If you think the restroom is the most likely place at your office where you can pick up some bacteria, you are wrong. Germs thrive in apparently inoffensive spots, and you can easily become vulnerable to the next flu going around at your workplace.
Keep on reading to find out where office germs lurk!
1. Sink Faucet Handles
Various studies have revealed that the dirtiest place in an office is the sink faucet handle in the break room – multiple bacteria crawl on this surface because people are less aware of the risk of germs in the break room. Office workers heat up lunch, make coffee and wash dishes there, and food leftovers are the perfect environment for bacteria to develop.
2. Refrigerator Door Handles
Another place in the break room where plenty of germs have been found is the refrigerator, specifically on the handle. This spot is touched by many hands every day, but it rarely gets cleaned.
3. Office Desks
A large number of people do not regularly wipe down their desks. This creates the perfect environment for germs to thrive. Wiping the surface of your desk weekly is a great way to keep germs at bay - as well as keeping your desk clutter-free!
4. The Telephone
The telephone is another object that you touch every day but might rarely remember to clean. The best way to clean your telephone is with a soft cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol or a solution of water and vinegar every week or so.
5. The Keyboard
Keyboards hold a host of germs for the same reason as the telephone – we touch the keyboard every day, but we rarely clean it. Use a compressed air can to remove dirt and wipe it with a cloth dipped in a water-vinegar solution.
6. Microwave Door Handles
This is another place you are likely to get the next cold from, so remember to clean door handles regularly while waiting for your food to warm in the microwave.
7. Water Fountain Buttons
According to a study performed on almost 5,000 swabs from office buildings housing more than 3,000 workers from various industries, 23% of water fountain buttons had a high level of contamination and carried a high risk of illness transmission.
8. Vending Machine Buttons
Next time you want to quench your hunger with a snack, remember that the study mentioned above found that 21% of vending machine buttons also had a high contamination level.
9. your Computer Mouse
These devices may not attract as much dirt as keyboards, but they still represent a common source of germs and need to be cleaned thoroughly.
Too afraid to go to work now?
Don’t worry – you don’t need to eliminate germs entirely. In fact, our bodies need to come in contact with germs so our immune systems are stimulated and work efficiently against disease. However, keep in mind that some spots at your office carry more germs than others and you should pay special attention to hygiene. Also, remember to wash your hands regularly if you want to reduce the risk of getting flu, colds, or stomach illness.
DeNoon, Daniel J. The 6 Dirtiest Places in Your Office. Retrieved from the WebMD website: http://www.webmd.com/news/20120523/the-6-dirtiest-work-places
Sifferlin, Alexandra. The 6 Dirtiest Places in the Office. Retrieved from the Time website: http://healthland.time.com/2012/05/24/the-6-dirtiest-places-in-the-office/
What’s a carpet pad and does your business need it? If you’ve never heard about the existence of carpet pads in the past, you’re not alone! These, however, can be quite practical. The right pad makes your carpet a lot softer and also increases its lifespan.
Now that we’ve told you about the existence of carpet pads and the fact there are numerous varieties, it’s time to take a look at the essentials. Determining whether to get a carpet pad for the office is far from a challenging task, as long as you take some time to assess the pros and the cons of the purchase.
Let’s Start with the Basics: What’s a Carpet Pad?
The carpet pad is a piece of supportive material that’s usually positioned underneath a carpet designed for home or commercial use. This material is soft, which means it can be cut according to your preferences. A carpet pad can be positioned underneath any type of carpet variety, regardless of the surface area or the shape.
Chances are that when renovating and furnishing the office, you were told that a carpet pad isn’t a necessity. This is far from the truth and people are quickly understanding the range of benefits.
The primary purpose of the padding is to absorb the shock of impact that the carpet would otherwise be subjected to. This is how the selection of the right padding can increase the lifespan of the carpet significantly.
Comfort is an Added Benefit
Making the surface underneath your feet softer is an added benefit of using carpet padding rather than the primary one. The same applies to the noise absorption properties of the pads. This is why they’re often chosen for retail stores and high traffic areas.
Because many people believe that the creation of a softer surface is the primary goal of carpet padding, they commit a number of mistakes when choosing a cushion. Choosing a pad that is too soft will make it bottom out due to a lot of traffic. As a result, it will not provide the necessary support to the carpet.
