Cleaning an office

How to Make Office Cleaning a Companywide Habit

Get some positive prompts that encourage coworkers to tidy up in your workplace.

If office cleaning is taking up too much of your workday, use these tips to encourage other team members to pitch in.

Communicate Cleanliness

Strong visual cues can help direct your coworkers to keep tidy — when everything has a clear place, people are more likely to put items back where they belong.

Make sure you have enough of the right storage and organizational accessories to keep everything neatly stored. Take a look around the office and check where you may be lacking bins, cabinets, drawers and containers to hold office supplies or personal items. Also, stock up on things like spray bottles of cleaner, paper towels and other cleaning supplies.

Also, affix unobtrusive labels on your cupboards and drawers to make everything as clear as possible. Seeing the "Scissors, Staplers and Sticky Notes" drawer might be enough to remind someone to go get the scissors they left out and put them back where it belongs.

Create an Incentive

Everyone loves getting gift cards for the local coffee shop. Give your coworkers the opportunity to earn one as the winner of  the cleanest work space. A small incentive like this creates a lighthearted contest to help keep desks clean — and even if some coworkers don't care about coffee, for instance, seeing a monthly email about the contest can certainly remind them that cleanliness is a priority and encourage them to keep things neat.

Keeping the stakes low — $10 here and there — can help keep the incentive effective without creating any office drama.

Hold a Declutter Day

Organize quarterly or twice-a-year "declutter days" and schedule time for everyone to clean up the common areas of your workspace, such as the foyer and lunchroom. Make a list of tasks, such as clearing out the fridge, cabinets and tabletops — and if it's practical, assign everyone a specific task.

Plan the event either early in the day or over the lunch hour, and supply snacks or a light lunch. Remember that, as seasons change, so do office cleaning and organization needs. In the winter and spring, make sure your office includes boot trays as well as coat racks or hooks.

No one wants to spend all their time cleaning up after coworkers, but it's also no fun to remind coworkers to do their fair share. These ideas can provide a more positive way to get the team to help with office cleaning.