Spring is a time for revival and it can definitely be used to spruce up the office and boost productivity. Yes, we’re talking about spring cleaning. It’s easy to do and a few simple steps will have a profound impact on the workspace. You don’t have to dig deep – a little bit of de-cluttering will immediately transform the office and make people more motivated to come to work in the morning.
So, what does it take to do effective spring cleaning and enjoy a wonderful workspace? Here are a few simple tips to follow.
Start with Your Desk
Take a good look at everything found on your desk. How many of the things that you find on the surface have you used in the past month? Three months? Past year?
Most of us have a tendency to simply pile things on top of each other instead of dealing with clutter right away. This is particularly true for items that we’re not certain about. Chances are that they’ll potentially be handy again in the future. Chances are that you’ve used the particular item once and you wonder whether you’re going to need it (ever) again.
If you haven’t used it in the past week or month, throw it away or submit the item for recycling. Dig deep in the pile. You’ll probably come across items that you’ve long forgotten about. A little bit of work space de-cluttering will make your desk much more organized and functional.
Make the Office Paperless
It’s about time to reduce the amount of paper being used in the office.
Going digital is essential for reducing the waste of paper in the typical office. Do a thorough paper purge and recycle all of the documents and sheets that are no longer required or being used. It may be impossible for you to go completely paperless but the time is just right to consider the ways in which you can reduce the use of sheets.
Many old contracts can be scanned and stored in a digital format. The paper can then be recycled. Apart from being good for the environment, this decision will open up a lot of space in the office.
Clean and Hi-Tech
What’s the one piece that you use the most in the office? If your answer is “the keyboard,” you should probably think about the last time you gave it a thorough cleaning.
The office computer keyboard harbors numerous bacteria and it can easily get clogged with dust, food particles, lint and anything else that’s flying in the air. Disconnect (if you’re not using a wireless keyboard) and get ready to find tons of treasures stuck underneath the keys.
A can of compressed air is all that you’ll need to remove the overwhelming majority of particles stuck in your keyboard. Wipe the surface, as well. If you see the remains of an old coffee spill on the edge of the keyboard, you may want to wipe it with a damp cloth. Make sure that the keyboard is completely dry before plugging it back in.
The same applies your computer screen and the PC itself. Wipe the dust and if you don’t know how to check the computer for dust, you may want to call the IT support team for a bit of assistance.
Improve Air Quality
A few plants will contribute to a nicer atmosphere in the office and they can also be used to improve indoor air quality. NASA researchers have found out that various common houseplants can filter many of the common volatile organic compounds, as well as other impurities found in the urban air. This is the main reason why such plants are taken on space stations to clean the air.
Some of the plants that will make the office cleaner and the air fresher include aloe vera (the fact that it’s incredibly easy to grow and it requires little water is an added bonus), spider plant, snake plant, English ivy, fern, eucalyptus, chrysanthemums, peace lilies and ficus.
Get Rid of Digital Clutter, as Well
Being organized impacts every aspect of doing your job. Desktop clutter is very important to tackle. The same applies to digital clutter.
Take a look at your desktop. How many files and shortcuts do you see there? How many of those do you use? The rules for cleaning digital clutter are the same as the ones for organizing your desk – if you haven’t used it recently, let it go.
A hard drive can be used to save a digital copy of important older documents and files. Everything else that’s not important (drafts, plans and proposals that you no longer need, images and even software that isn’t being used anymore) has to go.
Cleaner and more functional offices don’t require major changes. Starting small and having the right cleaning/organization team can lead to major improvements. It’s all about using the space that you have available in the best possible way. Spring is the perfect time to transform offices. Take a day or two and get everybody involved. The results will be observable almost immediately.
Using dehumidifiers in offices and industrial facilities is very important but for different reasons. In one of the cases, a dehumidifier can have a profound impact on the health and wellbeing of employees. In the other instance, it’s required to make sure that materials, supplies and products are kept in the best possible condition.
Moisture can be detrimental and it will impact the activities of companies that represent numerous industries. The investment in dehumidifying technology isn’t that big and the benefits could be numerous.
