It’s no secret, keeping your office clean and tidy can be just as difficult as any other aspect of your work. Busy working days mean the last thing on anyone’s mind is clearing up after themselves, let alone others.
Communal spaces, such as kitchens and washrooms are notorious for gathering mess and dirt and can quickly lead to an unpleasant office environment. The problem with these areas is everyone loves playing the blame game and few will own up to their own mess.
Unfortunately, if this is allowed to continue in your office, it doesn’t just create an unsightly mess, it can also impact employee’s health and safety while posing a terrible image of your company to any visitors. We don’t want to lose potential clients due to our office space, do we?
You should always make every effort to impress clients with your workspace.
At the same time, there are only so many emails and polite notices we can give to our workforce and nobody wants to be that person harassing the team constantly, especially when you don’t want to compromise the motivation of their daily workload.
That’s why we have created 5 quick hacks for how to clean an office, with the help of everyone pitching in and doing their bit. Most importantly, these techniques make cleaning as fun as possible and can really drive others to follow your lead and ensure the clean office environment you all want, need and deserve.
1. Cleaning Habits Should Be Rewarded
Good manners and etiquette are often rewarded at schools and can be an incredibly effective method of training those brains to be conscious, so why should it be any different at work?
We are creatures of habit and when those habits are good, they should be acknowledged. Have you noticed a staff member who consistently empties the dishwasher or another who is always taking the recycling out?
Let them know you appreciate it, this could be anything from extended lunch breaks, leaving early on a Friday or a coffee from the canteen. Perhaps it will settle the argument over who is entitled to the last slice of cake in the kitchen?
Even just a ‘thank you’ to them in front of other staff members. Humans thrive on praise and it will encourage them to keep up the good work.
Not only will those who already keep a clean space continue, but others will also quickly follow suit when they realise they are missing out on any rewards and it may make them realise they need to help out a bit more.
2. Create Mission Statements
Mission statements are brilliant for all aspects of our lives we want to improve on, both personal and professional.
Having employees create personal mission statements for their own workspace and team statements for communal areas.
You can ask staff to answer why a clean office is important to them personally and why it is important. What will they continue to do and how will they change to ensure this is followed and what they commit to.
You could collate all these answers and create an overall mission statement with the most creative and effective answers to keep everybody inspired.
3. Make It A Competition
We’re all competitive at heart and even if we don’t show it, we all wish we could be winners. Why not hold competitions to see who has the cleanest workstation?
You could grant extra points for creativity, maybe somebody has a particularly lovely selection of house plants and stationary on their desk that always brightens everyone’s day.
This can flow out into communal areas, who replaced the hand towels most often? Reward them!
Prizes don’t have to be excessive, you could even do a light-hearted name-and-shame to those with the most cluttered and dirty desk areas with a booby prize. It highlights the issue they need to rectify in a humorous way.
Perhaps you could reward staff members as a group, instead of that Friday afternoon pub drinks you may previously had, organise a cleaning party.
While this may seem like a chore, turning those speakers up, providing drinks and snacks and everybody getting stuck in together to wipe down your office will quickly turn something tedious into something fun.
4. Get Messy
This may sound counterproductive but keep an open mind. Allocate a day where staff can get rid of mess. Old papers, folders, broken pens, mouldy muds, out of date food, really anything that should be thrown out can be included.
Use a communal area where everyone can throw this into, it’s a great chance to make a huge mess before everything is cleared out, a perfect opportunity for a spring clean.
It’s much easier to assess your own workstation if others around you are doing the same and eyes won’t be clouded with the surrounding mess.
You can even create fun games to go alongside it. Who doesn’t find shredding bucket loads of paper satisfying, turn it into a race between colleagues!
5. Just Make It Easy
It may sound simple but making it easy for staff members to keep things clean is the most key element.
Everyone will be reluctant to spruce the place up if cleaning supplies aren’t easy to get hold of. Make sure you regularly stock up on items and keep them in an easily accessible place.
While you may have purchased the most amazing materials, if they are too much effort to use, it’s unlikely anyone will touch them
Commercial vacuum cleaners work wonders but will anyone really take the time to heave it around the office every day? Buy a cordless vacuum, they may not be the best for a deep clean but are much easier to use for a quick spot clean when mess has been made.
While disinfectant works wonders on so many surfaces, who can really be bothered to mix this, wipe down surfaces, rinse and then dry?
Antibacterial wipes are quick, easy and perfect for daily use.
By getting everybody involved to get the office clean as quickly and easily as possible, while injecting a bit of fun and humour into the task, you should start to see a change in attitudes.
Nothing changes overnight but over time you should start to see a change in your office and be able to take pride in the workspace you have created together.