The sun has got its hat on and seems to be bypassing spring altogether with the hotter-than-average temperatures we’re currently seeing – great for our too-long sun-deprived British selves but not so great for our office, which may well have seen its annual spring clean vanish altogether. And with a survey by staffing firm Adecco finding that the majority of workers admit to judging a co-worker based on the cleanliness of their workspace and nearly half saying they’ve been “appalled” by a dirty office – as well as studies finding a tidy office increases productivity, lowers absenteeism and enhancing the brand image – it’s really not something you can just sweep under the carpet. The good news, however, is that it’s never too late to put the spring back in your step and dust away the shackles of the seasons before it with the following top tips!
Seemingly so inoffensive, the loose sheet of paper that quickly multiplies into piles of the stuff is one of the biggest office offenders there is. We know filing hardly screams glamour, but if you have an organised set-up from the get go – made up of filing cabinets, wall pockets and desk trays – it won’t become a mammoth task you have to tackle every week. You could even consider archiving old files that aren’t in use anymore and sending them off to a storage facility.
It’s oh so tempting at the time, but do avoid using your desk as a dumping ground – however much of a rush you are to get out of the office. Everything should have a place and be labelled. As with the filing, once the system is set up, it will become second nature and take up no time at all. As a side note, however great it is to receive freebies, there are only so many magnets, mugs and cheap pens that your desk really needs, so – if you really can’t say no – make sure you engage in a de-clutter regularly and invest in things like pen holders, mail bins and drawer organisers.
If you consider how often you eat and drink at your desk – not to mention general usage of technology – it’s not surprising that your electrical equipment, such as computer and phone, is riddled with dirt and dust. Invest in some special wipes or microfiber cloths that are specifically made for electronics and give your keyboard, monitor, mouse and phone – and their cables – a good clean every day. Remember also to clean the underside of the keyboard – often forgotten but a huge breeding ground for germs – and always unplug the appliances before cleaning.
With a study by luxury furniture makers, OKA, finding that 28% of employers said they would be less likely to promote someone with a disorganised workspace, creating an office culture in which everyone takes responsibility for their own space is the way to go – aided by bottles of cleaner and wipes dotted around the office. Tissue and hand cleaning gel dispensers would be well utilised at every desk, too. “Finish each day with a five-minute de-clutter”, says Irma Hunkeler, head of content at marketing agency, BlueGlass. “It’s a good habit to get into.”
Probably even more important because this is what is showcased to your clients, make sure your reception area is dust-free and fresh at all times. Any carpet should be vacuumed at least once a week, blinds, plants and shelves should be dusted and window cleaning must be done regularly, too. Opt for artificial plants as these are not only easier to maintain but less prone to cause allergies and make sure you clear all cables away frequently, so as to avoid accidents. “You can buy cheap cable ties to keep things looking neat and tidy”, Irma says. “Another option is to invest in some wireless technology. A wireless mouse and keyboard mean no annoying cables – and they look cool and minimal too.”
Banish bathroom bacteria
This should go without saying, but disinfecting the toilets is vital for a healthy office environment. More than just good practice, this is a safety measure that must not be neglected. The entire toilet – including bowl, seat and lid, should be cleaned daily, the counter and sink must have a disinfector applied, the floors should be mopped and cleaned and all dispensers, such as toilet roll and hand gel, must be refilled regularly. Picking up a dropped paper towel or cleaning excess soap from the sink are also simple things you can do to ensure the bathrooms remain spotless. Remember, a healthy office = healthy employees, meaning less sick days and more productivity.
Kitchens should be spotless and you should take special care to organise and clean the fridge, microwave plate, sink and table on a regular basis. Due to the communal nature of the fridge, impose a weekly disposal day in which employees know all products will be removed so as to avoid old food rotting for weeks on end. Dishes must be washed and hand-dried daily whilst the dish drainer should be wiped down, too.
Make sure there are enough bins throughout the office so rubbish is kept at bay and ensure you have a policy of taking them out at the end of each day.
Not that we’re biased, or anything, but hiring a cleaning contractor to ensure your office stays in tip-top shape all year round is a truly worthy investment. And as we do window cleaning as well, we can get your office sparkling both on the inside – and outside!
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