We all have that co-worker who coughs without covering or sneezes into his or her arm (or worse, their hand) and goes to touch everything in the office without even thinking about it. You see their desk and wonder if they do any cleaning on a regular basis in or around it. If you’ve been wondering (or worrying) about the cleanliness of your office, you’re not alone. About 85% of workers wonder the same thing on a regular basis. With almost 50% of people reporting seeing a co-worker leave the bathroom without washing his or her hands, it’s no wonder people are wondering how clean their workspace really is.
Now may be the time to do something about it, especially if you share a small space or cubicles with a significant number of other people. Everyone dreads the office wave of sickness, but there are steps you can take to make everyone in the office more aware and responsible about sanitation and cleanliness without sounding like a nag.
Supply Your Space First
Setting an example is always a good way to go. Stock your desk with hand sanitizer, tissues, paper towels, and cleaning wipes. If others see you doing any cleaning on your space, they might consider that a good idea they hadn’t had before, and follow suit. It’s a good idea just for you too: with 85% of employees eating at their desk, crumbs and spills and sticky spots are liable to appear. It’s good to do a thorough sweep of all your surfaces once in awhile to maintain your space. Other people have been known to clip their nails at their desk (one in three people admitted to doing so), brushing their hair, picking at their teeth, and scratching at their heads or ears, which all leads to accumulated gunk around the office.
Ask About Affordable Office Cleaning
If you work in a bigger corporation, you may already have janitorial services or a commercial cleaner at your disposal. However, if you’re worried about the frequency of their visits, you can ask a manager or someone else politely if it’s possible for them to come more often. Mention that you’re concerned about health and that it will benefit everyone in the office. Be sure that a carpet cleaner is also being used–dust, food debris, and allergens often hide in carpets, and can be irritating or uncomfortable. Make sure that a cleaning service isn’t just going for the most obvious areas: keyboards, armrests, doorknobs, or shared appliances, but really getting everywhere thoroughly.
Why It’s Important:
Studies have shown that about 70% of workers feel that a clean office space increases productivity among the
staff. Additionally, the Office Cleanliness Monitor took a survey and found that 64% of employees out of a pool of 1,000 believed that there was in fact, a link between a clean work environment and the number of times an employee called in sick. Going to work in a place you feel is dirty or rundown makes it even harder to get out of bed in the morning. You want to love where you work, or at least feel comfortable in the the space where you work.
Remind your co-workers that any cleaning is good cleaning. Start good habits now and be rewarded when cold and flu season starts!