Responsibility of an employee or an employer?
Contrary to popular beliefs, the issue of responsibility for maintaining order in the workplace is not obvious. In accordance with § 14 of the Ordinance of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy on the general safety and hygiene of August 23, 2003 it is the employer who is required to keep work areas clean and tidy. However, the situation in which the superior cleans the desk of an employee, full of documents essential for the subordinate, is hard to imagine. Moreover, most employees like to manage their own workplace, which involves also the question of keeping the order.
The employees’ duties should include cleaning their own desk and taking care of the equipment which is used – says Grzegorz Wysota, Director of Production Management, DC System. An employee may therefore e.g. clean the monitor, the keyboard, the desk space and the rest of the equipment (e.g. the phone, the printer), as well as take care of the plants. It would also be good for the employee to take care of the proper segregation of waste according to the rules adopted by the office manager – he suggests.
However maintaining the order by the employees may not be as obvious as one might think. Research done by Service Company of ETA SA proves that 58% of employees are in the habit of leaving a mess in the workplace. What is more, as much as 72% of the respondents assumes that cleaning is the responsibility of the office cleaners and 83% thinks that keeping the workplace clean is the employer’s duty, not the employee’s.
Take care of your desk
Every employee should first read the rules of work of a company where he is employed. Although taking care the order in the toilets is an employer’s duty, keeping your own desk tidy might be imposed by the top-down policies of the company. In many cases, expecting that the employee will maintain the order within their workstation is justified.
The employers have to be aware of the fact that entrusting the employee with the duty of cleaning the workstation may have some consequences. As the results of the survey done by „Ergotest – Czyste Biuro” show, only 23% of the respondents is willing to wipe the monitor of their office computer once a month. A true problem is the improper cleaning of the equipment of furniture, which may result in permanent damage. To reduce the risk of loss, the worker should be instructed how to properly clean the equipment which is used every day.
Even cleaning the furniture made of wooden veneer might be a problem – informs Grzegorz Wysota. To remove all dirt it is essential to approach the cleaning correctly. If an impatient worker uses the rough side of a sponge or a cleaning milk with abrasive quality, the surface will be scratched and this damage will be irreversible. All kinds of surfaces made of plastics are resistant to scratching but just to certain extend. Using the pad or sponge with melamine is an excellent method of removing tough stains, but if we use such materials all too often - the surface will change because of melamine pad polishes the surface so that a clear gloss stain emerges.
It is easier for the employee to wash the cup, sort the documents or even wipe the screen of the computer rather than remove a tough stain from the desk. . For more difficult cleaning or maintenance areas sensitive to the effects of chemicals it is a good idea to hire a professional cleaning company.
Spring-cleaning for professionals
In order to take care of the order in the office you can hire a person to clean it or commission the cleaning to a professional company. A cooperation with specialists guarantees that the employees will have adequate experience and knowledge. A team of professional cleaners will certainly choose not only effective cleaning products, but most of all safe for the surfaces and the people present in the room. Hiring a professional cleaning company is a guarantee of proper care of hygiene and order in the office space.
Maintaining an appropriate level of order in the office buildings and objects of class A is a challenge for the companies. This is due, first of all, with the highest quality finishing materials used in these buildings, quite often unusual and exotic - admits Grzegorz Wysota. On the other hand, another challenge are the requirements of the building owner or manager, who often does not have a complete set of data on materials used and their protection (impregnation, etc.) for the surface made, and thus cannot identify what are the specific requirements for their maintenance . The task of cleaning company in such cases, is the correct diagnosis of each area and the selection of appropriate technologies for their maintenance .
Hiring a professional cleaning personnel guarantees also an effective prevention of the development of bacteria. As many as 88% of respondents in the Ergotest research doesn’t realize that a negligently cleaned desk poses a serious threat to an employees health. In many cases water or a wet cloth is not enough for effective cleaning, only the use of appropriate disinfectants will effectively deal with bacteria. What's more, cleaning companies perform their services usually after office hours, and thus does not interfere with the rhythm of the company they work for.
Choosing the right company for the service you should be careful. Although on the market there are services available at a very attractive, low price, but it is not the cost that should have a direct influence on the choice of the contractor. Note that the price of services is affected by both the characteristics of the area and the customer's requirements, as well as the experience and the technologies used by the company.
Employing a cleaning person is a cheaper solution. It also allows better familiarity with the types of the surfaces used in the office, and thus choosing the best cleaners for the preservation of every surface. However, in case of large-area office, hiring a cleaner may not be sufficient.
Taking care of the cleanliness of the office, you should pay attention to the performance of those responsible for cleaning. Specialist cleaning companies have not only advanced cleaning equipment, but also a team capable of cleaning large areas in a short time.
This market segment should be served by the companies with proper technological basis, with the developed standards of service delivery, access to the latest developments in the market, as well as employing highly trained workers - says Grzegorz Wysota. In this case, looking for the cheapest companies, which lack expertise, resources and capabilities in consequence may prove to be a much more expensive solution. Let us remember that inappropriate technologies applied on surfaces made of very expensive, sensitive materials, lead to their irreversible damage - he added.