A nice and clean office – Photo Courtesy: Travis Isaacs
A foul-smelling office space is a sure-fire mood killer. Not only does it create an unpleasant working environment, it can also cause employees to lose focus and become less productive (you can’t get much done if you are scuttling outside every few minutes to catch a breath of fresh air, can you?).
On the other hand, a fresh-smelling atmosphere is welcoming and will positively impact employees’ mood and productivity. Moreover, a fragrant space is always a sign of good hygiene standards and sanitation, which is crucial for the overall health of employees. If you own an office or are in charge of one, try these simple tricks to keep your workplace squeaky clean and smelling heavenly at all times.
1. Ensure proper ventilation
Even though your office may have a HVAC system to keep the air circulating, any blockages in the same may give rise to musty odors that are not only unpleasant to put up with, but can also be damaging to the health of employees. Ensure that you get the HVAC cleaned and serviced regularly.
If weather permits, it is a good idea to open the windows for a while to let in fresh air and sunshine. This helps kill bacteria and helps you save up on electricity bills.
2. Use a disinfectant
Bacterial growth and mold are the primary causes of bad odor anywhere. Instruct the office janitor to use a good quality disinfectant while mopping the floors and cleaning surfaces.
If you are wary of harsh chemical cleaners, try natural alternatives such as vinegar, baking soda and tea tree oil.
Image Courtesy: Diversitech
3. Stock up on some indoor plants
Indoor plants are aesthetically pleasing and lend an aura of freshness to any space, especially dull, claustrophobic offices. They help balance the oxygen levels and absorb toxic elements such as formaldehyde (released by most electronic equipment) and ammonia.
4. Embrace aromatherapy and essential oils
Research suggests that certain essential oils can indeed boost the mood and encourage positive vibes apart from working as natural room fresheners. There is absolutely no dearth of essential oils to choose for your office and you can use them in electrical diffusers, vaporizers or room sprays.
Sweet Orange, Cardamom, Ginger, Lavender, Bergamot and Geranium are all good for office use since these are known to reduce stress and improve focus.
5. Carpets are the culprits
Carpets are a breeding ground for millions of bacteria and mold, especially if you live in hot and humid climes. You may not realize it but that seemingly innocuous carpet right under your feet may be letting out all those nasty odors. While most office carpets are vacuum-cleaned regularly, sometimes a more elaborate cleaning ritual may be called for. You may hire a professional cleaning agency to give your old carpets a thorough wash or consider replacing your carpets once every year or so.
6. Educate your employees
Above: A fridge at Cliff Hutson’s workplace – “there is stuff in there from people who retired months ago“, says he. Photo Courtesy: Cliff Hutson
It is easier to maintain cleanliness and hygiene if every single employee does their bit. Small things like wiping shoes on the mat, proper disposal of organic waste, cleaning out the office refrigerator and microwave regularly and maintaining good personal hygiene can go a long way in keeping the office environment fresh and fragrant.
Bran Dawes, is a supervisor at Expertise Cleaning Services, a cleaning service based in Australia. He is a nature lover and an environmentalist. He enjoys music in his spare time.