Running a company is stressful, but as the cleaner you are able to reduce some of that stress, simply by making sure the boss’s office is a space in which he or she is able to work productively and successfully.
It’s quite possible that you clean for a very tidy boss, who has a range of excellent systems in order to make sure the company runs smoothly. It’s equally possible, though, that the boss whose office you clean is a disaster area.
Working out which kind you have is easy: when you go in to clean, is everything tidy and organised and just needs a dust, vacuum and wipe-down? Or when you go in to clean, is there paperwork piled haphazardly across the floor, old cups lingering on the desk and screwed up papers scattered around the bin?
As the office cleaner you should also see yourself an expert in the art of organisation. Try to help those you clean for care for their workspace and help to design systems that work for the company and for the individuals- ultimately making your cleaning job easier.
Talk to the boss to identify how best you can help in his or her office particularly. The tidy boss may want help with moving her furniture around occasionally, or be keen to keep her office absolutely pristine. Make sure she knows you are willing to clean it to her specifications and to let you know when something special should be cleaned.
The disorganised and messy boss is likely to need a fair amount of help to find systems that work and to keep those systems in place when they are helping improve productivity and efficiency. Storming in on your first day, though, is unlikely to endear you to a new boss. Gentle guidance and a slowly developed relationship will be far more successful. Developing a relationship both with the boss and his or her secretary will help you to identify what kind of type the boss is, and help you suggest helpful options.
If you have a wildly creative boss, it’s likely that there is stuff all over the place: lovingly termed ‘organised chaos’. Organised chaos will be piles of papers, documents, folders and spread all over the floor and falling off the desk. Sure, maybe he or she can work in this, but a colour-coded system will really help.
Encourage – and help – to clean the office by going through as much of the paperwork together, filing financial papers in a green tray or folder, urgent documents in a red folder, contacts in a yellow folder (or whatever is applicable to the business). Colours help creative, or visual, learners (the majority of people!) to organise and streamline their business.
Verbal or aural learners quite often don’t need to keep much of the paperwork that crosses their path, because it’s in their head. If the paperwork is useless to them, then they are unlikely to care very much what happens to it. Again, giving them somewhere to put the papers will help no end. You could suggest they use a junior to file those bits of paper when they appear.
Make use of filing cabinets, shelves and drawers effectively to build piles up rather than out, saving you a lot of time and effort each day when you go to clean. Work together to find logical, useful homes for everything then work with the secretary and boss to keep those homes organised.
Be careful, though, your job is not to do the filing. Your job is to clean the boss’s office effectively to provide a motivating work environment.