Everyone is Marie Kondo crazy and Mrs Hinch mad at home, but what about the office? As Spring is upon us, we always think about a spring clean for the home, but what about the office? We all have those colleagues who never seem to wash their hands and there maybe some that personal hygiene seems to elude completely. You might think you’re safe in your bubble at your desk, but did you know that your mouse harbours more germs than a toilet handle! The average desk is about 400 times dirtier than a toilet seat – in fact, some scientists estimate there are about 10 million bacteria living on your desk. You eat at your desk, right? Gross! When was the last time you cleaned your keyboard? There’s about 7500 bacteria living there. Think about that the next time you’re chewing on your biro! But it’s okay, your office has a cleaner, so I’m okay? When was the last time a cleaner went over the desks? It’s not normally in their remit to clean individual desks and keyboards, so maybe we need to think a bit more about keeping our office spaces cleaned and sanitised!
Depending on the kind of office you work in, it might be appropriate to approach the boss and ask for some basic cleaning and sanitising products for the desks. They might grant the funds out of petty cash so you can make a start on the spring clean, or you might have access to the cleaners supplies. Not everyone will want to give their desks a clean – so if you are feeling a bit grotty after reading those bacteria facts, it might be better to keep a pack of wipes in your desk for those days where someone sits at your desk while you’re away. That way you can give everything a discreet but quick wipe down before you need to use it again.
Most of us probably work in places that have clear desk policies, so your desk might be cluttered during the day, but at night everything gets locked away. But when was the last time you went through the files on your desk? What about the stuff hanging on the wall behind you? If you’re anything like me, that extension phone list has changed about 3 times by now and you’ve just handwritten the changes on and the paper is a bit discoloured and grubby looking where you spilled your cuppa that time. Maybe it’s time to get an updated version printed? Back to those files cluttering your desk – do you need them? What’s in them? Marie Kondo is about keeping things that bring joy – not something you usually consider at work, but her basic ideas behind keeping things that we need and getting rid of unnecessary stuff applies here – if there’s a few pieces of paper you need but only refer to once a month, can you scan them and keep them on your computer rather than in a file on your desk? A clutter free desk is so much easier to keep clean and it can often help you to feel more productive. The rule of thumb is to keep what you need within arm’s length – that way you always have the things you need to hand. So, get rid of the junk and keep the essentials!
Desk drawers – full of broken pens, pencils, but no pencil sharpener, about 3 different versions of post it notes, paracetamol, odd paperclips and an odd birthday card for those times you always forget a birthday? Have a declutter of your desk drawers as well – throw away all the rubbish you don’t need and give those drawers a clean! No point in keeping your desk clean and tidy for the stuff in your drawers to be festering!
Paperless offices are not a reality, so there’s always going to be something you need to keep hold of and always things coming to you that need attention. So make sure you have a system in place for these things so you can see exactly what needs to be actioned. Find a system that works for you and that will mean the junk and clutter on your desk is kept to a minimum.
What about your computer? Got files on there from 2003 that haven’t been opened since? Think about a declutter of the files you don’t use any more. If they are shared files, don’t just go deleting them though! People probably won’t notice they’ve gone but keep them in a separate folder for a bit in case they are needed, and always let the boss know before deleting anything. They might want to keep the files on a memory stick just in case! What does your desktop look like? Is it a few icons, or is it plastered with icons? I bet you haven’t even opened some of them for a long time. Have a tidy up of your desktop as well – create a sensible but accessible digital filing space so you can easily find what you need and remove all the junk from your screen.
Finally, what about the stuff sitting under your desk? Gym bag or maybe a box of files from last years records, or that stuff you brought last week and forgot to take home. Does it need to be there? Also, if its gym stuff, it’s going to smell and no one wants to have to put with that! If it’s files, when was the last time you needed them, or is it just laziness that they’re still there? Whatever is lurking under the desk, find a more appropriate place for it. You’ll appreciate the ability to stretch your legs out much more once it’s cleared away.
Although it might seem like a big task, just doing a bit each day will mean by the end of the week, your desk is tidy and more importantly clean! You never know, your colleagues may take the hint and sort their mess out too!
So, what’s this got to do with The Wage Shop?
Our great advice is just part of your simple, flexible service. With The Wage Shop, we make sure you’re paid on time and take care of your Tax and National Insurance contributions, leaving you to focus on your day to day workload.