When a group of people shares an office, it’s important to work together to keep it clean, as well. Each person is usually expected to handle their own clutter and try to leave shared spaces as clean as they were found. But what about the corners, the scrubbing, and the types of cleaning that accumulate between dozens of lunch-preparations and cups of tea, not just one at a time.
How do you keep one person (often the most finnicky or responsible) from becoming the only person who cleans the break room? How do you keep an office of easy-going co-workers clean when no one empties their bins or wipes down the counter? Often, the best solution is to make clean up not just a duty, but a part of your company culture.
Defining Your Company Culture
Your company culture is a combination of your official policies and your team’s behaviour toward the work, each other, and the shared space. Some company cultures are serious, carefully respectful in every interaction.. Some company cultures are jovial with desk-plant pranks and jokes on the break room whiteboard every week. But every office culture works out clean-up for themselves, for better or worse.
If your office is experiencing clean-up conflict or just not keeping up with the daily cleaning tasks, you can use these techniques to help build clean-up as a more consistent and balanced part of your company culture.
1) A Policy of Personal Mess
Personal mess is the first and most important company culture for clean-up. When people consistently clean up after their own activities, it significantly reduces the total mess created by the team. If each person wipes up lunch prep spills, rinses their dishes, and throws away their trash, mess won’t build up and co-workers won’t get annoyed encountering another’s mess when it’s their turn to take lunch.
Start a policy of personal mess, encouraging and enforcing simple acts of cleaning up after one’s self. Provide paper towels, wipes, and spray cleaner, dish soap, and sponges to make it easier for each person to keep clean. Provide personal waste bins and a central bin to toss them in, then make regular observations as everyone gets used to self-regulated personal cleaning.
2) Design a Chore Roster
For cleaning that isn’t just personal mess, design a roster. Is one person running the dishwasher every day or sweeping up after the shift? Don’t let the most responsible person or those who stay the latest take on all the extra cleaning work. Build a roster so your team can share these tasks more fairly.
A simple cleaning roster will ensure a different person sweeps up, wipes the counter, and starts the dishwasher each day. However, many office workers may balk at the idea of doing deeper office cleaning, not related to personal and daily mess.
3) Set Aside Work Time for Cleaning
You can’t expect your team to put in more than a minute or two of extra cleaning off the clock. This is part of the job, even when everyone is doing their part. If you expect your staff to build a culture of deeper or more thorough office cleaning, it’s important to set aside some work time.
You might spend the last hour on Friday cleaning up, since everyone is distracted for the weekend anyway. Use that last hour productively instead of just idly swapping weekend plans. Then let your team leave early if they clean quickly and well. With the right team, you might create a fun race-to-the-finish and achieve a cleaner office at the same time.
4) Give Cleaning Awards for Extra Effort
Don’t forget to give rewards. Any time you want to change your company culture, reward your team when they do it right. If one person’s turn on the roster always leads to a sparkling office the next day, recognise them. Reward the cleanest desk, and reward entire teams that work together to keep a cleaner office. A little celebration goes a long way in encouraging new behaviours.
5) Encourage Working With the Cleaning Staff
Lastly, encourage your team to work with the cleaning staff. There are some tasks you just can’t ask office staff to do. Cleaning bathrooms, deep vacuuming, carpet washing, floor polishing, and getting down into the gritty corners on hands and knees are just a few cleaning tasks that you can’t ask someone to do in a few spare minutes while wearing nice office clothes.
But many teams feel great about working with their cleaning staff. Build a warm and contentious company culture of keeping the office clean during the week, then making work a little easier for the cleaning staff by picking up, placing bins on desks, and tidying personal items into drawers and organisers.
When everyone works together, your office can stay pristine with what feels like very little effort. It’s easy to build clean-up into your office’s company culture with the right approach and a cleaning parter to take care of what can’t be done in a silk blouse or suit pants. Here at Regional Services, we provide expert level cleaning and office maintenance tasks to businesses all over the London area. Contact us today to build your office cleaning solution.