There’s nothing more unprofessional than an office workstation that looks like a tornado just swept through. Whether your screen is coated in grime, your desk cluttered with rubbish, or you’re typing on a keyboard covered in crumbs, the presentation and cleanliness of your workspace can have serious implications.
Studies have found that the average office desk has 400 times more germs than a toilet seat, meaning that millions of UK workers are unknowingly exposing themselves to harmful bacteria every day. This inevitably leads to the quick spread of illness, forcing employees to take sick days and reducing productivity.
Not only does a filthy office make the perfect breeding ground for pathogens, but it also harms your company’s overall prestige, posing a major red flag to potential clients who are visiting and even candidates who have come to interview. It creates the impression of a careless and disorganized company, which will no doubt turn away valuable customers and staff.
As a result, keeping your workstation clean is of the utmost importance, with financial incentives, improved morale, and lower employee absence rates all potential benefits from good hygiene practice. In our latest blog article, we’ll take a look at some easy hacks that you can use to keep your office desk clean, from reducing the amount of clutter to improving overall hygiene.
Cheap and reliable, these hacks can be fashioned from items found in the office, or purchased from a quick trip to the shop. Either way, they shouldn’t take too long for you to put together and begin reaping the rewards.
Endlessly useful, wet wipes are great at providing a quick, easy clean of your desk and equipment. Such products can be used to wipe down your computer or laptop screens, getting rid of any dust or grime that is lingering around and hampering your view, while also serving as a convenient desk cleanser. It takes very little effort to do this, and if you build a quick wipe down of your station into your daily routine, it becomes a very efficient way to maintain your office desk.
Just be sure to choose an antibacterial wipe, as some products like baby wipes fall below the 60% alcohol requirement to be considered antibacterial. Microfibre cloths are an ideal alternative, and can be re-used, but lack the same germ-fighting quality if not used with additional cleaning products. Of course, no option will be as thorough or as hygienic as a professional cleaning service, which will ensure all surfaces are dealt with in an appropriate manner.
As many will know, it’s frustratingly common for crumbs and bits of fluff to get stuck in the gaps between your keys. This can be exceedingly difficult to deal with, especially if you want to avoid spending hours pulling out key by key, which might be the reason why almost half of us clean our keyboards less than once a month, and 1 in 10 have never cleaned it.
Considering these shocking stats, this hack could be a real game changer. Simply grab a post-it note or a piece of sellotape lying around the office, and use the sticky part to sweep through your keyboard, attracting any bits of dirt and crumbs along the way. This thin material will fit perfectly in the gaps between keys, and the stickyness will catch morsels that would otherwise be left to fester. If struggling, turn the keyboard on its side and gently tap on the table to dislodge some of the debris.
Most offices will have their fair share of notice boards, and where there are notice boards, there are pins. In addition to displaying the latest corporate initiative or event posters, push pins can also be used to create a wall mount for various pieces of small equipment. Just push them into your cubicle divider or closest wall to create a little ledge which can prop up light items.
Whether you need to mount your phone on the wall to never miss a call again, hang your headset up when finished, or prop up a piece of paper while you enter information, push pins are a simple but versatile solution.
Technology is central to how modern businesses operate, and many workstations will use a variety of devices, from multiple monitors to complex PC systems. With so many connections and peripherals, cables will inevitably get everywhere, and create a tangled web of wiring across your desk and floor, which not only looks untidy but can also cause serious health and safety risks from trips or electrocutions.
Managing your wires properly is essential, but it can be difficult to manoeuvre and hold them in place. Bulldog clips and Velcro one-wraps can group wires together into one streamlined cord, which avoids them sprawling out everywhere, whereas wall hooks are excellent at directing and holding wires, making sure they don’t dangle on the floor. All of these products are easy to use, and more than worth their cheap price.
The average cost of a disorganised desk comes in at £148, being all too easy to lose important items and documents in the swamps of a messy workstation. However, think of a fridge magnet – it sticks to the side of the fridge and stays there, within easy reach. Chefs have recognized the benefits of this and have already introduced it to their kitchens, attaching knives to magnetic racks for safe and seamless storage.
