Any and all spaces where people spend a lot of their time should be clean. Period.
Public spaces, homes, vehicles, but also working quarters such as offices. Cleanliness has a lot to do not only with maintaining our health but also with how we feel mentally and emotionally. This, in return, is a great indicator of the quality of life for a majority of people.
Shared spaces, such as an office, are a bit difficult to keep tidy if no proper discipline is present. That is why it takes a bit of extra organization, some strictness, but very little time to make any working space spotless – and keep it that way for a long period. So hear this out and see which tips you can apply to your case.
Taking Care of the Common Room
Offices tend to be organized differently from company to company, with some having individual offices, others having everything in one room, sometimes divided by cubicles, etc. But one thing in common is having a common space or room, be it a conference room, a small kitchen, not to mention a toilet. And while it may seem logical to clean up after yourself wherever you are – many people will actually clean after themselves when they’re the only ones using it afterward, but not in a shared space.
Discipline is key here, and especially starting from yourself. To keep an office clean you must always try to keep everything tidy behind you, and some of those things are very quick and easy to do if done on time. Spilled something in the microwave? Wipe it up. Finished a meeting? Take your handouts and pens with you. If you leave it, it will just start piling up and will become a communal problem in no time.
Disinfecting and Social Distancing
The covid epidemic has taught us what social (and physical) distancing really means, and many have been forced out of their offices to work from home for months. Luckily, some places manage to return to a sort of normality and provide a safe working environment for some employees, but to maintain this, one has to keep in mind how to properly disinfect critical surfaces and not forget to maintain social distancing.
Critical surfaces refer to all of those that everyone can come in contact with and thereby get infected or spread the disease further. Doorknobs, kitchen counters, conference tables, etc, need not only be cleaned but disinfected too. Hiring someone that does commercial cleaning is a way of ensuring that a dedicated specialist would properly sanitize your premises. Apart from that – having a spray bottle of 70% alcohol, or some oxidizing agent, in every room to be used frequently is also a big plus.
Keep Your Desk Organized
Your own desk is probably the place you have the most control over in the entire office, and it is easy for it to get clogged up with a lot of stuff. Unorganized paperwork, a mobile charger, souvenirs from holidays… all easily take up every inch of free space. So starting from your desk should actually be the first thing to tidy up in the entire office.
- All drawers should be labeled what they are for and sized accordingly.
- Paperwork should always go into files, and those into shelves, if available, or into an archive as soon as possible.
- Cables from electronic devices should be at least tied together with a zip-tie unless they can be safely stapled to a wall and organized such.
Make It a Group Chore
As any business real estate has people hired to do different jobs, so should people working in an office be tasked to sometimes clean different parts of it as their side job. This is something even backpacker tourists can help with, though it shouldn’t be avoided by the employees too. The same as sharing chores with roommates, a “chore wheel” can be used to determine who gets to do what, which can even become a small game.
Tasks like taking turns to disinfect critical surfaces put in a new paper in printers, empty bins, change the coffee filter, water the plants, etc, are easily done by almost anyone, but would not be otherwise done if just left unappointed.
Clean the Floor Every Day
The floor inevitably gets dirty every day, just by being there. Dirt, dust, mud, crumbs, and all other sorts of nonsense fall off our shoes and off of tables. Carpets are especially prone to harvesting dirt in them, and microorganisms too, while remaining relatively clean to the naked eye. So to keep your office clean you must clean the floor regularly, on a daily basis.
It would be best if it can be cleaned at the end of the day, that is – at the end of the shift when everyone has left but the daily dirt and stains haven’t managed to settle in yet. Carpets should be vacuumed, and sometimes also washed, but that is a different matter entirely. Smooth floors can be easily cleaned with a mop, and also sanitized if you have the according to cleaning agents at hand.
Air Quality is Important Too
Studies suggest that the air in closed offices and other workplaces can be several times more polluted than expected, and can be a serious source of illness for workers. That is why cleaning shouldn’t only refer to removing visible stains but maintaining air quality as well.
So we can suggest, for starters, to regularly open windows to let fresh air inside, even if management doesn’t like it because the heating or AC is on. Every hour or two for a few minutes would do just fine for an average-sized office. Air fresheners are also a very nice touch, but can sometimes give too aggressive a smell, not suitable for a workspace, especially to receive customers. Scented candles should be avoided, as even the small amount of smoke they emit can trigger the fire alarm and cause unneeded havoc in the building.
Hiring cleaning people to come to tidy up the place is all dandy and fine, but without the good practice of people who are present there every day – little can be done. That is why one should look around them and notice filth, if there is any, and do their best to get rid of it in due time. Humans have an instinctive need to live and work in a clean environment, so going in that direction cannot lead to harm.