How to Keep Desks Clean and Compliant With Government Guidelines
May 22, 2020
Maintaining a clean working environment should be a top priority for every business, especially when you consider the fact that the average desk contains 400 times more germs than a toilet seat! Office desks can be a breeding ground for bacteria and lead to the spread of illness and disease. Enforcing a strict cleaning schedule is essential to ensuring that your workforce remains healthy and productive. This is even more important given the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing regulations are due to be relaxed over the coming weeks and many employees will be returning to work for the first time in several weeks. Employers should carefully plan and prepare the return to work to help safeguard employees and minimise the risk of infections. With this in mind, here are some useful tips to keep desks clean and compliant with government guidelines:

Implement a clean desk policy

One of the most effective strategies to ensure that workstations remain tidy is by implementing a clean desk policy. This will ensure that your workstations remain clean and organised which, in turn, will help you remain compliant with government guidelines and reduce the risk of illness spreading in the workplace. Maintaining a clean and clutter-free working environment will also improve productivity by making it easier to locate documents and complete work tasks efficiently. Here are a few key things to include in your clean desk policy:

  • All employees must clear their workstation at the end of each work day.
  • Office walkways should be kept clear and free from clutter.
  • Any sensitive data, i.e. customer personal details, should be stored securely.
  • Employees should try to eat food away from their desks to help minimise mess.
  • Waste items should be disposed of correctly i.e. recyclable items should be placed in the correct recycling bins at the end of the day.
  • Personal belongings such as coats and jackets should be stored out of the way i.e. in a secure workplace locker.

Install a desk management system

Hot desking has become increasingly popular over the years and many companies have adopted flexible seating solutions in the workplace. While hot desking offers numerous benefits including lower costs and greater flexibility, it can also make it more difficult to maintain clean desks. This is because employees may feel less responsible for the condition of their workstations. Installing a desk management system like SEDES will make it easier for you to monitor where staff are sitting and working in the office. This will help to encourage autonomy with your employees when it comes to keeping workstations clean and tidy.

Offer employee incentives

Keep in mind that your efforts will only be effective if you get your employees on board with your workplace cleanliness policies. Offering incentives can be an excellent way to motivate staff and encourage them to follow office policies in place to protect their health and wellbeing. For instance, you could offer an early finish on a Friday if the office is kept clean all week. Or, provide a shopping voucher to the employee with the tidiest desk. Offering rewards will give employees a reason to keep the office clean and look after their workstation.

Final thoughts

The government has recently announced that the social distancing measures brought in to fight the coronavirus outbreak are due to be eased over the next few weeks. This means that many companies and their employees will gradually be returning to the workplace. It is essential that employers follow government guidelines and take steps to help minimise the risk of infection and ensure a safe return to work. Maintaining a clean working environment will protect employees, boost productivity, and improve office morale. Use the above suggestions to keep your office desk clean and compliant with government guidelines.