While most office equipment isn’t magnetic, the same principle can be applied. Velcro is ideal for this – just attach a strip onto a nearby wall or cupboard and another strip on your chosen item, such as a keyboard, certificate, or stapler. Should your desk get too cramped, or you no longer need to use a piece of equipment, simply attach it to your Velcro and worry no further. This ensures you can quickly reach equipment when needed, and avoids important items going walkabout.
From staples and batteries to pencils, rubbers, and rulers, your desk can quickly get overrun by small debris. Many of these items are useful and are worth keeping, but will easily get lost and certainly make your desk look untidy. A plastic or metal container is a perfect way to keep these little bits and pieces together, collating everything you need in one handy box.
Biscuit tins or tupperware boxes work great for this, and can even be tucked into a drawer or cupboard to keep it out of the way. Alternatively, there are products on the market called desk organisers, which provide a more comprehensive but more expensive solution to this problem.
While many offices have bins distributed across their workstations, they will rarely provide a good option for recycling. With only 45% of the UK’s waste being recycled, many will want to be more environmentally conscious and look after our planet by correctly disposing of their rubbish. With no dedicated recycling bins in most offices, this could prove challenging.
However, an empty tissue box is the perfect solution, able to be fashioned into a homemade recycling bin. This creates a small pocket for recyclables to be deposited, and once full, the box can be thrown straight into a blue bin. This makes for a highly convenient way to protect the planet, while circumventing the lack of recycling options in offices.
Long the hobby of avid organisers, label makers are indeed very useful. Not only can they label drawers, cupboards, and a whole host of office fixtures, but they can also mark where certain items should be kept. This will remind co-workers of the correct place to leave equipment after they are done using them, and will help to avoid lost or missing items, which will no doubt save time and money for replacements.
One of the less common ways to use a label maker is to leave notes or instructions to your colleagues around the building. These could serve as reminders, such as cleaning up after themselves when using the kitchen, using antibacterial gel when entering, or keeping their desk clean and tidy. In this way, labels can prompt employees and fellow co-workers to uphold cleaning standards, and encourage them to take pride in the presentation of their workstation.
With over a third of the UK’s workforce eating lunch at their desk, there is no point in keeping your desk clean if the office kitchen is filthy – germs will simply transfer back onto your desk, contaminating it once again. One of the most dangerous points of contact is the microwave, which will spend all day heating up a variety of leftovers, ready meals, and noodles, which will quickly accumulate grease and dirt and become a pathogen breeding ground.
A quick and easy way to clean your microwave is heating a bowl of water for 2-3 mins before wiping the inside. The warm water will help to break up stains, making the wash quick and painless, and ensuring no cross contamination winds it way to your workstation.
Your office floor will naturally get dirty, whether it’s from coffee spillages or mud being tracked in, and will need to be mopped. Filling up the mop bucket from a kitchen or toilet sink can be a little awkward, especially if the bucket doesn’t fit. This could cause further spillages, or even injury if handled incorrectly.
A rather unorthodox hack is using a dustpan to funnel water from the sink into the bucket. This makeshift waterfall makes it far easier to fill the bucket, and therefore allows you to mop up any spillages around your workstation.
Ultimately, keeping your office workstation clean and free of clutter is a challenging task. So much equipment, technology, food, and people are involved in day-to-day office life that the maintenance of your premises is a time-consuming endeavour. While the above hacks may help in the interim, there is only one long-term solution for your office cleanliness – hiring a professional commercial cleaning company.
With over two decades in the industry, Vanguard Cleaning have tended to countless offices and workplaces. Whether it’s sanitising your workstation to reduce the build-up and spread of harmful pathogens, or helping clear the clutter from your desk, we will leave your desk looking fresh and presentable. On top of this, we offer a variety of additional services to keep your premises hygienic, including floor and window cleaning, washroom services, and comprehensive deep cleans.
Our staff undergo training accredited by the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc), making them capable of delivering the highest cleaning standards in the industry. Combine this with our 24/7, UK-wide coverage, and we become the clear option for a cleaning service that is convenient and effective for you and your business.
For all your office cleaning needs, choose Vanguard. To receive more information on our services and receive an entirely free, no obligation quote, contact our professional team today.