With days to go before Christmas and most of us shutting up shop on the 21st, spare a thought for our workplaces which will probably be left alone and unmanned during the festive period.
In order to keep things as professional and civilised as possible, we’ve come up with some pointers to help you keep your workplace spic and span this Christmas.
Declutter your office desk.
You don’t have to wait until your workplace table comes to life and begs for your attention. Stationery items such as pens, scratch papers and paper clips may pile up without you knowing so it’s best to determine the unnecessary things that need to be thrown away or repurposed. After all, a messy place can affect your enthusiasm and productivity at work.
Separate those belongings that you often use from those that you can work without. Do you still need that folder or document that takes up a portion of your drawer space? How about those office supplies that you’ve probably been keeping for months? If not, then it’s time to say goodbye to these items so you’ll feel more comfortable and relaxed once you get back to work after Christmas.
Likewise, workplace desks covered with specks of dust, food residues and coffee stains should be cleaned using a disinfectant spray and a microfibre cloth.
Your keyboard and mouse may also require a thorough clean-up to ensure that dirt and grime won’t get stuck inside and slowly damage the internal parts. According to an article written by health24, the average keyboard acquires more germs and bacteria compared to an average toilet seat. Research also claims that 16 million microbes can be present in a typical office keyboard.
Failure to maintain proper workspace hygiene may result in health problems such as stomach flu, coughing and sneezing so make sure to leave the gaps and crevices mess-free. You can do so by:
- Turning your keyboard upside down/holding it sideways
- Shaking and tapping the keyboard gently to spit out food crumbs
- Wiping the keys using a duster and a cleaning solution
- Looking for effective keyboard-cleaning supplies that you can use (e.g. wipes, sprays)
- Performing surface cleaning on a regular basis
Dust off the chairs.
Chances are, office chairs (particularly the mesh and fabric types) can get a lot of food crumbs and drink spills especially if you’re used to eating while working on your tasks. That being said, it’s ideal to devote a regular cleaning time so as not to let these particles stay inside the chair.
Vacuuming is one way to remove dirt and debris from the surface. Doing so allows you to gather the residues and perform the next steps.
- Once you’ve initially vacuumed the surface, use a high-grade cleaning agent to deal with the subsurface layer of the material without the obstruction of dirt.
- Allow the cleaning foam to seep through inside
- Using a brush, thoroughly scrub the surface to rub out stained spots
- Leave out the office chair for a few minutes to let it dry up
- Vacuum the chair to ensure that no signs of dirt remain and wipe away the rest of the parts (armrest, etc)
Drain out the coffee machine.
Coffee makers or machines are one of those things used on a daily basis so make sure they get proper cleaning before the festive period. To do so, wash the glass container to gently remove the stains from the inside out.
Also, don’t forget to clean the shower head, filter basket, warming plate, drip tray and even the control panel (steam nozzle, etc). Use anti-microbial wipes to effectively wipe away the dirt on surfaces. That way you can be sure that no or little amount of bacteria stays on the machine.
Check the AC system.
Your air conditioning unit also deserves to be cleaned as it helps to reduce the amount of humidity and improve the quality of air indoors. Before the holiday break, make it your aim to have the AC unit serviced by someone in charge of the building maintenance or a professional AC maintenance team if you have your own place of business.
The AC filter, fan and sound functionality are only a few of the important factors to check. You also have to consider the frequency of use and the size of the room to know how often it should be cleaned. For instance, a dirt-filled filter will hinder the secretion of regulated air. So it’s important to do a thorough inspection to dust off dirty spots and experience its optimum performance for the year ahead.
Clean the microwave.
Another valuable feature that you normally use at work or at home is the microwave. While it can be super easy to use, it can be challenging to clean especially if you heat some food items without a cover or when stain piles become difficult to wipe out. Leaving out spills and splatters aren’t just unappealing but they can also cause contamination so it’s best to perform a thorough clean for the oven before they come into contact with your food.
- Temporarily remove the turntable and rotating ring before you clean up
- Use a non-abrasive cleaner to gently remove the residues on the walls and roof
- Wipe away stains lurking inside
- Wash the disentangled parts with hot or warm soapy water and dry out using a cloth
You shouldn’t also overlook the door seal, buttons and controls. Make sure they’re free from dust or debris to prevent dirt build-up.
Clear out the fridge.
Taking unnecessary food (or non-food) items out of the fridge can prevent moulds from building up. Remember to dispose anything that takes up space inside and doesn’t require to be refrigerated. This is particularly applicable to expired foodstuff and non-food items such as disposable spoons.
- Start off by emptying the fridge from everything it houses
- Clean the trays and surrounding walls with hot soapy water
- Leave the surface until it completely dries (or use a cloth to dry up the area)
- Spray the inside portion of the fridge including the gaps and seals with a non-toxic detergent and wipe down for finishing touches
- Wipe away dirt or stains from food items before taking them back to the fridge
Don’t forget to deal with areas (door handles, etc) which you usually get into contact with to clean the entire cooling system. You won’t be happy to see the fridge with spills and residues on the first day of the new year, would you?
Freshen up the kitchen sink and toilet seat.
You should also prioritise washing the dishes and removing food residues from pantry tables and kitchen sinks when doing a workplace clean. Wiping away deep-seated stains using a steel wool and a high-grade sink cleaner can make it look sparklingly clean again. Also, make time to organise spoon and fork to reduce the hassle of finding the right pair of cutlery.
Likewise, pouring a good-quality toilet cleaner onto the bowl can help clean and deodorise the loo. Other essentials such as hand towels and tissue rolls also need to be dealt upon and replaced when necessary.
Brighten up the floor.
Whether it’s a tiled or vinyl flooring, it pays to devote at least an hour or less to wipe out any signs of dirt, grime and grease. Polishing it is also a plus point!
Some pointers to check before leaving the office:
- Inform your clients and consumers that you’re taking a holiday break so they won’t be wasting their time reaching you out.
- Organise (and remove unnecessary messages on) your inbox to prepare for the coming year’s messages and updates.
- Delay the reno process if you happen to have a pending job around the office. Put the tools in a secured place or storage locker for safekeeping.
- Unplug all equipment including the computer, phone, router and other electrical items to save energy and prevent fire accidents due to overheating.
- Sort out unused items or equipment which can be donated to charity groups or other non-profit organisations that need financial support.
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