The best tricks for tidiness and cleanliness at the workplace.
Who's going to tidy up and clean is a debate that many households have, day in and day out. It's not just stressed out parents worrying about this – Goethe once wrote about keeping a home tidy with the following words: “Make the most of time, it glides away so fast; but order teaches you to gain time”. And in his reaction to the popular saying “Organisation is half the battle”, Heinrich Böll hit the nail on the head by asking: “What might the other half consist of?”.
In our opinion, the answer to this question should be “cleanliness”. Because without cleanliness, even the tidiest room will fail to make a good impression. And where else are tidiness and cleanliness as important as they are where we're supposed to be productive and work effectively?
This article tells you why a tidy and clean workplace is particularly important, and shares our best tricks for tidying up and cleaning your workplace.
Four benefits of a clean and tidy workplace.
Tidying up, sorting out and cleaning aren't just activities that clean freaks enjoy. There are several reasons why cleanliness and good organisation should be a top priority at the workplace:
- Impressing clients
A well maintained workplace is not only important for your employees. Customers also draw conclusions about how well the business runs based on a chaotic and messy office.
- Saving time
When every object has a particular place, you don't have to waste time searching for them. A better structured workplace and optimised workflows will result in higher levels of productivity.
- The health aspect
Regular disinfection of work equipment such as telephone handsets helps keep pathogens in check. There are fewer particles of dust floating around, thereby relieving symptoms and health problems for allergy or asthma sufferers.
- The cost aspect
Cleaning and maintaining equipment and work tools in the office keeps them in good condition for the long term, which in turn has a positive effect on their costs.
Smart tips for a tidy office.
1. Reduce the flood of paper
The handouts for the next presentation are on your right, the notes from the last meeting on your left, countless post-it notes with to-do lists and reminders stuck to the screen: does your desk have a paper problem? The three solutions outlines in the following will help you to get a grip on the flood of paper:
Do you just need to jot something down to refer back to later? Use digital tools for notes or reminders.
Sorting out regularly
If you don't have any other choice than to use paper, make sure to throw out all the paper you no longer need regularly. Pieces of paper that you still need should be organised in a system and be easy to access. This is best done using a sorting tray, for example, or a document sorting board that allows you to organise documents into different compartments.
2. Use classification systems
The steps listed above can help you to reduce the daily chaos caused by sheets of paper lying around. Make sure that your filing system isn't an “omnivore”. Documents that you need to keep for the long term are best filed away in folders.
You should sort documents that contain multiple pages, contracts or invoices that can be assigned to a specific project, year or customer into different folders. Depending on how many folders you need, they can be stored in a rotary filing system to save space, or be put in a file trolley or a folder shelving unit.
Keeping things organised is easy work! Find exactly the right solution for your workplace: filing systems, sorting stations, planning boards and office cupboards. You'll find all our ideas for filing systems here.
3. Clear out desk and drawers
Which objects or documents should be placed on a desk at all? All work materials needed on a daily basis should have a permanent place on your desk. This includes, for example, the weekly planner, pens and other writing utensils, today's project folder or a USB stick.
You should clear up all other materials, either throwing them out or storing them in drawers. In this case, it's also important to organise systematically! Materials that you need more often should be stored so they are easy to access. Rarely used utensils, e.g. spare staples, can be placed further back in the drawer.
Schedule five minutes at the end of your working day to tidy up your desk, get rid of old things you don't need, and get the important things organised. You could also plan a regular “clearing day”, for example, by setting aside time on the last Friday of the month to tidy up and clean your workplace thoroughly.
Practical cleaning tips for the workplace.
Your office is a paragon of good organisation, but you're still discovering coffee stains on the desk and crumbs in the keyboard? Cleanliness is important so that you can benefit from good organisation. The following tips will allow you to ensure thorough and correct cleaning of work equipment and all the different spaces in the office:
1. Use appropriate cleaning agents
The desktop, the whiteboard, the computer screen: each of these surfaces needs to be cleaned differently so that no damage to the material can occur.
Electronic devices and screens
For plastic surfaces on phones, a computer mouse or keyboards, it is best to wipe them down using disinfectant first. However, make sure that no liquid can enter cracks in electronic devices. To finish, wipe the surface with a dry microfibre cloth. Screens should only be wiped with a dry microfibre cloth or one slightly moistened with water.
Desks with a coating or tables made of plastic can be cleaned using cleaning spray or saturated paper towels. If the tabletop is made of wood, then play it safe and only ever use a microfibre cloth moistened with water.
2. Clean properly to suit the space
Depending on the way different rooms are used, they should be cleaned in different intervals and to a different extent.
Sanitary facilities must be thoroughly wiped down wet and disinfected once or twice a day, depending on the number of users. Thorough cleaning also includes regularly refilling sanitary supplies such as liquid hand wash and paper towels. It is therefore important to ensure that you have a sufficient supply of the key hygiene products.
The canteen or kitchen needs to be cleaned once or twice a day, depending on the frequency of use. Don't forget the kitchen appliances, such as coffee machines and water dispensers.
3. Dispose of waste correctly
Proper waste disposal is also part of thorough office cleaning. We have collected some disposal tips for you, which you'll find below:
- Ideally, reduce the volume waste in your office by avoiding products in plastic packaging and reducing the amount of paper used, e.g. by means of digital tools.
- You should empty the rubbish bins in the sanitary facilities and the canteen daily, while waste comprised of paper only can be thrown out directly at the desk, for example, depending on the amount of paper that piles up.
- For canteens or lounges, it is best to set up larger waste systems, while smaller rubbish bins will be adequate for individual offices or desks.
- Special waste such as batteries, oils or hazardous substances used in production, storage and workshops must be disposed of in compliance with specific regulations.