If you had to grade the smell in your office, what grade would it receive? You don’t have to answer that question, but if there is room for improvement your office isn’t alone. There are many opportunities for foul odors to make their way into your office and stay there for longer than anyone would like.
The first response may be to tackle the stench with air freshener or deodorizer. But at best that may only temporarily mask the smells that you want to get rid of for good. A comprehensive approach that tackles the odor at the source is the best way to permanently freshen the air in your office. Here’s how to start.
How to Freshen Up a Stinky Office
Take out the trash.
Simply taking out the trash every day will help keep the odor down in the office. This is especially true in break rooms and cafeterias where people heat and discard food. If employees are allowed to eat at their desks, then trash all over the office should be taken out every day.
Trash cans can be stinky all by themselves. Liquids from food and drinks can leak inside from the trash bag in to the trash can. If no one cleans out the trash can, it can smell awful. Washing out trash is a great periodic task to add to your janitorial service. If that is out of the budget, what can you do? Simply pouring in a cap full of bleach in the bottom of or spraying the inside of trash cans that are in break rooms is an easy way to kill the germs that accumulate and cause odors.
Another alternative would be to encourage employees not pour liquids into the trash can or over stuff trash cans. An over filled can liner is sure to rip and leak the contents into the trash can. Always double bag heavier items that must be thrown out.
Limit eating areas.
One person eating fish for lunch at their desk can leave the air less than fresh for days. Now imagine this employee drops the fish on the carpet. That odor is in the carpet until the next carpet cleaning. When possible, only allow employees to heat, eat and discard food in designated areas such as break rooms, cafeterias or outdoor eating areas.
Encourage employees to eat lunch away from their desks by creating relaxing and pleasant areas for meal breaks. Offering a variety of comfortable indoor and outdoor areas can lure employees (and food smells) away from work areas. Also talk to employees about being mindful of the things that they bring for lunch and to be considerate with their selections. While that seafood platter may taste good, it may be a smell annoyance to everyone else.
There are a few areas in offices that are breeding grounds for odors. If you have a cleaning service, the cleaning of these areas may not be included in your janitorial service contract. This leaves your office staff to clean these areas to not only keep them sanitized but to prevent them from stinking up the office. Wash dishes daily. Throw away old food from the refrigerator weekly. Clean the inside of the refrigerator with a cleaning solution monthly. And don’t forget to clean the inside of the microwave at the end of the week. Keeping these areas clean will do wonders for keeping your office smelling fresh.
A dusty office smells dusty. If you have a cleaning service, make sure that they dust at least three times per week and wipe down desks. Ask that your employees leave their desks uncluttered enough so that the majority of their works pace can be dusted and wiped down. If you do not have a janitorial service, set a standard that your employees dust and wipe down their desks before leaving work each day. And don’t forget the periodic detail dusting for areas such as baseboard and window blinds. These areas can hold dust and cause that dusty smell as well.
Dust, dirt and smells can liner in carpet until they are removed. Daily vacuuming helps keep dust and dirt under control. But regular carpet cleaning will remove smells from the carpet which will help your office smell fresh.
These tips will get you well on the way to an office that not only smells clean but that is clean! Whatever you do, make sure to tackle the problem directly for long lasting results.
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