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Can You Reprimand Employees for Not Keeping the Workplace Clean?

It’s a question that you might have been pondering for a while. After all, everyone is different and we all have diverse views on what we expect and the standards we adhere to. The workplace is no different to any other slice of society – some people are immaculately presented and keep their personal space well organised and tidy, whereas others are messy, shambolic and exist in a state of chaos. But what can you do about it?

Whilst it is not possible to expect everyone to agree or work to the exact same levels of tidiness, where a workplace is particularly unclean, or it disturbs or offends other members of your workforce then you may be within your rights to mention this to the employee/s in question. Here are a few ideas to help you keep your workplace clean and encourage your staff to get on board with your policies.

Tips for helping your employees maintain a clean workplace

1) 1. Set out your policies clearly

As an employer you have the right to enforce certain rules about your workplace. The best way to do this is to set out your policies clearly from the start so when new members of staff start work they are aware of what is expected. One way to do this is to provide a staff handbook. This can include any information you might have about tidy desk policies, who is responsible for emptying bins or stocking up bathroom supplies and any restrictions you might have on eating in the workplace.

2) 2. Provide sufficient storage

One of the reasons why someone may have an untidy desk or be surrounded by clutter might be that there is nowhere for them to store their personal items or work-related documents that are not currently required. By providing sufficient filing space for work storage and lockers for the safe stowing of personal items, you can help your employees keep their working area clutter free. Another top tip is to provide plenty of storage for coats, bags and additional footwear – this is particularly useful when winter arrives as members of staff may need to change their shoes or wear more layers to keep warm on the daily commute.

3) 3. Hire a professional workplace cleaner

In some cases, you may already have an office cleaner, particularly if you rent your premises, however this may only cover communal areas. Making sure that all of your workplace is subject to regular cleaning will help to not only keep it clean and hygienic but will instil a sense of pride in your workforce, encouraging them to also keep their personal workspace tidy and hygienic. Even if you have a professional cleaner, it still makes sense to provide basic supplies for employees to use so that they can clean up after any spillages and keep their workstations, mice and telephones sanitised. Providing anti-bacterial wipes, screen cleaners and a handy vacuum are just a few ideas to encourage office cleanliness.

If an employee is being particularly untidy, to the point where it threatens other’s safety or their own performance then you may have grounds to take their negligence and misconduct further, but we would advise you speak to your HR representative about this.

All in all, a clean workplace is a more harmonious, and productive one, so if you can set out what you expect from staff in the first place and review this regularly – inviting their input so you can make the policies work for them too - then you are on your way to a happier and healthier working environment.

Speak to MCS Cleaning today about our range of commercial cleaning services and find out how we can help you keep your workplace tidy and hygienic.

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