Important Facts Pertaining to Office Cleaning
Office cleaning is an exercise that no commercial organisation can afford to overlook or neglect if it values long-term survival.
At first glance, there does not seem to be much to an office beyond rows and columns of desks, work-stations and chairs. However, this is just a façade and there is a lot more to any office than what meets the eye. While furniture does form a chunk of the physical appearance of an office, cleanliness also plays an instrumental role in determining the atmosphere. After all, what good would the furniture be if the desks are littered with papers, the bins are overflowing and the flooring is masked in a thick layer of grime or a dirty carpet?
Maintaining cleanliness at workplace is of utmost importance because not only does it enhance the productivity of employees but also helps to create a positive ambiance which is appreciated by visitors. Given that office cleaning exercise is easier said than done, a few pointers could help in transforming your office from a hub of germs to a hot-spot of business dealings.
Does Office Cleaning Make Any Difference?
Indeed it does make a difference and studies have proved that the impact of office cleaning is dual in nature. While on one hand it is an advertisement that is indicative of a conscientious management, on the other hand it boosts the confidence and morale of employees, thus establishing their loyalty.
Essential Aspects of Office Cleaning Exercise
Contrary to the popular belief, there is much more to office cleaning exercise than simply wiping of tables and chairs. It is comprised of several essential aspects and you must pay attention to each one of them in order to ensure a satisfactory outcome. To help you in this regard, some of the main aspects are discussed as follows –
Organising loose papers – Paperwork forms an integral part of office-work and this explains as to why presence of papers in any office is inevitable. That being said, the error lies not in using paper but the manner in which it is handled – most employees leave them scattered all over the working area with the result that the office looks unkempt and disorganized. This also creates a fair amount of confusion since digging out a document at the time of its requirement is akin to looking for a needle in a haystack.
As a part of cleaning exercise, all papers should be filed systematically into labelled folders which in turn should be stored in file cabinets. This would not just improve the appearance of the office but also render retrieval of documents easier not to mention the automatic saving of space.
Decontamination – A cluttered and messy office, particularly restrooms, are prone to become breeding ground for micro-organisms which in turn could lead to infection and allergies. Because lack of hygiene has an adverse impact on the productivity of employees, decontamination on a regular basis is a must.
Using disinfectants for common areas as also the rest-rooms on a daily basis would ensure hygienic conditions all around. Rest-rooms should be kept clean at all times by wiping the sinks and counter-tops and replenishing tissue rolls in the toilet, soap in the soap dispenser and paper towels in their holders respectively.
Regular dusting – All furniture, objects and electronic items, like shelves, keyboards, computers and cabinets should be dusted with a cloth every day. You can also go a step further and even get the surfaces wiped by a disinfectant subsequently as a part of good hygiene practices.
A word of caution here pertains to using a soft cloth for wiping surfaces as a rough cloth would be abrasive in nature, thus increasing the risk of the surfaces getting scratched.
Emptying waste-paper baskets – It is but natural for waste-paper baskets in a regular office to overflow with waste of all types depending on the nature of the room in which the bin is located. Usually garbage in conference rooms, rest rooms and common rooms is likely to be a mix of dry and wet waste and hence should be cleared daily or even multiple times a day.
Since contents of waste-paper basket are prone to degradation and are likely to attract germs and other carriers of disease, emptying them every day is imperative towards promoting good health among employees.
Maintaining reception area – It is the reception which is an entry point for visitors arriving at the office, meaning it is an area based on which people would form an impression. Needless to point out, not only should it be spotless but also well arranged so that it reflects well on your office and its work culture.
In addition to the seating area being free of dust, you must ensure that it is adorned with potted plants and there are sufficient newspapers, magazines and brochures gracing the tables to keep visitors occupied while they wait.
Segregating the Office Cleaning Tasks
Even though professionalism through neatness is the primary concern as far as offices are concerned, it is important for cleaning to be efficiency personified. One of the best ways to ensure efficient cleaning of offices entails segregating the tasks into a daily, weekly and monthly schedule. To this effect, listed as follows are tasks as per the frequency with which they should be handled –
Daily Cleaning Tasks
Some cleaning tasks that are mandatory to be carried out on a daily basis are –
- Vacuum cleaning the floors every day is a must for extracting the debris and this should be followed by mopping, preferably with a disinfectant.
- Every office has its share of brass surfaces like door-knobs, handles and so on which are used by staff throughout the day. As a result, these are often left with unsightly finger-prints which would reflect poorly on the management if not removed. Therefore, wiping prints off brass surfaces and ensuring that they appear polished during working hours is something that needs to be undertaken daily.
- Emptying of trash cans and replacing of liners in garbage bins is an exercise that needs to be conducted on a daily basis. This is an aspect of office cleaning that cannot be ignored owing to its direct implication on the health and well-being of employees.
