some accidents cannot be avoided, but accidents can be analyzed and evaluated for proactive solutions that can prevent them from happening again.  Obviously, we know this isn’t always the case, but doing the analysis post-incident, is just as important as conducting the hazard assessment before beginning any work.

Safety matters to not only us, but to our clients as well.  It isn’t out of the realm to be asked to produce our safety stats and information about our internal safety program.  At CSS, we’ve always had an excellent safety rating with the Workers’ Compensation Board – Alberta.  For the 2022 reporting year (which includes the three years’ incidents/claims from 2020, 2019 and 2018) our Safety Experience Ratio was 86.66% lower than our industry average!  Breaking it down, that means that CSS experienced 86.66% lesser claims than our counterparts in the same industry.  That’s pretty darn incredible in our view and an indicator that we’re doing the right things in the awareness and training of our staff.

Safety needs to remain a priority, especially in our industry of office moving, furniture installation, warehouse storage, etc.  If you’re hiring a company, don’t be shy to ask them about their safety program and safety statistics.  And pay attention to how equipped the workers are.  Are they wearing steel toed footwear, and is their company educating them on the employee’s rights when it comes to safety?

Keeping safe and aware allows CSS to keep on doing what we’re doing in offering the very best in office services and moves.  We’re proud of our safety statistics and are always happy to educate and inform our staff working in this industry.

If you’re wanting to know more about what CSS offers, or learn more about our safety program, please don’t hesitate to call or email our office!

The CSS People that Make it Happen – Jennifer

Meet Jennifer, our awesome HR and Safety Manager!

Today I am thrilled to be able to introduce you to our HR and Safety Manager, Jennifer Eriksson.  Jennifer has been with CSS for almost one and a half years.  She came to us with decades of experience in the field of safety with an HR background and is incredibly talented!  She’s been an appreciated resource and guiding force in ensuring compliance for our in-house and industry safety requirements; plus, her tremendous support through our huge transformation from paper to digital systems and processes!

Jennifer’s favorite part of working at CSS is the camaraderie and laughter that inevitably occurs during the workday while we’re all getting the job done.  Not having much of a background in office furniture she found it very interesting to see how large pieces of furniture are moved easily with the right tools and equipment.

Her absolute most favorite type of food is chocolate cake, and to wash it down she reaches for a latte from Rosso Coffee.  Sounds like a winning combination to me too!

If Jennifer won the lottery, there’s no way she would pay off debt!  Instead, she would spend it all on guinea pigs!  They are her most favorite animal and would have no trouble renovating a room in her house to be a guinea pig room.  She would have one of every color, short haired, long haired and everything in between!  Maybe an obstacle course?  Jennifer would probably need a veggie garden in the back yard too!  One thing is for sure, she would be in “piggie heaven”!

Jennifer finally figured out how to get to Scotsman’s Hill and that’s officially her favorite local destination to visit.  She also loves the old feel and grandeur of the Hudson Bay Building in downtown Calgary.

She has been lucky enough to get out of the office once or twice to shadow the crews on job sites, getting a firsthand look at everything that goes on behind the scene of a move and install project and says, “we are the unseen people of the office world”.