Office cleaning is a very diverse field that covers a lot of different activities and goals. While some people may simply see it as cleaning desks or brushing up dirt and dust, it can be surprisingly in-depth, with a lot of different things to consider.
The Basics of Office Cleaning
At its core, office cleaning is about making an office space cleaner, with countless different reasons why that might be important. A lot of the benefits of having a clean office space are obvious, but that does not stop it from being an incredibly important thing to consider.
Not only can an unclear office have some major health and safety risks, but it impacts the visual appeal, comfort, customer-friendliness, employee-friendliness, and general tone of the space as well. For this reason, a lot of companies employ professional cleaning companies to manage their offices.
Dusting is an easy way to get rid of dust that might be lingering in the air – dust that can sometimes carry allergens or allow germs to linger in places that they normally would not. In some cases, dust might even damage computers if allowed to build up inside the casing.
By dusting properly, cleaning companies can create a much nicer environment and remove the risk of random dust particles causing allergy attacks, problems with people who have difficulty breathing, or other issues that can stem from contaminated air.
Vacuuming allows anything trapped in the carpet to be sucked up rather than having to be brushed away. This seems simple on paper, but a vacuum cleaner can actually gather up small particles and pieces of debris that the human eye can’t see – which can sometimes include odorous particles.
By vacuuming regularly, a decent cleaning company will be able to cut down on the bad smells in the office, removing crumbs and other pieces of dirt along the way. This is straightforward, but it can make a surprising difference when you do not realize how filthy the carpet actually is.
Mopping up spills and dirt on solid surfaces is another big concern for a lot of businesses, but it has to be performed correctly. Most cleaning companies will deliberately try to mop in ways that do not interfere with the normal operation of your business, like only mopping half of a corridor at once.
The benefits of mopping are actually quite noticeable: a lot of smooth surfaces can end up with caked-on dirt that your eyes will not instantly recognize. This is especially important in places that rely on sanitary conditions, like hospitals or kitchens.
Offices are rarely all the same, and there are many office spaces that require specialized cleaning depending on where they are or what kind of roles they serve. In some cases, an office space might not even strictly be an office space at all, but a combination of different room types all in one.
Offices that sit inside commercial stores (like a manager’s office or a private place to discuss financial arrangements) have to be seen by customers and clients, which often means that they have to be kept cleaner than an office that anybody rarely sees.
The type of cleaning can also change depending on what kind of business you are running. For example, an office in part of a hospital will need more extensive cleaning measures – even though the office itself is just an office, it could carry germs that might spread to other spaces in the building.
Offices that are only meant for a single person do not generate as much waste, but they are also much more private. A business owner might eat their lunch in there and it may not be as urgent to clean up messes like coffee spills – all of which can impact how the room looks, smells, and feels.
Shared offices – whether they are for six people or one-hundred people – are even more of a target for specialized cleaning. Since these areas are so large and they contain so many different employees, it can be important for a cleaning company to properly check each nook and cranny.
There is also the fact that one single disruptive spill or smell can impact dozens of employees at once, if not the entire building, through a kind of discomfort chain reaction. Major hallways can easily get stained if somebody spills a drink, and that wet floor might be used by hundreds of people per day.
With this kind of office cleaning, most cleaning companies have to start using more effective tools that allow them to clean areas faster. An entire office building can take hours to clean up, regardless of whether that cleaning happens during the workday or overnight.
Dirty or wet stairs, escalators, and generally elevated spaces are all serious concerns. While they are technically part of a greater office and could fall under any kind of cleaning, wet stairs can become both an inconvenience and a health hazard.
There is also the fact that stairs are not always used as often in some areas relative to others. For example, side stairs in a hospital office area might not get much traffic but could still have lingering germs that might spread to patients if the spaces are not cleaned effectively.
Finally, there is the fact that all stairs take staff up high – and once they are up high, they are in more danger of falling down if something goes wrong. For example, some warehouses have a raised office section that requires stairs to reach, where wet steps can be an extreme health and safety hazard.
Why You Need Professional Office Cleaning Services
This might all seem fairly basic and straightforward, but office cleaning is a lot harder than you might think. There are plenty of major reasons why companies choose professional cleaners over hiring their own and understanding the benefits is important to getting the best results possible.
