14 February 2017 | Melissa Cooper
For most office workers the business information and communication tool of choice these days is email or smartphone.
And yet, in the business world we still have a need to send paper to each other occasionally, whether these are internal documents or even products to external parties. So in the corporate world the average FM is still managing a mailroom or messenger service to deal with all the snail mail.
What's changed is that today, in some organisations, the number of personal mail items that staff get sent to the office outnumbers the amount of business mail a company receives. In fact, it's not unheard of for organisations to have a 70/30 split in favour of personal items. And as people work longer hours, most companies are indeed happy to facilitate staff receiving the odd small package or other reasonable items to the office.
But people's idea of what constitutes an item suitable to be sent to the office varies greatly. Many would be advised to order a dictionary the next time they buy something on Amazon if only to look up the word 'reasonable', because common sense seems to have gone out of the window where some deliveries are concerned.
And who gets to deal with the fallout from all these inappropriate items? The FM, of course. But here's something that end users need to know. With security of paramount importance, the mailroom can be the weakest link in the chain. Thus, most companies X-ray all incoming items to check for unsuitable or high-risk items. Staff, however, tend to forget that, whatever they have ordered, someone in the mailroom will know exactly what it is when they X-ray it, and news of the more unusual items may well leak beyond the mailroom. Perhaps this prevention through embarrassment could be the cure?
Melissa Cooper is a facilities manager currently seeking a new position