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.
Vinegar is one of the most versatile natural cleaning substances; there is almost no place in your home or office where this pungent liquid doesn’t work miracles!
If you are already using vinegar to sanitize your home, you must have noticed its advantages: it’s cheap, natural, and doesn’t release harmful substances in the environment. Although most offices are kept clean by using the services of commercial cleaning companies, this doesn’t mean that your workplace and natural cleaning products are not compatible. Maybe you want to do your best to keep your office clean or you own a small business and you do the cleaning by yourself. Here are some ideas for using vinegar at your office:
1. Freshen up the refrigerator
The refrigerator is the most common place that gets overlooked whenever someone decides to clean the kitchen; keeping different foods inside it for weeks causes a foul odor that you can hardly get rid of. The easiest way to solve the problem is to clean the refrigerator with a solution of equal parts water and white distilled vinegar.
2. Clean the Coffee Maker
A usual problem with coffee makers is the mineral deposits caused by hard water. You can expand the lifespan of your coffee maker by cleaning it regularly with vinegar – fill the reservoir with white distilled vinegar and run it through a brewing cycle. Don’t forget to rinse with water in order to remove the vinegar odor.
3. Sanitize the Microwave Oven
If the microwave oven at your office is a mess, don’t worry – you can solve the problem in just 5 minutes. Prepare a solution of equal parts water and vinegar, and place it in the microwave on high. The steam will loosen the dirt and make it easier to clean afterwards. This will also help eliminating unpleasant smells.
4. Clean Scissors
The scissors at your office are sticky? Cleaning their blades with soap and water can rust the metal, so use a cloth dipped in white vinegar instead.
5. Remove Build-up From Faucets
Faucet areas covered in grime or mineral deposits can be cleaned with a mixture of four parts vinegar and one part salt. Use it as a scrub and the faucets will look shiny and clean again.
6. Get Rid of Persistent Odours
Room odors that are hard to eliminate will disappear once you remove the cause, but you can deodorize the area faster if you also place a bowl of vinegar overnight and let it rest until you come back to work the next day.
7. Clean Your Coffee Mug
If you don’t wash your coffee mug properly after each use, coffee and tea residues will build up and cause stains. These stubborn stains can be removed with a mixture of vinegar and salt instead of using aggressive cleaning substances.
8. Remove Water Marks From Wood
The stubborn rings that appear when you place wet glasses on wood furniture will disappear by rubbing them with a mixture of vinegar and olive oil. In the end, polish the surface for best results.
9. Deodorize The Kichen Drain
You can get rid of that bad smell coming from the kitchen drain by pouring in a cup of white distilled vinegar once a week. Let it stand for 30 minutes and flush with cold water.
10. Clean Windows
Focused on keeping chemicals out of your home? If so, you may be having a hard time keeping all the surfaces clean. The market does feature various environment-friendly detergents but still, opting for cheap and green will require some effort.
Wouldn’t it be nice to use everyday items and products in your pantry for cleaning purposes? We’re glad you asked! So many surprising things have cleaning qualities. Here are some interesting products designed for other uses that you can harness in the cleaning process.
That’s the perfect wood polish that you can use instead of waxes and other synthetics. Olive oil is natural and you don’t need the extra-virgin variety to clean wooden floors and furniture.
It’s also possible to get rid of stains on wooden surfaces by using a mixture of olive oil and salt. Use a soft piece of fabric to gently rub the mixture into the wooden surface that’s been stained or partially damaged. Leave it on for a few minutes, wipe the surface clean and buff it. You’ll be surprised by the outcome.
You’ll be surprised by the number of things you can clean with Coke.
Oil stains can easily be dissolved if you pour a bit of Coke on top and let it do its magic. Coke is also an excellent rust remover that you can use in the shed or when doing a thorough household cleaning.
To shine the tile grout, pour a bit of Coke on top and scrub gently. For best results, use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Mop with clean water and your tile floors will regain their original shine.
Once again, you don’t need the expensive variety to clean your home. Vodka, just like Coke, has a number of practical uses and here are some of the best.
Vodka will shine old fixtures, even if they’re covered in lime scale. It’s equally suitable for chrome, porcelain and even glass fixtures. Just soak a cotton cloth with vodka and rub the fixtures gently.
You can incorporate vodka in laundry washing, as well. Vodka has deodorizing properties and it will keep your clothes smelling great for a much longer period of time (reducing the number of laundry days, woohoo!).
On top of its cleaning uses, vodka can also repel insects, make your hair shiny and treat poison ivy rashes. Just stock on a few bottles and enjoy the benefits.
Don’t limit yourself solely to foods – a few kitchen essentials can also help you clean your home. Coffee filters are great, especially when it comes to making sure that screens are stain and fingerprint-free.
A clean coffee filter is ideal for gentle polishing. It removes stains and dust and it also reduces the static electricity, reducing the annoying habit of screens to attract even more dust.
Salt has a number of uses. As we’ve already pointed out, it’s ideal for restoring old wood. In addition, salt is perfect for unclogging drains and toilets because of its mildly corrosive characteristics.
Is there some sticky residue on your iron? Rub a bit of salt on the cold metal surface and even old, stubborn messes will be removed effortlessly.
If you don’t find these uses enough, you can use salt to clean brass and copper, deodorize the fridge, get rid of rust, absorb oily stains, brighten laundry colors and even repair damaged walls! Mixing equal amounts of salt, cornstarch and water will give you the ideal substance for dealing with holes and cracks.
To deodorize the fridge, you can use coffee instead of salt. Just put a small plate of freshly ground coffee inside a stinky refrigerator. Within hours, you’ll have a fridge that’s completely neutral in odour.
If you have a fireplace, you know that cleaning can get messy. Wait for the embers to get completely cool before you start cleaning. Sprinkle used coffee grounds inside the fireplace. Let them sit for 10 to 15 minutes and scoop out the mess. You’ll find the cleaning process to be quite simpler.
Coffee is also great for scrubbing all kinds of surfaces (your skin included, it can be used to make a natural exfoliant). It’s slightly acidic and abrasive (without being very harsh). You can get rid of stains without scratching the surfaces – one of the most common problems with the harsher commercial scrubs.
These are just some of the things you can repurpose and use for cleaning. You’re probably already familiar with the characteristics of vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice as cleaning essentials. Adding the items mentioned in this article to your cleaning arsenal will boost your abilities to deal with just about every stain and household mess.
By Cliff Derksen
Owner of First Impressions Janitorial