Staff do not like to clean things unless it is their job or it is a mess in their own space. That is completely understandable since most employees will work really hard and do not want even more stress on top of their existing workload.
Asking an employee to tidy up their desk before a company inspection is one thing, but asking them to clean toilets while they are also trying to balance their other responsibilities is another. Even if they agree, it wastes time and puts them in a bad mood, potentially resulting in them quitting later on.
The same thing can go for cleaning staff. If you did not hire cleaning staff to do certain things and do not offer them an incentive (like higher pay) to do them, then they are not usually going to take on extra cleaning duties. Most cleaners just follow what is defined in their contract and original brief.
Professional cleaners are professionals for a reason: they understand how to clean effectively and can handle it better than the average person. This means that they can use specialized equipment well, know the best techniques for different spaces, and are generally more willing to approach problems.
One of the less-praised skills of these professional cleaners is an understanding of how to avoid getting sick. If employees can already get sick from working in a space full of dust and germs, then trying to clean it can just lead to them getting sick faster.
A professional has the knowledge and equipment to clean almost any space, even toilets or old kitchens, without putting themselves in harm’s way. As an added benefit, if they do get sick, it does not take any of your own employees out of the office.
A clean environment can help employees stay productive. It might not make sense at first, but when you are working in an office space that is dirty or has visible dust everywhere, it can start to get irritating. This is especially true of people who have a natural preference for clean spaces.
If you are not cleaning your offices correctly, then you are creating situations where staff are uncomfortable or struggle to work in that sort of environment. This lowers productivity in general, regardless of the kind of work being done in that office.
It is worth noting that a mess can sometimes lead to even further issues down the line – employees may end up being so unproductive that they do not have free time left to tidy much up, making it harder and harder for them to get out of the ‘spiral’ of mess without staying at the office late.
As mentioned earlier, some messes can be hazardous to employee and customer health. This is not just in terms of food being served with germs in it or smells getting people sick, but smaller details too.
A good example is industrial chemicals. They might be safe to throw away inside a disposal dumpster, but if the dumpster is full, where do staff put them? More often than not, they will leave them on top of the dumpster or next to it – completely exposed and potentially leaking.
This also applies to old electronics, medical equipment, food waste, or even stacks of cardboard left in stairwells and hallways. On their own, they can be disposed of, but too many can quickly create problems and put people in more danger for no real reason.
If an environment is clean, an employee might work harder to try and keep it clean. The opposite is true if a space already looks horribly untidy or filthy. For example, if a trash can is full, employees may start stacking trash around it rather than emptying it since nobody wants to touch it.
The difference becomes quite obvious if you look at clean offices compared to messy offices. An errant stack of papers can quickly grow taller, old drinks cans can pile up, and eventually, the momentum for adding more and more mess is really hard to stop.
By cleaning and making a space nice, though, mess and dirt stands out more. Employees will be more careful about how they interact with their office and will avoid trying to create any messes if they can help it.
How Do I Get A Cleaning Company?
If you are interested in hiring an office cleaning company or just want to look at what options are available, then you need to start considering the overall requirements of your business. Some properties and businesses are much easier to clean than others.
Know What You Want
Consider what kind of cleaning your business actually needs and the kind of work that you might want to get done within the office. If a common problem is that employees make a mess, then focusing on the areas that they work in the most can be important. If not, look at other areas.
Having at least a basic understanding of a plan or cleaning pattern can help a lot since you know more about your business and office than any cleaning company could. Even just listing some common spots that accumulate trash can help significantly, narrowing down the searches.
On the other hand, if you are genuinely stuck and do not know anything about how a company can clean your place, allow a couple of cleaners to take a look around. They might be able to identify the core problems and bring the right equipment when they start cleaning for real.
It helps to cooperate with the cleaners as often as possible, whatever that might mean for you. If an area needs to be deep-cleaned to remove traces of COVID-19 or a similar infection, then shut that space down and find a way to move employees to another room or arrange for after-hours cleaning.
Never try to fight with your cleaners about things that you do not really understand. Yes, it can be tricky to run a business if part of it needs to be closed for urgent cleaning, but that cleaning may be saving you from having to deal with sick customers or hurt employees.
Talk everything through with the cleaners and listen to their expertise. Their experience is a tool, so make good use of it while they are cleaning your office, and don’t be afraid to change your cleaning plan if you notice something new.