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Many factors can drain a business’s money chest: labor, new equipment, attrition rate, disengaged employees, higher rent, etc.

Often, entrepreneurs focus on the common big culprits. They tend to ignore the “little ones” that could be just as costly or money-draining. These include the following:

1. Pests

Believe it or not, there’s a massive debate on whether you should get rid of a spider. Some entomologists claim that you shouldn’t since they help remove more harmful insects in the home. These include mosquitoes, flies, and roaches that can carry viruses and bacteria that can cause severe diseases.

However, spiders can be a nuisance in the workplace, especially since they can hatch eggs every two to three weeks. About 3% of the population have an irrational fear of arachnids, such as some employees and even customers.

Third, people often connect animals like spiders, roaches, termites, and rodents to clutter and uncleanliness. They, therefore, can decrease the positive image of the company or brand.

Lastly, some spiders are dangerous. For example, Utah is home to the black widow, which is the most venomous of its kind in the world. In the end, offices may find it more beneficial for them to call spider control. Often, these companies can handle other pests, so the service is more cost-effective.

2. Excessive Use of Social Media

Contrary to what most business owners think, social media can be a friend. In a Pew Research among hundreds of employees, over 25% said that Facebook and Twitter’s likes helped them make or support social connections. About 20% claimed these sites allowed them to find solutions to work-related problems.

Meanwhile, the Harvard Business Review shared that social media can be an excellent communication platform for everyone. It can foster collaboration, teamwork, and innovation.

However, too much of a good thing is bad—and it can hurt your business’s cash flow. In 2013, excessive use and unlimited access to social media in the workplace cost companies a whopping $650 billion a year. One can imagine how much it is right now when social media use has become the norm.

Whether to permit employees to use these sites while working is up to the management. Nevertheless, balance is key to ensure everyone can still enjoy social media’s benefits to business without compromising worker productivity and efficiency.

3. Bad Ventilation

Air-conditioning units and heaters may provide comfort to employees, but when the entire HVAC system is poorly designed, they do more harm than good.

Poor ventilation, especially in enclosed spaces, can be problematic for the following reasons:

  • It increases the risks of molds that can cause respiratory reactions, such as allergies.
  • It may boost the chances of employees exhibiting symptoms of sick building syndrome.
  • Poor ventilation can help spread diseases. In fact, it is one of the risk factors for the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • It can lead to higher utility costs, especially during the summer and winter.
  • It can increase the risk of fire.

The US EPA provides plenty of tips and recommendations to improve ventilation in an office. These include opting for routine inspections, particularly if the building is already old; encouraging more natural ventilation; and enhancing air filtration systems.

woman holding her head

4. Recessed Lights

Over the years, recessed lighting has become a popular fixture in homes and offices. It makes the room feel more spacious and elegant. Recessed lighting helps draw attention toward beautiful spots in a room, such as a decorative piece or a mural. It creates a dramatic effect.

But recessed lights are actually expensive. According to Home Advisor, the labor for installation alone could cost up to $250 per fixture. Depending on the size of the office, the room may need a lot of these lights.

Moreover, recessed lighting uses incandescent or halogen. While they give off this soft yellow glow, they are not the most energy-efficient.

This doesn’t mean that offices should avoid recessed lights at all costs. But they may want to choose better options like LEDs. Although they are costlier, they are also more energy-efficient and longer-lasting. They still make sound investments.

5. Old Operating Systems

Granted, operating systems are costly, especially if one is talking about many workstations or laptops. However, the benefits always outweigh the price.

The ransomware attack that befell the NHS in 2017 is a prime example of why businesses need to upgrade their operating systems. Hospitals were actually using Windows XP, which was more than 16 years old. In fact, Microsoft already ended its technical support for it. Once the breach was over, the NHS already lost at least $100 million.

In some cases, it’s not the common culprits that are bleeding businesses dry. Sometimes these are the “little problems” often ignored.

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