The Importance of Controlling Humidity in Commercial/Industrial Buildings
Dehumidifiers are needed in numerous commercial buildings – from schools to hospital and restaurants. Industrial facilities that are used to hold inventory or to carry out production processes require specific atmospheric conditions, as well.
As already mentioned, humidity control creates a healthy environment by reducing the spread of air-borne bacteria and helping allergy sufferers breathe easily. Mildew and mold in hotels and industrial facilities can leave a bad impression on customers or render production unusable altogether. You probably already have a pretty good idea about humidity control and the various implications that it has for businesses.
Humidity control can reduce operational costs and decrease the need for facility maintenance. Product loss and downtime can both be brought down significantly, if a company decides to invest in effective humidity control and buying the equipment that will ensure the optimal atmospheric conditions. This is particularly true for facilities that can be impacted by mildew and places that work with metal (where corrosion is a significant threat).
There are numerous types of dehumidification options for commercial facilities:
The Benefits of Using Dehumidifiers in Offices and Shared Work Spaces
Commercial systems that remove moisture from the air can help owners of industrial facilities optimize numerous processes and save thousands of dollars. But dehumidifiers can be used in other companies, as well. The purchase of a basic dehumidifier for an office will produce a range of wonderful benefits. Some of the most important advantages include:
Signs You Need a Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers are needed in warmer clients and by companies operating in certain conditions. You’ll need to get a dehumidifier for the office or your commercial facility in the case of:
Creating the best work and production conditions will require conscious effort and investment in the right equipment. Depending on your business and the type of facility, the purchase of a dehumidifier could be somewhat expensive. Such equipment, however, can help you save a lot of money in the long run. Take some time to assess the conditions and if necessary, start looking for the most adequate dehumidification technology
Every business, regardless of size and industry, has only seconds to impress clients and business partners. This is why the appearance of the lobby and the reception area matter.
The reception is the first thing that people see when coming for a meeting or a purchase. The cleanliness, the furniture and even the demeanor of the receptionist are all so important. If you have a lobby or a waiting area, you’ll have to think about their appearance, as well.
Don’t know whether your reception area is up to par? Worry not, we’re here to help!
You don’t have to buy or create something incredibly innovative and unexpected in order to make the reception great. Getting design inspiration from other companies that have the perfect reception or lobby can help you create the ambiance that your clients will love.
A reception area could be minimalist, featuring warm natural materials like wood, modernistic or even rustic. Just choose the style that will contribute to enhancing the corporate image you’d like to enforce.
Branding, Branding, Branding
Whether your business is just getting established or you’ve been around for decades, you should use every opportunity to make your brand identity more recognizable.
Branded furniture is fun and cool. You can also feature decorative elements on the wall that highlight the company’s logo. Keep the interior design in the same color scheme as your marketing materials (like your logo and your company website). Such stylistic choices create consistency and help set your identity apart.
Keep it Clean and Cozy
The reception area, lobby or waiting room can all be ranked as high traffic areas. There will be dozens of people passing through these parts of the office on a daily basis. As a result, your lobby can quickly get dirty.
It will get particularly bad on rainy and snowy days.
Make sure that the lobby is cleaned thoroughly at least once per day. If it’s raining outside, you’ll probably have to get the floor cleaned a couple of times.
The simple placement of welcome mats in front of the entryway can reduce the amount of mud and moisture that guests bring inside. Another simple trick that will enable you to keep the lobby clean involves a minimalist design. Having fewer accessories and decorations means having fewer items to wipe from dust.
A bit of greenery in the waiting areas will quickly improve the atmosphere.
Plants are particularly great for minimalist receptions and the waiting areas that are decorated in neutral colors (white, black, grey and beige). They will provide a natural contrast and a couple of interest points.
Multimedia in the Lobby
If you want to make your reception area even more innovative, you’ll definitely benefit from multimedia presentations. Relax, they’re very easy to do.
All you need is a flat screen TV. Record videos of your employees speaking about their job and why they love it. Alternatively, you can create slideshows that present work process pictures, diagrams and other information visitors could potentially find interesting.
While waiting for a meeting, visitors have nothing to do. This means you have a captive audience. Why not acquaint this audience with your business? The investment in such multimedia presentations is minimal and they can be quite impressive.
