Cold and flu season really puts a cramp in our style, sometimes for months on end. We all seem to dread that time each year when the office seems to be a revolving door of absent workers home sick with whatever new is going around.
Worse yet, those of us with children are either passing colds from work on to the kids, or vice versa. We clean and clean and clean, sanitize and wash our hands, nag at our children to cover their mouths and wash their hands, yet we seem to lose the cold and flu battle every year. What else can we really do?
The importance of being clean does not stop at the front door, no matter if it’s at home or the office. While we’re all so focused with keeping our homes clean and sanitary, we may not take much time to think about office cleaning. Most of us just assume the office is as clean as it can be, especially when we come in the morning and see evidence of the cleaning crew from the night before.
A clean workplace is just as important as a clean home, especially considering the amount of time we spend there. Our homes may be rock solid in the sanitary department, but if we aren’t keeping our work spaces as clean, we get sick, miss out on work, and become less productive. As the revolving door of absenteeism continues, the overall productivity of the office takes a nosedive as key people are all absent at different times.
Because most workplaces are shared facilities, the collective responsibility to keep the office clean gets taken for granted all the time. But what should not be overlooked is each person’s responsibility to provide a clean, organized environment not just for themselves, but for their coworkers too. It’s not just up to the nightly cleaning crew to keep your workplace in tip top shape.
Keeping the workplace clean and tidy is important on two levels, both of which directly translate into a high productivity environment. A consistently clean office is the first defense against illness and respiratory issues. One of the biggest enemies of a highly productive office is the on and off absenteeism throughout the year caused by virus and bacteria hanging out and spreading on surfaces.
A work environment where things are easy to find and everything is put in its place neatly, is a work environment that lowers stress.Organization and cleanliness allows employees to take a breath, and relax, knowing that everything they need is easily accessible.
Not many people can sit in a cluttered office and feel completely relaxed. Most of us need at least a small amount of physical order to help us feel that our own lives, or even just the work day, is in order. A clean environment lowers absenteeism and also promotes organization. The result of organization and low absenteeism promotes productivity!
So, what can you do to contribute in keeping the office germ-free as possible?
Let’s start with your desk. Clean your desk and keep it that way will increase your attendance rate and your productivity in no time. Wipe your cubicle, desk, or office down every day, before you start working. Or, if you prefer, do it at the end of the work day.
Bacteria and viruses can live for some time on keyboards, desk surfaces, and chairs. Anyone working with you who may touch any part of your desk can be indirectly exposed to germs. If each employee wipes down his/her desk daily, the number of absences due to sickness will surely start to decline.
Desks aren’t the only places you should be concerned about when working to avoid the common cold or other nasty virus. Make sure the door knobs, railings and doors are getting a regular wipe down. If you’re not sure it’s getting the proper attention, you may be able to coordinate with your office to create a scheduled employee rotation that changes on a daily basis.
Bathrooms are ground zero for the spreading of germs because it comes into contact with so many different people throughout the day. Even when all employees are washing hands, germs can be left to fester on door knobs, toilet paper holders, faucets, and the like. Washing your hands and using a paper towel to turn off the water or open the door is a good way to prevent picking up new germs on your clean hands.
Indoor air pollution is a big concern for staying healthy in the workplace. Although you may not be able to directly control this factor yourself, you can do what you can to avoid aggravation caused by the indoor environment. Avoid sitting near a vent where air circulation is at its peak. Cover your mouth adequately when sneezing and coughing. Ask the building management to make sure the vents are regularly cleaned.
Keeping dust down to a minimum will help greatly in keeping allergen levels low. This is particularly helpful for those suffering from asthma or other respiratory conditions. Cleaning crews are often prohibited from cleaning work areas. So it’s your job to make sure your area is well dusted, including the tops of cubicles and desks, plants, lamps, frames, posters, binders, bookshelves, etc.
A clean office is not just a healthy office.It’s a productive office too. Cleanliness means reducing clutter and getting more organized. How else are we going to wipe down our desks if there’s clutter all over it? Through the process of removing unnecessary items, you may naturally start organizing the items you actually need.
Getting the office from where it is now to a highly functioning, productive machine won’t happen overnight. Cleanliness must lead to less sickness and more organization, which may take a while. But when it does, it won’t just be noticed on an individual level. Increased productivity will create an overall uptick in operational tempo as less people need to call in sick to work, and more people get more things done in less time… thanks to a clean, organized office.
Getting the most out of your business’s floors often times means giving them a little attention before problems go from bad to worse as time passes. Regular cleaning and maintenance of commercial floors, no matter the floor type, will help keep the appearance of your business’s floors at their best.
Working in a building that’s clean and attractive from top to bottom, including the floors, helps employees feel proud of where they work. In turn, employees in clean, well groomed, work spaces tend to be more satisfied with their job and more productive in the work environment.
