We’ve all heard the phrase “a place for everything and everything in its place”. Well, perhaps an idiom along these lines for the workplace could be “a function for everything & everything within its function”.
There’s a time and a place to improvise: literally – if you’re in the dramatic arts for example. But more likely it would be figuratively, by using your brain to come up with intuitive solutions to the many and varied workplace problems which present themselves each day. It’s called problem solving. But let’s bear in mind that objects, people and places or spaces within a workplace have a limit to their functions. And pushing those limits may lead to more problems than you or your staff were bargaining on solving in one day.
Yes, it might save you a few minutes to grab that butter knife from the staff kitchen drawer instead of going on a hunt for the less frequently used screwdriver. Or it may seem perfectly reasonable to stand on that stack of pallets already in the way, rather than pull out the ladder. But in reality, while you may save 5-10 mins then, you do risk losing a lot more time retrieving the first aid kit for a preventable cut to the finger, or – heaven forbid – a trip to the hospital or worse… Do you want to be the one looking the nurse in the eye when she asks how you ended up lodging a paper clip into the palm of your hand? Or have to explain to your wife why you’re actually late for dinner…or worse – won’t be coming home…at all.
These are some sobering thoughts when you look at the scenario retrospectively. But let’s allow ourselves to get real for just a second: workplace accidents can and do happen. But you’re supposed to be contributing an income to your family, not coming up with ways to jeopardise it.
So the next time your workplace task calls for some problem solving, remember to use your head figuratively, not literally! All objects, people and spaces in your workplace have a limit to their function. Don’t let improvisation be the mother of all your stuff ups!