Have Beverages Available
Even if they don’t have to wait a lot for a meeting or to make a purchase, people love getting something extra. This something extra could come in the form of a beverage or even candies.
Water and tea don’t cost a lot but they’ll keep visitors refreshed. Quite often, these little signs of attention are the ones that matter the most.
In many offices, the reception turns sooner or later into a storage area. This is a big no-no, even if you’re pressed for space. If things tend to accumulate in areas like the lobby, you’ll have to get in the habit of periodical de-cluttering.
Such activities can happen once per month. Look for boxes and office supplies that don’t belong in the reception area. Throw out old magazines and promotional materials, replace those with fresh media. Files and documents should also be kept out of sight, creating a nice place for the people that are there to interact with your employees.
A cool reception area doesn’t demand a major investment. You simply have to think about comfort and a good presentation. Keeping the lobby clean at all times will also be sufficient to please visitors and create the right first impression. Next time you enter the office, reconsider the importance and the appearance of the reception. Chances are that you can do at least a couple of things to make it better.
A paper-cluttered desk, lop-sided pile of folders, a hint of mildew,
office supplies in shambles, and a dying plant in the corner….
If most of your work-life would be spent on this disorganized desk, how do you think would it affect you? Since you’re obviously uncomfortable with that, let’s repaint the picture:
A shiny desk, neatly filed folders, a hint of citrus cleanser, pens and
clips tidily encased, and a cheery plant in the corner…
For many office workers, this setup is not only inviting but uplifting as well.
Cleanliness and Happiness
In fact, a research published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin verified that a cluttered environment leads to depression (Saxbe & Repetti, 2009). Moreover, the study’s participants revealed that those with less tidy environments had higher stress levels. If possible, restructure your working environment in such a way that a generous amount of sunlight can stream in as this has been found out to improve moods. Certainly, your environment can significantly influence your emotions.
Cleanliness and Productivity
Aside from its’ emotional impact, having an organized working environment may also increase your performance quality. A desk with crumpled papers and scattered office supplies would undeniably be overwhelming. For those who can relate, you understand the frustrating experience of having to spend ten minutes in merely looking for the right sign pen in a drawer of bric-a-brac.
Interestingly, a hygienic smell such as that of Windex unconsciously motivates reciprocity and charity (Liljenquist, Zhong, & Galinsky, 2010). The study which was published in the Association for Psychological science established that the research participants who were in clean-scented rooms gave back as well as donated significantly higher amounts of money as compared to those who were in unscented rooms. It was explained that the cleanser’s physical scent could have activated individuals’ desire to be morally cleansed.
Happiness and Productivity
Also, happiness is crucial in the workplace since it is linked with productivity. Basically, happier people are 12% more fruitful (Oswald, Proto, & Sgroi, 2014). Undeniably, employees who have more pleasant emotional states engage with a generally positive attitude. The paper, “Happiness and Productivity”, implies that more focus should be given to the subjective well-being of the workforce. It would then be beneficial for companies to invest in office cleaning services.
Inch by Inch
Now that we have established the importance of cleanliness to your emotional state as well as its impact on your professional efficiency, let’s talk about how to accomplish it in your own work space. The initial stages of any process is understandably herculean. The key is to do it inch by inch especially if your hectic work schedule seems colossal enough. For instance, dedicating 5 minutes of your daily lunch break to tidying up duties can eventually do wonders on your desk. You will be amazed by how 5-minute-clean-ups can transform your atmosphere. You may also be more inspired by workspace organization suggestions in the web. Certain organizers and desk-space setups may give you a clearer picture of your ideal working environment.
By Cliff Derksen
Owner of First Impressions Janitorial
Liljenquist, K., Zhong, C., & Galinsky, A.(2010). The smell of virtue: Clean scents promote reciprocity and charity. Association for Psychological Science. Retrieved from http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2010/02/02/0956797610361426.extract
Oswald, A., Proto, E., & Sgroi, D. (2014). Happiness and productivity. The Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/eproto/workingpapers/happinessproductivity.pdf
Saxbe, D. &Repetti, R. (2009). No place like home: Home tours correlate with daily patterns of mood and cortisol. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 36, 71, DOI: 10.1177/0146167209352864