The other common mistake is buying a very thick carpet pad. Once again – this mistake will keep the pad from doing its main job, which is protecting the carpet against wear and tear. Choosing the most appropriate variety will be essential for enjoying all of the benefits and enjoying commercial carpets for a much longer period of time.
Types of Carpet Pads
Now, let’s move on to a slightly more complicated territory – the diversified world of protective carpet pads.
The market has several main varieties to offer, each one with its specific characteristics:
The Big Question Remains: To Pad or Not to Pad?
If you have expensive carpets in your office or your retail store, you may want to invest a bit more in the purchase of a quality pad. The investment will pay off in a longer lifespan and reduced maintenance expenditure.
As already mentioned, to enjoy the benefits, you have to choose the right cushion variety. Most consultants will help you go through the products, understand the differences and choose the right variety. An appropriate weight and thickness is very important, especially for high traffic areas.
Keep a few things in mind when making a purchase. High density padding is usually best for places that see a lot of traffic. The higher the density, however, the higher the price of the pad is going to be. A more expensive, high density pad will remain in a good condition for approximately 10 years. Needless to say, this is the variety that will simplify office or store maintenance and keep the carpets from premature wear.
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
Whether you are a small business owner or are responsible for maintenance in a large company, there is one vital aspect you will always need to consider: keeping the premises clean and organized.
Cleaning is often one of the last problems one has in mind when running a business, but making sure the place where you work and meet your customers is neat and orderly has a major impact on your company’s success. At the same time, developing a janitorial department may be a too complicated or burdensome task. We understand both the importance and the difficulties of having a clean office, and our recommendation is to outsource your janitorial services. Here are the benefits you’ll enjoy by leaving this to the experts:
Your Staff can Focus on Generating Revenue
It’s common for small businesses to count on their employees to keep things tidy at the workplace, but this is not a good idea if you want people to focus on what matters most. Completing cleaning tasks such as emptying trash cans, cleaning restrooms and dusting is time-consuming and distracts employees from their work. Moreover, this makes them feel that their skills are not important to you and creates resentment among the staff.
You Save Time and Money
By outsourcing janitorial services, not only will you make sure your employees have plenty of time available to concentrate on doing their job, but they will also become more efficient. Calling to the services of an expert also helps you save money because you don’t need to hire an employee just to do the cleaning and support all the associated costs.
You are Portraying the Right Image
Making a first impression about a business is just a matter of seconds – your clients and partners will notice in a blink if desks are cluttered, the floors have not been mopped in weeks, and the air in your office is stale. In such circumstances, the prospects of a business meeting at your office are bleak. On the other hand, a tidy office will foster a positive outcome of your work interactions and make you look more professional.
Productivity depends on a large extent on your state of mind. A messy workplace has a negative impact on your capacity to complete tasks fast and accurately, because your mind is distracted and you often waste time looking for missing folders or office items.
You Get the Best Cleaning Results
A professional janitorial service will always do a better job than someone in your staff – they are experienced, use high-quality equipment and professional cleaning products, and do their work fast. By outsourcing cleaning in your company, you will make sure the kitchen will be a pleasant place to eat, restrooms will be sanitized properly, and office equipment won’t become a health hazard.
Outsourcing janitorial services may be more advantageous and affordable then you think; hiring someone to do the cleaning at your workplace is not an additional expense, but a way to spend money instead of valuable time that your staff can use more effectively. Think in terms of return on investment – you will spend a certain amount of money on this type of service, but benefits will definitely exceed expenses.
By Cliff Derksen
Owner of First Impressions Janitorial
Hidden Benefits of Janitorial Services. Retrieved from the Shine On Group blog: http://www.shineongroup.com/hidden-benefits-janitorial-services/
Meyer, Erin; Clutter is Disruptive: The Benefits of Commercial Cleaning Services. Retrieved from the Gator Cleaning Solutions website: http://www.gatorcleaningsolutions.com/clutter-is-disruptive-the-benefits-of-commercial-cleaning-services/
Did you know that the typical office can be inhabited by more than 500 types of germs? If you’re a lady, you have a reason to feel less concerned. Researchers have found out that the desks and work spaces of men tend to be contaminated by a bigger number of bacteria than the desks of their female coworkers.
You probably know that some germs are a bit scary while others can coexist peacefully with human beings. How about the bacteria found in the office? Let’s take a look at some of the most common varieties.
