Office spaces are notorious for being hard to keep clean, since it implies coordinating the efforts of many different people with a different concept of what “acceptably clean” is. That can lead to bad smells appearing, and they can make for a very unpleasant work day, which in turn keeps motivation low and frustrations high for everyone who sticks around long enough. How about picking up some habits to keep your office smelling nice all the time and avoid arguments?
The following is a list of five easy-to-pick-up habits that everyone in the office can adopt, so your shared workspace is actually pleasant to be in. None of them are particularly intrusive or costly, but you still might want to check in with the office administrator before you start practicing them, especially when it comes to reinforcing collective rules in the kitchen. If any of these catches your fancy, be sure to share it with your co-workers; there is strength in numbers!
Let some actual fresh air in
How to get rid of a musty smell in the office? Most offices have air conditioners working day-in and day-out without ever opening a window, which is OK to keep the air inside circulating, but that just makes the smells do the same without ever going away, essentially trapping them. The best way to get rid of them is, thankfully, easy and you can do it once every day; simply open the office’s windows for at least 15 minutes (even if it’s before the day begins) to let the air inside escape and be replaced with fresh, clean air. However, it’s much more effective to do it at a point where there are many different odors clashing, like in the middle of the workday or during lunch time.
Eat your lunch away from the main area
As time goes on, office workers tend to cut some corners to make the most of their day and finish as much work as they can. And one of the most popular shortcuts is eating lunch right at their desk. While that can prove useful for them, it keeps the smell from their food lingering around in the space where everyone else is trying to get some work done too. The solution? If you already have a kitchen or break room, make it a rule for everyone to only it there! This will keep the not-so-pleasant smell of everyone’s combined lunches out of your main working space, and will actually go a long way in keeping the whole place clean, since eating at your desk can also leave crumbs and stains behind.
Use the bathroom responsibly
Yes, we all know what goes on in the bathroom, which is why it’s doubly important that everyone in the office takes some responsibility for keeping it clean and fresh throughout the day. This means changing the air fresheners constantly, making sure it’s always equipped with soap, and generally avoid making a mess at any time and for any reason! The bathroom should be equipped with an air extractor, and if there are windows int it, make sure to open them at least once a day for a couple of minutes (preferably at the end of the day). Also, if everyone else agrees and the room is adequately ventilated, you can also use some incense if you don’t want to pump air freshener into the bathroom all day.
Clean your kitchen regularly
An office’s kitchen is usually the scenario for some of the most mean-spirited arguments that some of us have ever seen, and it comes down mostly to cleaning habits (and lunch stealing, but that’s a story for another article). Things such as not picking up after having lunch, letting the trash pile up, and not cleaning the microwave after using it are some of the most common points of contention for office workers, and they’re all cause some of the most offensive odors in the workplace. Everyone in your office should get together and draft some basic rules for the kitchen. But don’t go overboard writing up dozens of rules or most people won’t follow them, just stick to five or six basic ones about cleaning up after yourself, taking out the trash if you see it full (no turns), wiping down any food spills you cause, etc.
There’s no more effective way of solving a problem than letting a professional handle it, right? Well, the issue of bad smells in your office is just the same, and while there are many effective daily ways of getting rid of it, you or your co-workers might not be so excited to take time out of your day and neglect other responsibilities just to keep people’s noses happy. Regular visits from a professional crew will not only keep the area smelling nice and fresh, but also leave the place tidy and clean, raising the bar from smelling “just fine” to “amazing”.