When focusing on the cleanliness of your business floor, you should be cautious when choosing the cleaning method and materials. Different floor types require different treatment routines.
Let’s discuss the most popular flooring choices and the best way to care for them.
Hardwood flooring is a wonderful choice for retail and studio flooring because of its warmth and variability in detail. While it’s incredibly attractive, wood flooring needs a little more love and attention to keep it looking beautiful.
Caring for hardwood starts with maintenance. To avoid excessive scratching, most office furniture should have felt pads or similar padding on any point of contact with the wood flooring. When moving furniture across wood flooring, place thick blankets or moving pads underneath to avoid scratching the surface.
Floors should be swept, dust-mopped, or vacuumed regularly. Make sure the vacuum being used is approved for wood surfaces before you start the cleaning process. Wood flooring can be cleaned using a mop and a neutral cleaner on a regular basis. Again, make sure the neutral cleaner is approved for wood flooring. Some cleaners can be slightly harsher than others, so it’s important to check. You may also want to check with the flooring manufacturer to see what is best for that particular wood type.
When you’re cleaning with a mop make sure to use just enough water as to leave a damp patch on the wood. Wood is incredibly porous. Leave too much water for too long, and it will begin to soak into the wood, warping and bloating it. Once wood is warped it’s almost impossible to bring it back to its original state. Work in large paths, repeating the same pattern of cleaning, rinsing, and drying. Do not cover the entire floor at once or parts of the floor may start drying with soap drying with it – leaving your floor filmy and dingy.
Like hardwood flooring, concrete is also porous. It’s also a low-cost, extremely durable flooring option appropriate for a variety of settings to include retail spaces, studio spaces, warehouses, restaurants, and repair shops.
Concrete is very easy to maintain thanks to its smooth, even surface. It’s also the most slippery for these same reasons. So, much care should be taken to keep concrete flooring clear of debris and slippery film to reduce the risk of falling as much as possible.
For daily cleaning use a broom, and dust mop or concrete safe vacuum. Wash the entire floor regularly with a neutral cleaning solution and a mop. Depending on the work environment, you may want to leave the cleaning solution on the floor longer. High traffic places that tend to get grimy like restaurants and repair shops may benefit from a little longer mop treatment as a opposed to a concrete floor used for retail.
Concrete can be as shiny as you want it to be by applying certain coatings and sealants. With proper daily cleaning, those sealants will hold up for a long time. However, the time will eventually come when you’ll want to strip the surface and lay down a fresh coat.
Vinyl Tile & Vinyl Sheeting Flooring
Tile (VCT – Vinyl Composition Tile) and vinyl sheeting are two very popular options used for commercial flooring. They’re both low cost, easy to clean, easy to replace, and they come in a variety of colors and patterns. Vinyl is a great choice for very high traffic areas because it’s so easy to clean. Unlike wood and concrete, vinyl is not porous. You can spend more time on dingier areas with a good amount of water without worrying about the water soaking in.
Cleaning should be a regularly scheduled occurrence consisting of sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping with a neutral based cleaner. Over time, natural scuffs, scratches, and discoloration will occur with vinyl flooring. But buffing and applying a fresh coat of wax will easily take the flooring back to its original shine.
Carpeting is higher maintenance than the three other flooring options we’ve discussed. But, there are plenty of methods that can be applied to keep carpet looking good as new. The key is to pay attention to your carpet regularly, staying on the lookout for spots and stains.
General cleaning should occur frequently, and consist of vacuuming and light stain removal. The more you vacuum, the less likely dirt will become embedded in your carpet. Before vacuuming, make sure to pick up any large items and wipe up spills immediately.
Several methods can be taken to attack larger carpet stains. If your overall carpet is beginning to look dingy and worn, you can use the encapsulation method to remove dirt. This can be done during the weekday if need be, since there is no drying period required. The encapsulation method involves applying an encapsulation cleaner and letting it sit for about 15 minutes. Once the cleaner has had a while to set in, move over the area with a bonnet machine. Encapsulated dirt will come to the surface and then can be easily vacuumed up.
For more soiled areas, spot treatments can be applied with a foaming cleaner or a shampoo method. Both processes involve getting the affected area wet. So, make sure to isolate the area from foot traffic. Also, be sure to use a commercial blower to dry it quickly so that mold does not begin to grow. Foaming cleaner is great for removing lightly soiled areas quickly. But, if you have a stubborn stain, shampooing may be the best way to go.
About All Purpose Clean-up: Serving Washington D.C
Serving the Greater Washington DC area, All Purpose Clean Up has been offering junk removal and cleaning services for two years and counting. The owner has been working in the cleaning industry for decades and knew he could provide incredible services for the most reasonable prices in the area. We understand the frustration of having junk and furniture laying around with no way to dispose of it. We saw an important need that needed to be filled and that is what sparked All Purpose Clean Up.