Sounds scary and it can be problematic. Staphylococcus aureus loves the keyboard and it’s one of the bacteria that can cause infections. It’s interesting to point out that this bacterium is starting to develop resistance towards certain kinds of antibiotics.
Also known as staf for short, these bacteria can be found in up to 25 percent of people without causing health problems. At room temperature, staf will multiply quickly. Thermal processing destroys the bacterium completely. Some of the best disinfectants that can kill Staphylococcus aureus include bleach, Lysol, concentrated hydrogen peroxide and even white vinegar.
This is one of the most common bacterial varieties found in the office. These are both terrestrial and aquatic bacteria. Though predominantly found in the soil, actinobacteria can easily spread and multiply on the surfaces in the office.
The most harmful members of this group are the Actinomycetales bacteria. These bacteria can cause various medical problems, among which an infection called actinomycosis.
Actinobacteria can once again be destroyed completely through thermal processing or by wiping surfaces completely with bleach. Using anti-bacterial wipes isn’t the best approach but if you don’t have any other solution, these will do the trick for the day.
Unfortunately, some harmful bacteria that we’re more or less familiar with can also be found in the typical office. E-coli has been found on office keyboards and on shared equipment like telephones, printers, scanners and even doorknobs.E-coli bacteria typically live in the intestines of healthy individuals and are harmless. There are a few, strains, however, that can cause nasty infections and that can easily spread in the typical office.
The symptoms of an E-coli infection include abdominal cramping, nausea and diarrhea. Most healthy adults will recover from the infection within one week. To reduce the risk of contamination and kill E-coli in the office, wash your hands frequently, use anti-bacterial soaps and disinfect the equipment that you touch frequently.
This is another bacterium having a rather scary name. Poor personal hygiene and the failure to wash hands can easily spread Heliobacter pylori in the office. Just like E-coli, this bacterium can cause gastrointestinal problems. The infection increases the risk of experiencing gastric ulcers and even stomach cancer.
Just like in the case of all other office bacteria, washing hands several times per day (especially before having a meal) will be sufficient to reduce the risk of contamination.
We’ve saved the worst for last. Norovirus is very contagious and since it’s not a bacterium, it can’t be killed by anti-bacterial products.
A norovirus infection is characterized by severe GI upset, diarrhea and vomiting. Close contact with an infected person and with surfaces on which the virus is found can contribute to spreading the medical issue. Norovirus infections are very common in closed environments that feature people sharing the same space like schools, nursing homes and… yes, you’ve guessed it – offices.
Impeccable personal hygiene is the only way to prevent a norovirus infection.
Since you’re sharing the office with each other, it’s important that everyone is on board when it comes to getting rid of bacteria. Frequent professional office cleaning is the first step towards preventing contamination. Maintaining equipment disinfected will also make it a lot easier to enjoy a healthy work environment.
All that you have to do is build an inventory of disinfecting soap, wipes and bleach. If everyone builds a habit of using those on a daily basis, the risk of infections at the workplace will be taken down to a minimum.
By Cliff Derksen
Owner of First Impressions Janitorial
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
Commercial carpets are created for heavy-duty use but they still need proper cleaning and maintenance. By taking good care of the carpets in your office, store or commercial facility, you’ll be extending their lifespan exponentially.
The big question is how often should you get commercial carpets cleaned? The answer may come as a surprise.
Carpet Cleaning Tips for Different Businesses
The answer depends mainly on the type of commercial facility that you’re operating. The carpet cleaning suggestions for an office and a retail store are quite different.
Depending on the number of employees that an office has, a commercial carpet should be cleaned professionally approximately every six months. This doesn’t refer to vacuum cleaning, which should happen on a weekly basis.
In retail stores, carpets have to be washed every three months. If the place is a very high-traffic business, more frequent carpet cleaning could also be beneficial. Proper cleaning will preserve the colors and the beautiful appearance of the carpet, creating a welcoming place for clients to enjoy.
Restaurants and bars are also classified as high-traffic businesses. Quarterly carpet cleaning and washing will be recommended.
Finally, industrial facilities need to have their carpets cleaned depending on their activities. Facilities that deal with oils and other pollutants, for example, may need to have their carpets cleaned much more frequently than all of the other businesses already mentioned in the article. Even if the business works with harsh substances, proper cleaning and carpet protection can extend the lifespan of the carpet and prevent unnecessary replacements.
