Does it really matter if your office looks as though it’s been ransacked? The research says it does… having a clean and tidy office increases productivity and boosts morale. Here’s how to keep your commercial office space clean and organised:
Right now, the typical keyboard in your office contains 7,500 bacteria – and viruses can linger on such unclean surfaces (see also the kettle switch, the photocopier ‘print’ button, lift buttons and door handles) for up to 24 hours. So the fact that UK workers take an average of 9 sick days each year is no surprise.
There’s a Harvard study which, as IFP notes, found that messy, untidy workplaces undermine people’s persistence. Effectively, the messier your workspace, the more likely you are to throw in the towel on a difficult task, so chaotic spaces can mean lower levels of productivity.
Forget those myths that say a desk you can’t see is a desk where something important is happening. Cleanliness and tidiness aren’t dirty words. They’re a simple route to greater productivity, less stress, less absences and fewer whiffs coming from that three-month-old Pret wrap that’s buried in someone’s drawer.
Here’s how to clean your commercial office space:
1. Choose a serviced office
By far the simplest of the tips on this list is to ensure that your next office is serviced. A core part of that service is cleaning. So in addition to not having to worry about the energy bills, photocopier repair or desks, you won’t have to worry about dusting, hoovering and cleaning the loo either.
It is worth noting, however, that no London commercial office cleaning company will clean a desk that’s strewn with paperwork (because they don’t want to be held liable for losing critical work). So if you want the cleaners to do their best work, they’ll need a little help from your team.
2. Before your next move, have a ruthless declutter
If you’re reading this page, we’re assuming you’re gearing up for an office move. It’s in the preparation of that move that you can lock in the tidiness of your next commercial office, and even (potentially) save money.
Ahead of your new office search, you’ll naturally consider how much space you need, and part of that calculation will be based on storage requirements. The more you need to take with you and store, the larger the space you’ll need. So having a ruthless declutter now can make moving easier, because you don’t have to find a home for so much ‘stuff’. And that could make a smaller, cheaper office a realistic option.
In deciding what needs to go, apply the ‘six month rule’ (or a one month rule if you’re being ruthless). With the exception of financial records, if you’re storing anything that hasn’t been touched in six months, do you still need to store it?
3. Give everything a home
From stationery to product samples to IT and PR materials, it helps to ensure everything in your office has a space of its own, so it supports the overall tidiness of the office and so everyone knows where to find it. Naturally, when searching for your next commercial office space, you’ll want to make sure there’s sufficient space to do that successfully.
4. Operate a clear desk policy
Easy if you work from hot desks; a bit more of a challenge if your team members like to personalise the workspace they use every day. First, it’s important to establish what you mean by ‘clear desk’ with a policy that everyone understands. If it’s no stuffed animals or family pictures, say so. If it’s more a case of removing the outdated and unnecessary (last year’s calendar, a bottle of Tippex that hasn’t been used since 2002), give your team a guide to make it easier to make the right changes.
5. Try a ‘Friday Five’
If you do it every week, it really doesn’t take long to keep personal space clean and tidy. If five minutes is a little too restrictive, try a ‘Friday 15’, and challenge everyone to clean and declutter their workspaces within the time limit. Why not incentivise it and offer a prize to the best-kept desk?
6. Schedule a deep clean
Commercial office cleaning in London usually means the cleaning of common areas. Many cleaning services, however, may clean desks and other furniture by arrangement. They will need clearing beforehand though. Check with your service provider to find out how extensive their cleaning will be.
If a DIY approach would be easier, schedule a quiet time for a personal deep clean of your immediate area. Put it in the calendar so you don’t forget to do it, and be ruthless in jettisoning anything you’ve not looked at or used in the past six months.
7. Keep antibacterial wipes in the supplies cupboard
Offices can be happy havens for bacteria, so whilst your contracted commercial office cleaning service focuses on the major stuff, make sure you give the surfaces you touch all the time (phone, mouse, touch screen surfaces, keyboards) a regular clean with an anti-bacterial wipe. It could help reduce your sick absence. It should reduce the instances of colds and upset stomachs you experience each year.
8. Choose an office that works with you, not against you
Some offices invite clutter. Dark corners, awkward angles and space that isn’t much use for anything else often becomes space for assorted ‘stuff’. So when you launch your commercial office search, bear in mind what you’ll be bringing with you, and what you need to operate each day. Then, ensure the office lends itself not only to the people who’ll be working there, but the work they do and the tools they use.
It would be a shame to waste all that intel on how to clean your commercial office space. We suggest putting it into practice, although you’ll need an office first. Start your search here.
If you’d prefer to have a chat about your options, our workspace wizards are ready to help you find the perfect office space, although they’re unlikely to help you clean it. Talk to one of them now on 020 3868 2926.