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May 2018

The Clean Routine: what should be done in your office and how often

Written by Nathalie Leblond
Environment and Green Hygiene Leave a Comment

A company is doing interviews for a Personal Assistant. A well dressed lady sits down and the interviewer opens with the standard questions around "getting to know you" and qualifications. The interview progresses to required skills for the job the interviewer asks whether the lady was good at Windows. She looked at him with shock and replied, "I don't do domestic work!"

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We talk a lot here at Initial about the difference between cleaning and hygiene, and how they are inextricably linked. We’ve written previously blog posts on what to consider when thinking about your office’s essential hygiene requirements as well as 25 easy tips for office cleaning to ensure that your office doesn't become a hotspot for germs and cross contamination. And we all know that a clean and hygienic workspace not only improves morale, but reduces absenteeism too.

But how often should all of this cleaning be done? Surely there are some things that are more pressing than others? If your office is anything like ours, your cleaning staff have a limited number of hours in the day and  need guidance in terms of priorities. The canteen dustbin probably takes priority over the office waste paper basket, but do your staff know that? Obviously no two offices are identical, and larger offices may need to increase the frequency on some cleaning activities compared to offices with fewer staff, but here are some suggestions of what should be done daily, weekly and monthly when it comes to both cleaning and hygiene.

Daily: Daily cleaning lists should be made up of the absolute minimum requirements for keeping an office space clean and hygienic for the occupants, and should primarily address the cleaning of communal areas such as bathrooms and kitchens, as well as the front of house area like reception. Our top daily cleaning suggestions include (but are not limited to) cleaning of all basins, toilets and bathroom fixtures, the emptying of all office and bathroom waste bins, and the cleaning and sanitising of office kitchen surfaces and sinks.

To ensure that your office has the necessary hygiene requirements covered on a daily basis - such as soap, sanitiser, paper towels and feminine hygiene units - check out our blog on your office’s essential hygiene requirements.

Weekly: Weekly cleaning lists should include bigger items that require cleaning slightly less frequently to  create a healthy environment for colleagues. Polishing of wood furniture such as boardroom tables and desks, cleaning out the office fridge and microwave and cleaning and disinfecting of the kitchen dustbin are all things that should happen on a weekly basis.

Feminine hygiene units (FHU’s) should be emptied, cleaned and fully sanitised on a regular basis by a professional hygiene provider. Depending on the number of female co-workers and the size of the building, this may be on either a weekly, or monthly basis. And if your office doesn’t have FHU’s, read our blog on how to ask your boss for some! Initial’s Signature units contain silver ion nanotechnology to further prevent the risk of cross contamination.

Expecting your office cleaner to dispose of sanitary waste products is to put them at risk of cross contamination and infection. Added to which where are the cleaners going to dispose of sanitary waste? It’s illegal to dump it  into the general waste. Initial is a registered Waste Carrier and will provide a Certificate of disposal, providing customers with peace of mind that sanitary waste is disposed of in a safe, sensitive and environmentally friendly manner.

Monthly: Monthly tasks should include things that if not cleaned regularly won't endanger the health and safety of your colleagues. Things like vacuuming the fabric of chairs in reception and meeting rooms, dusting high shelves and cupboards and vacuuming air vents are all things that can be left to a monthly routine. Window cleaning is also a task that can be left for once a month, along with de-greasing the office stove.

Antibacterial fogging, offered by Initial as a complementary part of our Ablution Hygiene treatment, is a hygiene treatment that can be done on a monthly basis in any communal space. The treatment is highly effective at sanitising large spaces, using the absolute minimal amount of water. The disinfectant is vapourised into droplets that cover even the hardest to reach surfaces, and which make it a very effective way of combating cross infection in bathrooms, as well as other high traffic areas like call centres and gyms.

Quarterly: Quarterly - or even bi-annual - cleaning should be done on all those really hard to reach places. Think of this as office spring cleaning, just more often! Areas that are ignored for the rest of the year should get some attention, such as behind the office fridge and stove and the kitchen walls.

Deep cleaning one’s bathroom is a bit more tricky and is not something that you daily cleaner is equipped to do. A quarterly ablution hygiene treatment from Initial will ensure that even the most impossible places to reach - such as bottle traps and U-bends - are cleared of uric acid and scale buildup (one of the leading causes of pipe blockages) and that tiles and sinks are cleaned, degreased and left sparkling.

Sanitising one’s work station is also something that should be done on a quarterly basis, and if you don't believe me, read our blog 5 ways to keep your laptop clean for some indication as to just how filthy the average laptop and desk really are.

Initial offers a techno hygiene service specifically designed to clean and sanitise the most germy of office equipment. This specialised treatment can be done quarterly, and includes the removal of grime, dust, stains like tea and coffee, correction fluid, food particles, skin cells, saliva and other debris from office equipment such as telephones, switchboards, keyboards, monitors, CPU’s, photocopiers, fax machines and shredders. 

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Nathalie Leblond

Nathalie Leblond

Nathalie is the Category Manager at Rentokil Initial, and has worked in the hygiene and pest control industry for 12 years. Although after 12 years cockroaches still have the power to terrify her, she has learnt countless ways to defeat germs both in the workplace and at home. She is a passionate advocate for Global Handwash Day and the health benefits that can be derived from regular handwashing and hygiene practices. When not contributing to the Initial blog, Nathalie is writing press releases for sister businesses, Rentokil and Ambius. You can find her on LinkedIn.

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