We spend at least forty hours per week in an office, for a large chunk of our lives. Being in contact every day with a lot of people, in a confined space, means you will get in contact with germs – and lots of them. Even if the team you work with is on the smaller side, the infection risk is rather high. For this reason, maintaining a high level of office hygiene is paramount for the protection of your health, and the people in your vicinity. The common cold, or the flue, spread like wildfire in offices, and both the employees and the managers need to do everything they can to keep the place sanitized.
Furthermore, this is not just a matter of health, but of decorum and how you present yourself. A high-level potential client may just come in one day and see a messy office. What do you think – will this person want to do business with a company that can’t even maintain basic hygiene standards. Or look at it in another way. Say you want to recruit the crème of the crop in your area. How will they feel about working in the middle of a pigsty for years on end? And of course, the employees that you have will also definitely not appreciate a messy office.
Set up some reminders
It’s a sad fact that some employees just don’t care about keeping a clean office. Or, rather, they do care, they just don’t want to put in the work. Of course, we are not saying your people should vacuum the place and clean the windows. What we are saying, however, is that everybody needs to be aware of some rules and common decency when working with other people. Post some signs around the office, as reminders for people to throw away the trash, wash the dishes they used in the rec room… Place a poster with the basic rules drawn out in a conspicuous place, to serve as a simple reminder, just in case.
Get professional assistance
Sometimes you just need a little help. Of course, every office should have a cleaning lady who comes by on a regular basis to spruce things up. However, sometimes you may want to get specialists. Hiring the services of a professional company, like the Premium Cleaning Group, will definitely come in handy. Business like these often does a much more thorough job of cleaning your office up. Furthermore, they either use, sell, or rent out cleaning equipment and supplies that speed up the clean-up process. While these kinds of services may end up being pricier than regular maids, they are much more effective, and won’t actually need to come by as often.
Keep your desk clean
You’d be shocked at how much bacteria there is on an average work desk in any given office. Still, people eat there, have their coffee, chat with their co-workers… The bacteria accumulate over time, and it can become an issue, especially in the summer months. A good rule of thumb is always having a pack of wet wipes nearby, so you can wipe your keyboard and desk down after work.
If you are in any kind of leadership position, you need to advocate responsibility and, of course, learn how to lead by example. What’s the point of you harping on about keeping the office clean and tidy when you yourself don’t actually adhere to the rules. It sets a horrible example for your subordinates, and a little thing like that can blossom into almost full-blown resentment. It may seem petty, but it’s actually a very clear sign of hypocrisy that, trust us, people will notice.
Cleanliness is a team effort
Understand that keeping the place clean and hygienic clean is a team effort. So even if there is one egregious example of an employee being a bit messier than the others, you still shouldn’t put all the blame on this individual. Create a culture of cleanliness, make it something your company is proud of.
Throwing away the trash regularly and washing the dishes in the rec room is all fine and dandy, but what people often forget are the tiles and the carpets. You may pay the cleaning lady to vacuum up a little and to dust the place, but you should also deep clean the carpets from time to time. Tiles can get greasy pretty quickly and will soon lose their sheen if you don’t take care of them properly.
Maintaining high hygiene standards in a business building is important not just as a way to keep people from getting sick, but it’s also a big factor that builds towards your company’s image. So try to lead by example and to work towards this goal with your people as a team. Be as thorough as possible, get assistance if you have to, and display some reminders on what actually constitutes good hygienic practices for an office. Remember – cleanliness is next to godliness.
By Audrey Taylor
who worked in a couple of marketing agencies across Australia and residing in Adelaide.