Clean and tidy: office maintenance made easy

Clean and tidy: office maintenance made easy

A sparkling clean office is essential for making a positive impression and for ensuring the safety of both patients and staff. Hospitals take cleaning very seriously to prevent the spread of infection, and well-run medical offices follow their lead. Let’s assume you have a cleaning company that comes in on a regular basis, as most offices do. Even with this service in place, there are routines that staff can follow to make sure the office is always presentable and sanitary.

First, set up designated areas in the office to store cleaning and infection control supplies. Maintain a list of the items you use regularly (perhaps with notations of which ones are used for what), and make sure that whomever is responsible for purchasing office and clinical supplies doesn’t overlook keeping the cleaning storage areas fully stocked. See this post for an example of an inventory control list.

Next, assign staff designated areas of the office that they are responsible for throughout each day. For example, one or two people who work the front desk might be given the task of checking the waiting area twice a day to straighten magazines, look for spills, and make sure the tissue box isn’t empty and that there are paper cups in the holder with the water dispenser. A couple of back office employees could be in charge of surveying the bathrooms every couple of hours, giving the sinks a quick wipe if needed, replenishing paper towels and toilet paper if they’re running low, and emptying trash cans. If everyone pitches in and does a little bit of tidying and light cleaning each day, your reception, administrative, and clinical areas will remain clean and orderly.

Whether your contracted cleaning service visits daily or just a couple of times a week, keep an eye on their consistency and quality. Sometimes a gradual decrease in the level of service being provided isn’t evident until it’s slipped into the unacceptable category. Periodically take a step back and assess the office as though you were seeing it for the first time. If needed, clarify your expectations with the cleaning company representative to ensure that the office is being maintained to your high standards.

For cleaning that’s done less frequently such as window washing and carpet cleaning, create a schedule and stick to it. If windows are washed quarterly, for example, arrange a certain date with your service provider (e.g., first Friday of February, May, August, and November) so that they show up routinely and staff has advance notice in case they need to move anything or otherwise prepare before the team arrives. Ditto for carpet cleaning, which you’ll need to schedule to be done after hours or on weekends when the office is empty. Once or twice a year, hire your regular cleaning service to do a “top to bottom” deep cleaning of the entire office.