Why It Is So Difficult For Employees to Keep the Office Clean?
It is fairly common knowledge that a clean workspace has positive benefits on productivity. Many people are aware of this fact and although they may try their best to keep their work environment clean, most people are not the best at actually maintaining a high level of hygiene.
Particularly when it comes to a shared office space, people seem to be unable to share the responsibility for the upkeep of order and cleanliness. This is not because they are inherently messy people, but it is because they are in an environment where cleaning is not their top priority. This can cause some friction in the workplace, especially for employers who want a certain standard upheld, but before a solution can be found, it is good to understand some of the causes for office uncleanliness.
Employees are Under Pressure to Complete Other Tasks
The top priority for any employee is usually to complete their core assigned duties and tasks. This means that they will spend the majority of their time and effort completing the most important aspects of their job. Only after they have successfully accomplished what is expected of them, can they start to think of secondary tasks or other office related duties. This often means that seeming unnecessary tasks like cleaning the office fall by the wayside. Employees would much rather deliver their work on time than risk missing a deadline because they were spending time tidying up in the office. This puts employers in a difficult position, as they want their employees to complete the primary duties that they are paid for, but they also want an orderly and tidy office maintained.
The By-Stander Effect
One of the difficulties of keeping a shared space clean is that people often have difficulty taking responsibility for the work that needs to be done. If the person that leaves a dirty dish in the office kitchen doesn’t clean it, it is unlikely that anyone else will. Most people who see it will think that because they did not create the mess, they should not be responsible for cleaning it. Once this starts to happen, a little mess is likely to encourage more mess. People will follow the example of the first dirty dish and begin to think that they can get away without cleaning up after themselves. This can cause a compounding issue and will either continue to get worse or force an employer to create some sort of policy in an attempt to maintain order.
Keep It Clean
Understanding some of the causes of a messy office can help employers better prepare a solution that works. However, this can be a difficult position to negotiate. On one hand, employees should be responsible for the messes that they make, but on the other, they have other tasks that are more immediately important. Some employers will relieve their employees of the burden of cleaning by hiring an outside cleaning service, while others may enforce a policy in an attempt to get their employees to comply. Both methods are likely to work to different extents, but it is up to the employer to decide, which method will create the most effective workplace for his team.