The origins of spring-cleaning are not entirely clear, but it is a widely practiced custom across the globe.
Before celebrating the Jewish celebration of Passover, houses are to be thoroughly cleaned to remove crumbs and specks of bread and grains. Prior to the Persian New Year, it is tradition to ‘shake the house’. Meanwhile in North America and northern Europe, springtime brought with it weather that was hospitable enough to start opening doors and window, allowing for homes to be dusted after the cold winter.
Most work places, thankfully, hire cleaning staff to deal with the day to day cleaning of an office, so the need to clean after a long, cold winter is not a concern for many. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t engage in a spring-cleaning ritual once a year.
While it is certainly summer now, that doesn’t mean we can’t embrace the spirit of the spring clean. As we wind down towards Christmas and have some spare time, what better time to grab some cleaning wipes & disinfectant and get to work.
There are many reasons why it’s important to spring-clean your office, but the five we thought are the most important:
Do you know just how many germs there are on your desk? It is said that the average office desk harbours 400 times the amount of bacteria found on an average toilet seat. Consider that next time you’re having a quick bite to eat at your desk.
Your keyboard alone has five times the recommended limit for bacteria.
A spring clean is the perfect time to clean your desk, thoroughly clean your keyboard, and to find a space for the bottle of hand sanitizer that you’re now considering.
RE-ENERGISE STAFF RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE OFFICE
It is very easy for staff to become complacent with their environment and to rarely move beyond the immediate vicinity of their desk, the kitchenette, and the bathrooms.
Getting the entire staff up and helping one another with a spring clean is an excellent way to get staff engaging with others that they ordinarily don’t talk to, while getting staff entering areas of the office they otherwise never step foot in.
Fostering new relationships and having staff thinking of others beyond their immediate co-workers is a great way to built unity within the wider structure of your organisation.
LOST FILES / ASSETS
While many of us strive for a paper-less office, the reality is that it is often difficult to achieve fully. With offices now no longer designed for large-scale file storage on site, it is very easy for files to be stored away in boxes in rarely used rooms or spaces within an office.
How many valuable files have you lost just sitting in boxes in your office? Use the spring-clean as an opportunity to work through these boxes, determine what is still important to the business, and to clear out anything no longer relevant.
Turn these files taking up space into valued assets.
RECLAIM LOST SPACE
We all know how easy it is to unintentionally designate spaces around an office (and the home, let’s be honest) as dumping spots for anything that doesn’t get used on a day-to-day basis.
It’s time to examine this space more carefully. Get rid of anything that’s just taking up space for no beneficial reason, and reclaim your office. Do you really need those marketing banners from last years trade show? Is there actually a reason you’re holding onto that faulty printer you replaced six months ago?
PENS, RULERS, AND OTHER LOST STATIONARY
All of those pens and other random items of stationary that you lose on a regular basis are going somewhere. As you tidy the office, make an effort to gather and collect all of the random items of stationary found. Should you find yourself with a sizeable collection, you should be able to hold off on putting through that next stationary supply order.
It is very easy for us to become complacent in the workplace. An annual spring clean is a fantastic way to disrupt your staff for a positive outcome. Time lost in productivity is time gained by discovering lost assets and building a healthier, more engaged team.