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The workplace should be a professional and clean environment. It’s important for everyone, including front-line workers, managers and executives, to pitch in and keep the office space tidy, organized and clean. Establish cleaning rules and regulations for your business so your team is aware of how the workplace should look and what they need to do to keep it that way.
Provide Office Cleaning Rules for Employees
In order to ensure all employees are aware that cleanliness is important in the workplace, provide cleaning rules for employees. You can post them in the lunch room or a common area so that they are easily available and accessible to everyone.
Some common office cleaning rules include:
- Keep your work space tidy at all times.
- Remove clutter from your work space and common areas.
- Ensure electrical cords are neatly bundled.
- Make sure no boxes or other items block doorways, hallways and fire exits.
- Remove uneaten food from the office fridge at the end of the day.
- Discard food wrappers in the appropriate bins.
- Use recycling and compost bins as regulated by your municipality.
Help employees to understand office cleanliness etiquette from the beginning. Include your office cleaning policy within your onboarding and training materials for new employees as well so that they have a clear understanding of what is required of them.
Make Cleanliness a Priority
While it’s important to have an office cleaning policy and cleaning rules and regulations, they need to be enforced on a regular basis in order for them to have any impact. Lead by example in your business so that employees know this is important for your organization. Keep your own work space tidy and pick up after others if necessary. While everyone should be responsible for his own mess, it’s important to help out colleagues when they need it.
For example, if you’re eating with employees in the lunch room, offer to take their food wrappers to the garbage when you take your own. Wipe down the counters and the table after everyone’s done eating. If a colleague is drying dishes, stay to help him get the job done faster. This shows employees that you value a clean office environment and are willing to put in the work to maintain it. It will help motivate others to do the same.
Respect the Cleaner’s Timelines and Space
If you’ve hired a professional cleaning service to clean your office space on a regular basis, be sure to respect their schedule. For example, if you’ve arranged with the cleaning service that they will clean the office in the evening, then stay out of their way if you’re still working at that time. They will need space to complete their duties.
Have a clear understanding of the tasks for which your cleaners are responsible. These may include:
- Cleaning bathrooms
- Wiping the fridge compartments
- Vacuuming, sweeping and mopping
- Taking out garbage, recycling and compost
- Sanitizing touch-points such as doorknobs and light switches
In order for the cleaners to complete their tasks, you and your employees may need to remove personal items from your desks or take home leftover food from the fridge so it is easier to clean.
Remember That Cleaning Is an Ongoing Task
Keep in mind that cleaning up once is not enough. It’s an ongoing maintenance task that needs to be completed on a regular basis by all employees. In addition to having an office cleaning policy that is enforced and modeled by example, it’s important to have office cleanliness as an agenda item in meetings relating to business administration and office space.
It’s a good opportunity to discuss whether the current policy is working and if you need to have a conversation with employees to remind them about the importance of picking up after themselves.
Anam Ahmed is a freelance writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. She writes on everything from business to parenting, travel to technology. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.