While completing your work and making sure that you turn up at the office in a timely and presentable manner, keeping the office clean and tidy is also incredibly important. This applies from the smallest family run business to the largest multi-national corporation. We are civilised beings after all, so it is not beneath our intelligence to make sure that nothing in the fridge is growing mould and that all the bins are emptied on a regular basis.
You might be thinking, why should this apply to me? What is so important about keeping my little piece of desk space clean and tidy? If you don’t have an office cleaner, the responsibility falls to you and it is important that you keep that responsibility. Read on for our top four reasons as to why office hygiene is so important.
1. Shared Desks – Shared Issues
Like shared apartments and kitchens, having a shared desk with another colleague can get pretty testy at times, particularly if you have a messy colleague. It is important to work as a team when keeping your desk clean, otherwise, you will end up with half a clean desk and half a messy desk. And that simply looks inconsistent and unprofessional.
If you are the ‘clean’ colleague, try to encourage your team-mate to clear their desk regularly, or help them where possible. Don’t do all the work, though! If your colleague isn’t pulling their weight, you need to let them know or escalate the situation. There is no point in you suffering if your colleague isn’t willing to put a little more effort into keeping their side of the desk tidy. Plus it looks unprofessional and can make you look bad, so it is in your best interests to keep the whole area tidy.
2. Prevents the Spread of Illnesses
In a clean office, if someone happens to fall ill, the germs have nowhere to go and the illness will normally live and die with that first person. However if you have a dirty or messy office, it can be easier for colleagues to pick up and spread germs, which leads to more and more sick days off for your company. Plus, some colleagues may have young family members or elderly relatives living with them, where their health is jeopardised simply because your office is less than hygienic.
By regularly using hand sanitizer or wiping down the surfaces that you frequently use, you can kill and prevent the spread of germs in the office. This means less downtime being sick and contagious, and more time concentrating on the work at hand.
3. Your Mum Won’t Clean it up for You!
You may be finding that you have this problem frequently in a ‘young’ office. Employees who have not yet experienced the joys of university, or who have gone straight into office work from school, may not yet be fully responsible for their messes. It can take some time to get used to the concept of being a responsible adult, so it is important that you clean up after your own mess. If you leave something in the sink to be washed up, chances are it will still be there later on.
Try to get into the habit of clearing up after yourself straight away. If you do it right then and there, then you won’t forget about it and you won’t need to come back to it later. If you have any packets of crisps or sweets, keep the wrapper with you instead of leaving it wherever you may be, and invest in a rubbish bin by your desk if you think it will help.
4. Promotes a Healthy Office Lifestyle
It might sound like a tacky phrase out of a ‘zen’ magazine but having a clean and tidy office has been proven to boost morale, help with office productivity and increase concentration levels by a significant amount. When you work in a clumsy and dirty environment, you start to feel stifled by your surroundings. Not being able to move for fear of knocking over yet another paperwork tower isn’t exactly going to instil confidence in even the most experienced of employees, so why should it be this way?
When you have a clean and clear office, you are inspired to work more productively and for longer. It makes you feel more at ease about your job and doesn’t feel suppressing or stifling. It also makes things easier to find and organise and you won’t be wasting so much time looking for that single report because it is all there. A cluttered desk is rife with distractions, whereas a clear desk can help you concentrate just on the task at hand. Give it a try and see the difference for yourself.
Keeping your office clean not only has its hygienic benefits but it also helps reduce stress and helps you to improve the relationship between you and your colleagues. It may take a little bit more effort to start with, particularly if you are prone to letting your paperwork build up, but once you get a rhythm going you’ll find how great having a clean office actually is. There is more space to move, to think and you don’t have to worry about getting another telling off from your desk-mate about the condition of that sandwich you left in the fridge last week. Perfect!
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with South East cleaning specialist Apple Clean, who were consulted over this post.