Your employees are important to your business. They sacrifice their time and provide valuable skills in order for you company to run smoothly. However, you compensate them with the money they need in order to pay their bills. It is a relatively straightforward yet somehow extremely complicated transaction.
One gray area in the employer-employee transaction is cleaning. It is often difficult to figure out if it is the employee’s responsibility to perform routine cleaning tasks or if those should go to a hired hand.
The argument on the employee’s behalf is that they are not paid to do that type of work. However, the employer argues that even though it is not explicitly stated in their job description, employees need to at least do their due diligence in keeping the office environment cleanly. The employer, after all, is the one footing the bill for the cleaning services and this can increase exponentially if the employees do not respect their workspaces.
There are some tasks that should be handed off to your employees, especially with regards to shared workspaces. The following tasks are all ones that your employees should be responsible for as they are all within reason and will help save you money on office cleaning.
Some companies choose to have fully stocked kitchens in terms of utensils, plates, glasses, mugs, etc. Other companies choose to provide just the essentials such as a microwave and refrigerator, therefore requiring the employees to bring in their own eatery.
Regardless of which kitchen you provide your employees with, it should be expected of them to clean up after themselves. They should be responsible for rinsing bowls, plates, mugs, and any utensils that they use.
Additionally, they should be required to place that kitchenry into the dishwasher, provided there is one. This is one of the easiest cleaning tasks that an employee can perform and is not a request that should take them away from their work for a long period of time.
It is also not an unreasonable request to have employees responsible for starting and emptying the dishwasher. Create a rotating schedule so that employees are responsible an equal amount for starting and emptying the dishwasher on designated days. This will not only make it fair for the entire office, but it will keep employees accountable because they have an assigned day.
If you haven’t had the unique pleasure of emptying out a four month old fridge, you are (not) missing out. The fact of the matter is that employees forget that they left their half gallon of milk in the fridge. They also tend to forget that bag of salad they purchased the day they wanted to be healthy.
After months of idly wasting away in the fridge, these perishables turn into nightmares. They are unsanitary, odorous objects occupying the rear of the fridge. For the vast majority of cleaning companies, cleaning out the fridge is not their responsibility. It is actually in their best interest not to clean it out because they might throw away something an employee was saving.
Again, it will benefit you to create an employee rotation for fridge cleanout. This can be done weekly or monthly. It should always be done on a set day so that other employees know to take any of their perishables with them. Having a fridge clean out day allows you to keep your company’s fridge clear or rotten food.
While we’re still in the kitchen, we should talk about cleaning that up too. The kitchen is one the common areas that will get dirty fast. Drips, spills, water, and crumbs all tend to build up if nothing is done about it.
Luckily, your employees should be responsible for cleaning the kitchen. If an employee spills their beverage or water, they should wipe it up. It is really as simple as that. The spill should not be left for the cleaning company. This not only prolongs the potential for a drink to stain a table or counter, but it also adds more cleaning time on for your cleaning crew. If they are forced to continually clean up spills, you can be sure that you will receive a new estimate in the near future.
Cleaning the countertops and tables can also be added to the employee cleaning rotation. It is not outside of their realm of responsibility to clean up the kitchen common area of crumbs and minor things of that nature. This is also one less responsibility for your cleaning crew that will result in you saving money.
Finally, your employees should be responsible for cleaning their desk, cube, or office periodically. Create a quarterly desk cleaning day if necessary. If an employee’s desk isn’t visible under the stacks of papers and post-its, it makes the job of the cleaning crew much harder. They will either have to clean around these mountainous stacks or skip that employee’s desk altogether.
Having this quarterly desk cleaning saves you money because it makes cleaning easier for your cleaning company. They have to put forth less hours to the job. A side benefit of employees cleaning their desks, is the added organization. How many hours are wasted while employees search for memos and meeting notes in the stacks of papers that collect on their desks? The correct answer is, too many.
Andrew Fujii is a marketing professional with expertise in digital/web and content marketing. He is also a copywriter for multiple agencies producing copy for blogs, articles, websites, product packaging, mobile apps, and more.