Working with and managing employees is arguably the most difficult part of business. When employees have behaviors and habits at the core of who they are as individuals, changing those patterns can be difficult. How do we change those deep seeded habits around tidiness? How do we get employees to keep a clean work area? Should the role of maintenance and cleaning be handled exclusively by commercial cleaning services?

The Importance of a Clean Office

Just as anything in life, being proactive is the most ideal. Creating a culture or setting an expectation for cleanliness is the best first step- prevention is the key. However, we may be past this point and need strategies to course correct, for whatever reason, so let’s start by looking at why we want a clean office.

Productivity. Organizational tools, when done effectively, create a more productive work staff. Unfortunately, many companies may take a cookie cutter approach to organization, which isn’t in the best interest of staff. Employees must be able to organize with tools that best fit them in order for it to be successful.

Professionalism. A neat workspace shows professionalism. This is particularly true in reception areas or inventory space. Parts that are disorganized and messy communicate unprofessionalism to clients. Dirty and/or cluttered front desk and waiting areas tell clients that other areas may be unsanitary or uncared for, which is an impression most businesses don’t want.

Health. Reducing the spread of bacteria and viruses that can cause sickness is important. We all bring in bacteria, dirt and grime on our shoes and hands when we come into the workplace. Commercial cleaning services can reduce germs on surfaces, but employees should also be mitigating risk.

Wellbeing. Clutter can have a negative effect on our wellbeing. It can actually cause us to feel overwhelmed and stuck. Lack of organization can slow productivity as the employee can become distracted by the clutter or not be able to find the important things they need to do their job well.

“Whether it be your closet or office desk, excess things in your surroundings can have a negative impact on your ability to focus and process information.” Source: How Clutter Effects Your Brain

Tips to Get Employees to Keep a Clean Work Area

Adopt a Clean Desk Policy

This is important for a few reasons. First, by having employees clear their desks every day before heading home, commercial cleaning services staff can better sanitize the desk. Typically janitorial staff will wipe/dust the surface of the desk, but if they can’t see it, they can’t and won’t.

Second, it is good for business. With today’s privacy concerns, leaving documents out can become a compliance or security risk. Additionally, when the employee comes to work in the morning, they can have a fresh start, feeling less overwhelmed by having a clean desk.

Set a Standard

Make it easy for staff to understand what the standard and expectation is. Use visual as well as written instructions for how a clean work area is defined. Take before and after pictures, or post visual representations of how you want the space organized. For some, this is a tape or marker outline of where specific tools or equipment may be returned. For others, it is a checklist that employees must complete before ending for the day.

Create Accountability

Whenever new processes are introduced, it takes time for them to integrate and become a habit. The best way to create the habit is through accountability. Schedule time for employee feedback where you can learn from the employee what is working and what isn’t. Hold the employee accountable to the standards set and offer the disciplinary action or reward (depending on your policy).

Final Thought:

Should the role of maintenance and cleaning be handled exclusively by commercial cleaning services?

Cleanliness is a job responsibility of everyone. Commercial cleaning services should be responsible for sanitation such as trash removal, bathroom sanitation and kitchen/breakroom cleaning. If an employee keeps a cluttered desk, your janitorial staff can’t keep it clean and sanitized. Employees who show care by keeping their work areas clean are demonstrating professionalism and respect, traits of valuable employee.

Denver based AAA Building Maintenance uses highly trained employees and chemicals specifically formulated for the specialized task at hand. Whether temporary construction cleaning, ongoing commercial cleaning services, or maintenance support, we are here to help businesses obtain and maintain a level of cleanliness they desire. Call us today to schedule your free building audit and quote for your specific needs at 303-716-2802.

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