A typical workday commonly takes around eight hours. Employees spend most of their time seated in front of their desks, while breaks are spent in the pantry, coffee nook, break rooms, or lobby. Some offices have other common areas, such as conference rooms, kitchens, restrooms, and locker rooms.
Office workers regularly share their workspaces with others. Depending on the foot traffic in each area, these spaces can quickly accumulate dirt, bacteria, and other pollutants, which can be hazardous to health. To prevent this scenario, business owners must schedule regular office cleaning.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration or OSHA outlined sanitation guidelines under section 1910 of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards for permanent places of employment. This section describes how to keep workspaces clean and free of health hazards, including regular cleaning and housekeeping.
Any liability for lack of cleanliness and sanitation in a workspace on the employer’s part could entail legal repercussions. Therefore, business owners must maintain a safe, clean, and healthy work environment for everyone.
While a clean workspace is essential, it may be challenging to achieve and maintain, primarily if you operate 24/7. For one, sending cleaners to the work area may disrupt or distract employees. Furthermore, cleaning workspaces may cause discomfort or inconvenience to team members.
If you’re wondering how you can effectively devise a plan for an office cleaning on a typical workday filled with employees, read on for some tips you’ll find helpful.
- Hire a reputable cleaning company
“Cleaning workspaces require expertise, experience, and appropriate equipment,” says Guy Peters, owner of a Denver-based cleaning business. While it may seem straightforward, cleaning office equipment, appliances, and spacious rooms can be challenging without the right people and tools.
Hence, it’s wise to hire a reputable cleaning company to do the job efficiently. Acquiring the best cleaning services for your workspace is essential to optimize the time and resources you’ll dedicate to this purpose.
Doing so will also make it easier for you to follow a fixed cleaning schedule. You can consult with a company that offers short- and long-term cleaning contracts, so you can schedule an appointment each time you require services.
- Inform your team members of the office cleaning schedule
You’ll need everyone’s cooperation when it’s time for general office cleaning. To get everyone on board, keep your team members informed of the cleaning schedule, including the date, time, and specific spaces.
Giving them a heads-up will help your team plan their workday accordingly and prepare what they need to continue working comfortably and efficiently while their workspaces are being cleaned.
For instance, you may advise everyone days prior if the office pantry will become temporarily unavailable due to scheduled professional cleaning. It will give staff enough time to collect any food items they’ve stored in the refrigerator or shelves, while those who use the area to take their breaks may skip the brown bag until the pantry can be safely used again.
You can also include information about any noise they can anticipate while cleaners work or details about chemical products used for cleaning that emit strong odors. This way, team members who’d prefer to work in a different location to avoid distraction or discomfort can temporarily vacate their workspace and find an area where they can resume work undisturbed.
- Schedule work activities accordingly
According to Dr. Charles Gerba, a virology professor at the University of Arizona, the average work desk can have around 800 bacteria per square inch. These bacteria can easily contaminate food and drinks or be absorbed by the skin and cause illnesses. Thus, it’s vital to regularly clean and sanitize work desks and give them a deep cleaning as needed.
While much of the cleanup work would be focused on the common areas in the office, you’ll also have to thoroughly clean work desks, pedestals, seats, file cabinets, and keyboards. Because of this, you may have to adjust work schedules or set up a temporary workroom your team members can use while their desks are being cleaned.
Aside from this, you’ll need to make adjustments if you ever need to accommodate guests or have client meetings on-site. You can schedule appointments before or after your office cleaning or prepare a room where guests can stay without disrupting cleaning activities.
Keeping work desks clean is a responsibility shared by both team members and business owners. So, remind your employees to keep their desks organized and clean each day.
- Prioritize common areas
Dedicated spaces for meetings, dining, and breaks are prone to dirt and bacteria since they’re frequently used. Because of this, you’ll need to put them in high priority for professional cleaning.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, around 48 million suffer from foodborne illness each year. If you have a pantry, a break room, a coffee nook, or a mini-kitchen in your office, you’ll need to ensure that these spaces are thoroughly cleaned.
Restrooms also require deep cleaning to prevent stains, water damage, foul odor, and bacterial contamination. Locker rooms and sleeping quarters harbor dust, germs, and mites, so they should be given extra attention as well.
Many cleaning companies offer complete packages for offices. If you have requirements other than what’s commonly included in cleaning contracts, inquire about additional services a company can provide.
One example of service you might need is window cleaning. This type of service is ideal for offices located in corporate buildings. A cleaning company can clean both the interior and exterior windows.
Like window cleaning, janitorial services is suitable for large offices in corporate buildings. They usually involve all tasks, like mopping stairs and floors and taking out trash.
Some companies even specialize in green cleaning. If sustainability is important to you, then you’ll want to avail of this service. Professional cleaners use eco-friendly products to create a more natural and healthier environment for your staff. Green cleaning services is especially helpful if you have team members who are allergic or sensitive to regular cleaning products.
Getting your office professionally cleaned is possible even on a busy workday with everyone present. With strategic planning and cooperation, you can simultaneously continue your usual operations and maintain a safe and clean work environment.