A clean, tidy, uncluttered office can help keep your team motivated and create a positive working environment. Office cleanliness is linked to positive mental health and higher productivity, and they are likely to have less potential trip hazards and health risks (hello, mouldy fridge debris).
As a business owner or office manager, it can sometimes feel like staying on top of hygiene and cleanliness is all falling to you, or you may be starting to hear complaints from hired cleaners as the workspace or kitchenette becomes more difficult to manage.
So how do you encourage employees to take an active part in maintaining a clean office? Follow our simple tips below and begin to see a real difference.
1. Keep it simple
Clutter on desks and around the office can create barriers to keeping the space clean. This can apply whether your colleague has a small army of stress balls and Lego figurines, or your manager is reluctant to rehome the branded, still unused beanbag chairs they bought ten years ago.
A small number of personal items can help an office feel more homely, however, encourage employees to restrict these to personal items to walls or pinboards as much as possible, rather than surfaces which should be frequently wiped or dusted.
Reducing the amount of clutter around the office can make it easier to clean quickly and efficiently, without constantly removing and replacing objects. Having less generally also makes it more obvious when something has been left unsorted or in the wrong place - a pile of paper stands out more on an empty desk than one covered in notebooks and highlighters. This means co-workers are more likely to notice and tidy anything out of place. Having a low or no paper policy can also help with this.
2. Keep expectations clear and visible
While it may seem very clear to you that your team should tidy their desks every Friday afternoon or take time to empty the dishwasher after a run, it can be easy for your colleagues to forget in the rush of everyday.
Having these expectations displayed clearly in the office can work as reminders - either as one large page of cleaning commandments, or as small signs displayed in relevant places - by the bins, by the coffee machine, etc.
You should also make sure to be open about how these office management tasks are expected to fit into the day-to-day. If your team are expected to track and account for their time, make sure they have allowance in it for cleaning tasks. If the team on the dishwasher rota are expected to empty it during lunchtime or after work, make that clear too.
3. Lead by Example
One of the most effective ways to help employees to maintain clean office is to display the behaviours you want to see. More than a few of us are guilty of letting dirty mugs pile up or letting the chairs in our office fall into a poor state of repair.
This can encourage employees to view cleaning rules as flexible guidelines, which means standards can quickly start to slip. By embracing your position as a role model and consistently being seen to follow the rules to a letter, you can encourage a culture of consistency when it comes to keeping up a clean workspace.
4. Effective Motivation
You could also consider what might motivate your team to clean their office space. What this might be can depend massively on your culture and what drives the individuals in your business. What might energise some may turn off others. However, below are some suggestions to consider.
· Shouting out individuals who have been taking the time to clean the kitchen on your whole company Discord or Teams channels
· Offering treats (takeaways, extra-long lunches, drinks on Friday, etc) to the team with the tidiest overall workspace during spot checks
· Offering a whole company incentive if everyone successfully follows a cleaning rota for a whole quarter
5. Scheduled Deep Cleans
Scheduling in whole-office deep cleaning sessions is another option which can be effective. It’s a good way to bust tasks which tend to build up over time, rather than things you can keep on top of through quick daily tidying up.
Dedicate an hour or two for everyone to stop and clean their space to the nth degree, splitting more hardcore tasks like cleaning the fridge or wiping out the bins between teams.
This doesn't have to be all work and no play, you could foster a party atmosphere with music and (mess free) snacks, as long as everything gets done which needs to be done.
See a few suggestions for tasks you can assign during a deep cleaning session below:
· Emptying and wiping the fridge
· Emptying and cleaning the coffee machine
· Emptying and disinfecting office bins
· Wiping down the microwave
· De-lime scaling the kettle
· Completely clearing every desk of loose objects or papers
· Cleaning office chairs
· Hoovering crumbs and dust off computer keyboards
· Dusting blinds and shelving space
· Disinfecting tiled or laminate floor
· Thoroughly cleaning any carpets
Prefer the Professional Touch?
Another option for deep cleans is to hire a professional cleaning company to ensure that no spot goes unturned. This can help your workspace start with a completely clean slate each month, and can encourage your team to keep it to a better standard between thorough cleans.
A Cleaning Service provide an efficient and professional office deep cleaning service in Bristol, Cardiff, and beyond.
Depending on your preference, this can cover office upholstery cleaning, floor and carpet deep cleans, disinfection, and kitchen cleaning. Find out more here or fill out our contact form to receive a free quote.