- Restrooms form an indispensable part of any office arrangement and are the next most used spaces after workstations. Maintaining high standards of cleanliness is a must and is achieved by sanitizing toilets and sinks, ensuring that the soap dispensers are always filled and keeping light fixtures free of dirt and dust.
- If there are glass and mirror surfaces in your office, then it would also be your responsibility to ensure that these are wiped daily so as to remain free of marks, prints and stains.
Weekly Cleaning Tasks
There are cleaning tasks which need not be attended to on a daily basis. These can be attended to on a weekly basis and comprise of the following chores –
- Polishing of wooden surfaces on a weekly basis is a must as this would go a long way in restoring their shine and smoothness. Tables, shelves and other wooden surfaces tend to lose their gloss with time and usage and that is why it is necessary to follow a weekly polishing schedule for their upkeep and maintenance.
- Imagine your office refrigerator as a store-house of raw materials meant to meet the daily requirements of the entire staff. In such a situation, accumulation of edibles is but natural, thus leading to wastage. This is best avoided by maintaining a weekly routine of emptying the refrigerator and following a strict first-in-first-out system.
- Although you might be getting the window frames dusted every day, it is important to wipe the panes too and this can be assigned to the list of weekly tasks.
Monthly cleaning tasks
There are certain cleaning tasks which need not be carried out as frequently as every day or even once a week. However, they still make a crucial contribution towards sterilizing the interior by dispelling pollutants and therefore should be carried out at least once a month. To this effect, monthly cleaning tasks that should be followed by office are –
- Deep cleaning of carpet and upholstery should be carried out once a month by using a vacuum cleaner with appropriate attachments.
- Window blinds do not get dirty as often but if you leave them unclean for more than a month, soon a layer of dust becomes apparent and could cause you embarrassment in front of visitors. All you need to do is to remember to wipe the dust once a month with a wet cloth and also use a disinfectant if the material permits.
Following are some useful tips that would enable your office to acquire a neat and tidy look in addition to the cleaning schedule –
- Any stains or crumbs should be cleaned promptly rather than delayed till later.
- Employees should be encouraged to organize their papers into respective files which should then be placed neatly on the desk.
- Provision of adequate storage space would ensure that employees do not have a reason to leave their files littered all over the tables.
- Placing a doormat at the front door would serve as a cue to visitors to wipe their feet before stepping in and this would protect your floor against mud.
- Having a cleaning schedule that fits in well with the working hours is a plus and even more so if it is flexible enough to be customized once in a while.
Benefits of Cleaning Your Office
So what happens when you go beyond spring cleaning of your office and actually take measures to prevent the dirt and grime from settling down? Discussed as follows are some of the main benefits of office cleaning that you are likely to accrue over a period of time –
Hygiene at the workplace – Thanks to cleanliness, your office would be an epitome of good hygiene and this in turn will add to the health of employees. Regular and efficient cleaning of all areas within the office premises would ensure that they would be free from contagions and allergens despite being used by several people. This will have a positive impact on the health and well-being of employees, thus minimizing absenteeism.
Enhanced productivity – A clean environment is one of the biggest motivating factors for employees because it helps them to remain focused. As opposed to a dirty, cluttered and littered workplace, a neat and tidy office has fewer distractions and hence is congenial for work, thus leading to consistent performance and enhanced productivity.
Saving office stationery – Everyone is aware as to how difficult it is to look for an important document in a littered office desk or work-station. Equally well-known is the fact that loosing crucial papers in the clutter is exceedingly easy and could even lead to a substantial loss in business. The only solution in both scenarios is to prevent littering and cluttering of papers and avoid wastage of time and resources.
Acquiring the ‘WOW’ image – Won’t your heart swell with pride when a visitor who walks into your office immediately exclaims ‘WOW’ at the appearance? A clean and well-maintained reception would create the right first impression and enable you to gain a head-start in your business deals. The ‘WOW’ factor would also encourage visitors to visit again and this could translate into crucial repeat business for you.
Whatever your office cleaning schedule might be, you must ensure that tasks like emptying of waste-paper baskets and wiping of tables, workstations and cabinets should be carried out every day. Electronic equipment like computers, keyboards and so on must also be dusted and wiped as frequently as every day or at least on alternate days. Some tasks like polishing and burnishing can be followed on a weekly basis while others like deep cleaning or carpet and upholstery need to be conducted not more than once a month.
If circumstances on your office and business do not permit you to pay close attention to cleaning, then the next best option is to hire a professional cleaning service. This will enable you to focus on core activities of your business while the cleanliness is taken care of by trained professionals who are aware of appropriate techniques and also have the necessary equipment and cleaning agents.