There are a number of well-rehearsed benefits to businesses of having clean and tidy work spaces. But there is another aspect of keeping an office clean and organised that you may not have considered and that is the amount of time your professional cleaning services have to spend at your premises and whether this adds to the costs.
Plainly for those businesses, such as workshops, that involve the use of a variety of tools and parts there are both health and safety and organisational benefits from having storage racks, boxes and other systems so that everyone knows where to find what they are looking for.
To an extent the same applies to office spaces. One colleague with a messy desk working in a shared, open plan space with tidier colleagues may cause friction. There is also the argument that tidiness improves productivity and improves morale.
Of course, the most obvious business benefit for those offices regularly visited by clients and customers is that a tidy, clean working area presents a professional and organised image that will give visitors confidence in the business.
While you may have stipulated in the contract you agreed with your cleaning services that there are certain things they must not do – such as tidying paperwork on desks because the user might have organised it so that it is easy to find when they return – there is no doubt that if the cleaners have to wade through clutter, around desks, in walkways, kitchen areas and the like, it is going to take them longer to do the job properly.
So how do you get employees to be a bit more methodical and tidier especially with material that you do not expect the professional cleaners to touch?
Nobody likes routine household chores and the likelihood is that they do not come to the office expecting to have to do anything remotely similar – the “I’m not paid to do that” syndrome.
There are some incentives that you can use.
One is to designate a thorough cleaning day a couple of times a year, when you announce that anything that has been left unused or uncared for for a long period, in the kitchen, in cupboards or storage areas for example, will be got rid of unless it is claimed by someone.
You could also have an award system – say a monthly gold star – for outstanding examples of order and tidiness.
Make sure easy to use cleaning materials such as wipes, washing up liquid, paper towels are available and easy to find.
In desperation you could even name and shame the worst culprits!