Throughout their lifetime, UK workers spend an average of 3,515 full days at work. It makes sense, then, to want to spend this time in a clean, healthy, and comfortable environment.
Reducing spills and stains is a vital first step to maintaining a clean office. And, should spillages occur, there must be a clear protocol for cleaning up or reporting spills. But what can you do to introduce these practices?
Whether you’re looking for advice on how to reduce spills or you want to know how to encourage a collaborative responsibility for office cleaning, our office cleaning tips will help. Keep reading to find out how to keep your office clean!
Offer Incentives for Maintaining a Clean and Tidy Office
Almost all workplaces use in-house cleaning staff or have a contract with a commercial office cleaning company. Because of this, office workers often see keeping the office clean as someone else's problem. But there's only so much cleaners can do to clean up spills and remove stains, especially if they don't come into the office every day.
What's more, cleaning crews are rarely responsible for cleaning all areas of the office. You can't expect a cleaner to deep-clean the food-splattered microwave or remove milk spills from the fridge when they have rows of desks to clean.
This means that workers have to take some responsibility for reducing office spills and stains in the first place. And, for cleaning them up when they do occur.
Offering incentives for maintaining a clean and stain-free office can help motivate colleagues. You should also establish a cleaning rota to avoid arguments about whose turn it is to clean and tidy communal areas.
These incentives could take the form of extra time off, such as an early home time for the worker with the cleanest desk at the end of the week. Or, you might want to offer a free lunch to the department with the most pristine carpet.
Moving forward, emphasise how a clean office is a professional necessity within your company. Incorporate cleanliness objectives into your office handbook or employment policy. This then makes it clear that office cleaning is a job expectation.
But, rather than making your stance a negative one, present it as a problem best solved together. Focus on how a clean working environment improves job satisfaction and productivity.
Provide Workers With the Necessary Tools and Knowledge
Educating staff about how to reduce spills and tackle any accidents when they do happen is one of the best ways to avoid ugly stains around the office.
Part of this education should include a briefing on new practices for avoiding spillages. These could involve transitioning to a paperless office or installing desk cup-holders. Or, you might consider only allowing your workers to drink water at their desks.
While minimising the possibility of spills helps, you also need to show your team how to clean spills. This includes providing information and training about the best way to remove different stains. You'll also have to make the necessary cleaning products available to all workers.
That said, you might not want to give everyone free access to your cleaning supplies. Especially as these likely include hazardous materials. Instead, provide a small selection of basic supplies in a communal area. This will then encourage your employees to take responsibility for office cleaning.
Of course, your office carpets will still need regular professional cleaning. But once your team starts working together to prevent stains, the office will look much better between deep cleans than ever before.
Introduce a Spill-Reporting Policy
Even the best intentions for reducing office spills and stains won't avoid the issue altogether. That said, something you need to drive home is that staying silent about a spill is a far bigger problem than the spill itself.
Oil-based substances and dark liquids like wine and coffee are particularly problematic for carpets. These liquids attach to the fibres and hold fast, making the stain harder to get out the longer the spill sits there unreported and undisturbed.
That said, it's natural for employees not to want to admit to dripping salad dressing on the carpet or coffee down the back of their desk. They may not want to spend time cleaning it up, or might fear reprisals for their clumsiness.
You need to offer strong incentives for reporting spills to avoid this behaviour. For example, you could reward workers who take an active role in spotting and reporting spills with discount vouchers or long lunch breaks. These kinds of positive incentives will then serve to keep your office clean while also boosting morale.
Encourage Workers to Eat Elsewhere
Stains from foods and drinks are among the main culprits when it comes to office stains. With this in mind, taking steps to reduce spills can mean reconsidering your office rules.
While some workplaces go with a 'no food on desks' policy, such a totalitarian approach can often create resentment. This will then undermine any attempts at positive incentivisation for office cleaning and spill reporting.
Plus, where do you draw the line? Few would consider chewing gum a 'food' but it can be one of the toughest stains to remove from carpets. And if workers can continue to drink coffee at their desks, why is eating forbidden?
Instead, you should encourage workers to take a proper lunch break away from their desks. The best way to do this is to offer them an attractive alternative. If you have the space, convert a meeting room into a break room, offer comfortable seating in a cosy office corner, or add tables and chairs to the staff kitchen.
Although these areas won't be immune to spills and stains, food spills will at least be away from computer equipment. This will make for a smoother cleaning process if anyone does spill anything.
And, as a bonus, your employees will return to their desks after lunch feeling refreshed thanks to a change of environment.
Use Fewer Waste Bins and More Recycling Containers
This idea might sound counterintuitive. But cutting down the number of waste bins in the office can help with reducing spills and stains.
Office bins should only be for paper and similar waste. Although, many workers will throw banana skins and half-empty plastic coffee cups. This lead to bad odours and the potential for liquids to seep out onto the carpet. Plus, there's also more chance of spills occurring when cleaners empty the bins.
Removing bins from around the office forces employees to head to a communal area to recycle or dispose of their waste. A communal recycling area gives staff the chance to engage with colleagues. But, more importantly, it contributes to a wider collaborative shift towards taking responsibility for office cleaning.
Rethink Your Office Design and Decor
A potential, more long-term approach to reducing office spills and stains is to rethink your office design and decor.
For example, with more office employees switching to remote working, you might not need as many desks. You could turn this unused office space into a designated lunch area. Here, lino or tiles on the floor instead of carpeting would make office cleaning a lot easier.
Installing new carpets throughout the office could also help. The best carpets for offices are tough and stain-resistant. But if the office carpet has been there longer than anyone working there, there's only so many spills it can take before it starts to look past its best.
Choosing a colour that hides common stains can help keep the carpet looking fresher for longer. As for the most suitable carpet material, tufted carpets are easy to install, budget-friendly, and tough. Carpet tiles are also a good option as you can remove individual tiles if they become stained or damaged.
Hire a Professional Cleaning Service
We're sure that no one knows how to keep your office clean better than your in-house crew or current contractors. But they only have a limited amount of time to cover the basics. This means they're unlike to be able to devote too much attention to extra tasks like spot-cleaning carpet stains.
Hiring a professional cleaning service can provide extra support for your regular cleaners. These professionals have the training to leave your workspace spotless every time. And, their superior cleaning equipment elevates the quality of the results they provide.
Reduce Spills and Stains With These Office Cleaning Tips
As these office cleaning tips show, learning how to keep your office clean is very much a collaborative effort.
But, with a combination of incentives, new protocols, and A Cleaning Service to help you out, you can all look forward to spending time in a clean and comfortable working environment.
For more information on our commercial cleaning services, feel free to contact us today!