Each New Year offers the opportunity for a clean slate. Optimism abounds as we set goals, make resolutions, and think about all we’ll accomplish in the twelve months ahead. How about stepping into the new year with a clean slate in the form of a sparkling clean office?
Spring cleaning is a time-honored ritual, but there is no rule against a serious mid-winter scrubbing that is sure to get 2014 off to a positive start. Here’s a plan to follow if this sounds like something you want to tackle, perhaps during the lull between Christmas and New Year’s.
- Make a list of what needs to be done. This might include tasks such as:
- General overall cleaning and disinfecting
- Cleaning out drawers and cabinets, purging and tossing as you go
- Window washing, inside and out
- Cleaning window coverings
- Carpet and upholstery cleaning
- Tending to minor maintenance issues (touching up paint, fixing drippy faucets, etc.)
- Tending to outdoor maintenance (dormant flower beds, power washing walkways, etc.)
- Next, determine what you will do yourself. Put an offer out to employees inviting them to help if they are interested. You may have a couple of people who will jump at the chance to come in on a Saturday and earn some extra money to offset holiday spending. However, don’t expect a receptionist who earns $11/hour to spend the day washing windows for that pay rate. Bump it up to what you’d pay an outside service. That’s only fair.
- Order any extra cleaning supplies you’ll need, and because you’ll likely have several people working at the same time, make sure there are enough sponges, cleaning rags, and spray bottles to go around.
- For tasks you intend to outsource, schedule the work now. Due to the holidays it could be a bit of a challenge to line up service professionals who can come in to clean carpets or do small repairs, for example. If you use an outside janitorial service already, find out what they can do that is above and beyond their usual daily or weekly cleaning. If you need a handyman, ask around to see if you can find one person who is able to take on a variety of tasks (e.g. patch a hole in a plaster wall, put up some new shelving, install a new light fixture).
Use this opportunity, as long as you have the office more or less turned upside down, to rearrange furniture and reorganize work spaces. Ask staff at your next group meeting what they feel should be moved around to make their work spaces more efficient or what needs to be changed to improve traffic flow within the office. This might also be a good time to freshen up patient waiting areas with simple upgrades like new lamps, prints for the walls, and an updated assortment of magazines.