Types of Pollutants
You’re probably already getting an idea that carpet cleaning frequency depends both on the facility and the types of pollutants. Some substances can deteriorate carpet fibers, contributing to a shabby appearance.
Some of the most damaging pollutants include salt and ice treatment chemicals, residual oil, dirt and grit that will get trapped inside the fibers, sand and all kinds of chemicals used in gardening or manufacturing.
If your carpets are frequently exposed to such substances, professional cleaning every three months will be the optimal approach towards keeping them healthy and stain-free.
Take Good Care of Your Carpets
To reduce the number of commercial cleanings needed, you’ll have to get in the habit of taking proper care of your carpets:
Why Keeping Commercial Carpets Clean is so Important
The considerations here aren’t just aesthetical. Clean carpets have a much more practical purpose, which is why you have to make sure yours are grime, dirt and stain-free.
A clean carpet can act as a filter inside your office or store. Its fibers have the ability to “trap” small and microscopic particles contributing to poor air quality. Needless to say, a carpet that’s filled with dirt and dust will make the air dirtier, as well.
Deep cleaning removes the risk of carpets making the air quality poorer. This is why you have to choose the right company for the job. You’ll also need to find information about the products used in carpet cleaning. The types of detergents and the procedures themselves are as important, as the frequency of having your carpets deep-cleaned.
Choosing the right carpet for your business venue will obviously determine its longevity. Apart from picking the right quality, however, you should also put emphasis on professional cleaning. Doing it frequently will enable you to enjoy the carpet for a longer period of time, it will enhance the interior design of your store or office and it will also improve the indoor air quality. These are just some of the reasons why you should start putting a bit more effort in commercial carpet maintenance right now.
By Cliff Derksen
Owner of First Impressions Janitorial
Have you gotten your business ready for winter? If you’re scratching your head at this point and wondering what winterizing your business is all about, chances are that you’re not prepared for the cold months.
A couple of adjustments and preparations will create the perfect atmosphere during the winter, boosting productivity and making employees feel really cozy in their workplace. Most of these changes are relatively easy to implement, if you’re aware of the main challenges stemming from the cold weather.
Winter storms, heavy rainfall (and snowfall), strong winds and other extreme weather conditions could cause damage to your facilities. This is why you need to get the right insurance or renew an expiring policy before the start of winter.
There are various types of insurance that business owners should consider, some of them being more important than others. Property insurance will provide coverage in the case of building damage. In addition, some of these policies will also cover losses stemming from damaged equipment and inventory.
Commercial auto insurance is another good idea because the harsh weather conditions and the riskier driving during the winter may also lead to some serious problems. It’s better to get a bit more insurance than what you think you need in order to 100 percent safe.
Protect the Floors from Damage
The substances used to treat streets and sidewalks against ice (salt being one of the most common picks) can easily be brought inside the office. Though these substances and chemicals aren’t damaging to asphalt and concrete, they can have a serious negative impact on the beautiful floors in your office.
On top of salt, shoes will be bringing moisture and dirt inside. These can damage hardwood floors and turn the carpets into the ideal breeding grounds for bacteria or mold.
Welcome mats are probably one of the simplest and most effective options for protecting the floors. Increasing the number of times that the floors are vacuum cleaned and mopped during the week will also be quite effective. You need the right cleaning company and you should also reach an agreement about increasing the frequency of doing floor maintenance.
Look for Leaks and Other Problems
Make sure that the building is in a good condition before winter starts. Making repairs when the weather is cold and wet will be a big challenge. One of the most important things to do is identify leaks. These can remain undetected for a long period of time, leading to the waste of large amounts of water. In addition, the leaking water could freeze during the winter, making the issue even more problematic.
Another good suggestion is to check on insulation and caulking. If everything is in perfect condition, you’ll get to keep the office properly heated while reducing the environmental impact of the process.
The AC units should also be examined, especially if you’re going to use those for heating purposes. Get the filters thoroughly cleaned or changed, if necessary. Taking these measures in advance will help you enjoy a warm and comfortable office throughout the winter.
Get Ready for the Removal of Snow and Ice
To reduce the risk of getting snow and ice inside the office, you may want to think about their proper removal from the external premises like the company’s parking lot.
