A dirty communal area means employees are miserable and less likely to pull their weight at work.
Do you own a business or work somewhere with a communal area? If you work in an office or even just somewhere that has an open communal kitchen or break area that all the employees use, you’ll be familiar with just how frustrating keeping it clean is.
In a study conducted in 2010 by OfficeTeam, as many as 44% of workers identified making messes for others to clean up as the most annoying behaviour in company break rooms.
“Since the kitchen is a common space, some workers may believe it’s someone else’s responsibility to keep it clean and organised,” – said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam.
A messy communal area frustrates employees causing them to be in a negative mood at work and therefore reducing productivity levels. It’s a simple thing that can send employees into a fit of rage after the struggle of a morning drink. The negative mood can spread into their work and as a result their productivity levels can plummet.
That being said, we thought we’d provide some guidance as to what you can do in the office to tackle the cleaning chaos in communal areas and make sure some stringent order is maintained in your workplace. Time to start seeing that break room shining and employees walking out with smiles on their faces!
1. Devise a policy
In order to improve cleaning standards in communal areas, you need to set some guidelines for employees to follow such as the following:
• Place all rubbish in the bin.
• Wipe down surfaces after use. Quick and simple.
• Wipe down microwave after use. A problem that can be avoided if you also tell employees to cover up their food containers!
• Only store food in the fridge if it is adequately sealed. One of the major causes of food poisoning.
• Do not leave dirty dishes, cutlery or mugs in the sink – clean, dry and put away after use.
2. Make it clear to employees
Once you’ve devised a plan, you need to inform employees. The best way to do this is to place a sign on the wall in the communal areas clearly stating the new guidelines and notify staff during meetings or via a mass email.
Some employees may need encouragement to keep the communal area clean. If this is the case, remind them of the health risks associated with a dirty workplace and politely give them reminders every now and then.
3. Allocate responsibilities
There’s always one employee that revels in the joy of having responsibility and some sort of power over their colleagues. If you have someone like this in your workplace, they are the perfect person to help you keep on top of the guidelines you set and encourage other employees to do the same.
4. Reward success
Hopefully your employees will be mature and understanding enough to follow the new rules and genuinely want a cleaner work place. However, you can still reward good results by treating them every once in a while. Whether it’s adding a top of the range coffee machine to the break room or simply adding a nicer brand of biscuits, little gestures of appreciation will go a long way.
5. Hire cleaning experts
Another factor to consider is that your employees are less inclined to make the effort to clean communal areas if the rest of their workplace isn’t particularly clean. Most businesses don’t have time to add cleaning to their to-do list and there is a fine line when it comes to expecting employees to clean as most will argue it’s not listed in their job description. Additionally, a good use of your employees time is doing what you pay them to do – which isn’t cleaning.
Hiring a commercial cleaning company can take care of all of the issues we mentioned above and more. They’ll not only clean the office kitchen but sanitise too which will prevent your staff from picking up work place illnesses and taking time off work.
The sanitisation treatment of offices which is featured as part of our services can also dramatically improve the hygiene of your working environment – meaning those workplace illnesses are dramatically reduced.
A clean business is a productive business. If you’re ready to say goodbye to a dirty communal area and improve staff morale, get in touch!