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Thursday, January 31, 2013

BYOC: Can I Bring My Own Coffeepot or Personal Items into a Government Office?

Q: Everyone knows that the forecasted federal budget cuts will have an impact on spending. If that’s the case, will workers be permitted to bring personal items to their offices in order to bridge gaps in supplies or equipment?

A: While generally acceptable, there are a few “Dos and Don’ts” to contend with when bringing personal items into a federal office space, specifically regulations on personal devices in the office, policy restrictions on contractors providing unpaid for ‘services’ to government personnel, and potential security issues. 

Firstly, contractors and federal employees alike may now have to accept that their workspace is not entirely for their use. 

The use of “hoteling” or shared workspaces is increasing and is expected to continue to do so in the future. (Sharing Workspaces Growing More Popular in Government Offices)

Secondly, there are Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations concerning the use of electric or electronic devices, such as fans, heaters, or coffee makers.

For example, OSHA's interpretation of workplace use of electrical equipment designated as "Household Use Only" requires that they be approved by a nationally-recognized testing laboratory.

Generally it’s accepted that household items can be used in an office setting, but that depends a lot on the electrical make-up of the office…and the disposition of those enforcing the policies.

See more here:
BYOC: Can I Bring My Own Coffeepot or Personal Items into a Government Office?

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