There are treatment options that will prevent ice from forming bonds with the ground. Use such opportunities before December and get the area surrounding your office treated. One of the simplest things you can do is either salt down the area or use a bit of sand.
Whichever option you choose, getting rid of snow and ice will be essential for ensuring your corporate operations. This is particularly true for corporate premises that welcome customers or are used for business meetings.
Buy a Backup Generator
Power shortages are common in the winter, especially if you live in a place where storms are a common occurrence.
A backup generator gives you peace of mind and enables you to continue working for a few additional hours in the case of electricity being shut off. The market has many options to offer and choosing a generator will depend entirely on your budget and individual preferences.
In essence, you should prepare for the worst. Even if winter isn’t as harsh in the city where you work, there could still be a few emergencies during the cold months. Prepare the office building and buy the necessary equipment to guarantee productivity regardless of the weather. Such equipment will definitely come in handy one day and the purchase should never be considered a waste of money.
By Cliff Derksen
Owner of First Impressions Janitorial
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
Though they say that a messy desk is conductive of productivity, it turns out that coworkers could be judging you on the basis of what your workspace looks like. A survey shows that nearly 57 percent of American employees judge their coworkers that have a messy desk. Very often, a dirty workspace is attributed to laziness (ouch!).
Even if you’re the busiest person at the office, there are certain easy and quick things you can do to maintain order, get rid of clutter and keep your desk spotlessly clean.
Zoning Works Miracles for the Hectic Workspace
Just like you can use zones to organize the garage (here, you can insert a link to the garage cleaning article), zoning your workspace can do miracles for keeping order. Think about how you utilize the workspace every single day and come up with a zone plan on the basis of this information.
For example, you can have a zone that’s completely clear and used to do work. Dedicate a separate zone to office supplies and stationery, a zone to personal items (family photos, your bottle of water, a flower pot) and a communication zone that holds your phone, your notes, letters, a fax machine or anything else that you use during daily professional interactions.
Have a List of Daily Cleaning and Organization Tasks
No matter how busy you are, you can dedicate five minutes in the beginning and the end of the workday to doing a bit of cleaning and organizing.
Some of the daily tasks you should consider executing include wiping the surfaces, putting files in order or adding new documents to the files, throwing away everything that you no longer need, rinsing your coffee mug, making sure that your computer screen is clean and removing dirt from the keyboard.
If you stick to this daily routine, you’ll soon find your workspace to be much better looking and a lot more welcoming.
Don’t Let Clutter Take Over
Once you get in the habit of postponing the workspace cleaning, you’ll find yourself having to handle a humongous task when you decide to finally deal with the mess.
Don’t let the clutter take over your workspace. Deal with the mess immediately, otherwise you will be overwhelmed by the process. Put the file that you just used back in its place. You have a couple of drawers – place things inside instead of on top of the desk. If you don’t need those letters anymore, have them shredded and recycled. The more you let things remain in your workspace, the more difficult it’s going to be to get rid of those.
Keep a Trashcan Nearby
People that have to get up and walk across the room in order to throw something away will most likely refrain from doing so.
Something as basic as the physical proximity of a trash bin will make it so much easier for you to get rid of everything that you don’t need. Otherwise, these items will simply remain on your desk.
Drawers are Nice but They should be Organized, as Well
Do you have a “throw it all inside” drawer? Most of us do. This is the place we use for easy de-cluttering and getting rid of all the items on the surface. This drawer, however, isn’t making things better. It’s simply keeping the clutter out of sight.
Open the drawer and go through all of the items stored inside. How many of these things are you actually going to use ever again? When in doubt about a certain item, throw it out – you’re not going to use it.
When you’re done with the cleaning process, try to get the drawer organized. Some of the best drawer organizing ideas are really simple and they’ll keep everything within your reach.
Deal with Those Personal Items
Office clutter can stem from your personal items, as well.
Make sure that every single piece has its specific place and keep it there. Hang a hook on the cubicle wall – it’s simple and incredibly effective for keeping your outwear away from your desk. Don’t just throw it on the back of the chair – it looks bad and it certainly is messy.
The same applies to your handbag – the hook can be positioned beneath your desk for added convenience.
If you often meet with clients or business partners in your office space, make sure there are enough hooks and opportunities for the guests to leave their personal items there. Such simple decisions create visual consistency and they make your space look much more professional and welcoming.
By Cliff Derksen
Owner of First Impressions Janitorial