Office cleaning is a highly demanding and physically strenuous job that can lead to risk factors affecting the physical and mental health of cleaning workers. Below is a list of ten signs related to work-related stressors with suggested solutions.
- High Workload
This can be attributed to two major reasons: changes in space design (e.g. more cubicles fit within floors); fewer workers assigned to deal with larger or more densely occupied workspaces.
When these happen, the office cleaning crew has to exert extra effort just to keep up with the required outcome at the end of their shift which can lead to negative impact on physical and mental health.
Solution: Adaptation of a reduced workload and/or introduction of additional cleaning staff
- High Quality Demands
This occurs when the office management want the office cleaning staff to adhere to specific cleaning procedures to produce a more satisfactory result (e.g. material restoration, maintenance of equipment) even if it is not part of the job description – usually for the main purpose of cost reduction.
When the office cleaning staff faces unrealistic expectations without the corresponding compensation, the possibility of experiencing work-related stress is high.
Solution: Provision of good initial training and matching the workload with cleaners with relevant skills
- Resources Issue
First, it can be an issue of limited/depleted supplies which can lead to the office cleaner to either run errands just to furnish it or to carry out the task without one.
Second, it can be an issue of badly maintained machines or faulty equipment which can lead to the cleaning crew to compensate by using extra physical force or to allot additional hours to finish the task.
Third, it can be an issue of new cleaning solutions that require more time and effort for application to ensure its effectiveness.
Solution: Regular inventory and routine maintenance of all cleaning supplies and tools
- Monotonous Work
The main goal of office cleaning is to achieve a certain level of aesthetic quality, functionality, and appropriate hygienic conditions which are achievable by doing the same specific tasks routinely and regularly.
For most cases, it means that the cleaning workers to follow their work procedure and schedule, among other things, because they are bound by the employer-employee contract.
Solution: Define specific tasks for each cleaner and incorporate variety/diversity in job demands
- Repetitive Physical Strains/Considerable Health Hazards
The musculoskeletal and cardiorespiratory systems usually take the toll of highly demanding office cleaning activities.
This can occur when office cleaners deal with slippery or wet floors as well as working at dangerous height. There is also high risk of bodily harm or injury when utilising sharp objects, heavy equipment, or moving machinery parts.
Furthermore, a cleaning worker often has to assume awkward postures, repeated irregular movements, and constant application of high force to get the job done.
A rising concern among office cleaners nowadays is the constant exposure to cleaning products containing harmful or toxic ingredients as well as biological agents and pathogens that increase their risk of acquiring infections or illness.
Solution: Provide training where workers can learn about ergonomic solutions; Provide cleaners with appropriate personal protective equipment
- Unfavourable Schedule
Office cleaning is usually carried out either before or after conventional working hours. Scheduling routine or general cleaning early in the morning or during evening time ensures that job operations within the workplace is not disturbed or delayed.
However, this leads office cleaners to compress all the essential tasks within a limited timeframe which can result to haphazard cleaning techniques, inefficient use or management of equipment, or potential risks of burnout and other health concerns.
Solution: Improve schedules by allowing changing shifts
- Time Pressure
This refers to a variety of tasks that take up considerable number of minutes in an office cleaner’s logged in work hours: moving from floor to floor, travelling from one job site to another, refilling cleaning carts, etc..
This leads to excessive work strain or backlog on assigned tasks, which forces an office cleaner to double the physical exertion or forego rest periods – none of which lends a sense of fulfilment.
Solution: Allot reasonable time for activities done in-between actual job execution and consider them as paid hours
- Lack of Acceptance
Working outside normal office hours, dealing with waste substances, and sometimes being subjected to unsavoury sights and smells can make the cleaning workers feel invisible.
This can be exacerbated by unfair treatment received from employers and other building occupants or being taken advantage of, which can further lower their self-esteem.
Solution: Upholding basic rights and fair treatment by all building occupants
- Isolated Work
Office cleaners may be assigned to several, unfamiliar office spaces that must be dealt with – sometimes in one work shift.
Sometimes, silence is a requirement to prevent disturbance to other office staff or building occupants; worse, there is no one to talk to during lunch break or there are no other employees who are willing to interact with them in cafeterias or along the hallways, for example.
Solution: Adaptation of a team-based office cleaning procedure where individual workers can still execute varying levels of job autonomy
- Low Wages
The most significant stressor among cleaning workers in the office environment or in a commercial setting is the lack of satisfying remuneration to justify the workload or burden/risks associated with the job description.
Solution: Render competitive financial compensation
The Right Office Cleaning Professionals for You
Office cleaning is a basic yet essential responsibility that must be taken seriously by any organisation. However, managing an in-house office cleaning crew must not get to the point of becoming a financial burden or even disrupting vital business operations.
A more practical and more cost-effective solution is to get the services of a reputable professional office cleaning company that will ensure a clean workplace without having to manage the work-related stressors on any office employee.
For all your office cleaning needs, contact Avalon Services today for a no-obligation quote. We can provide you with a bespoke cleaning service that can specifically address the needs and expectations of your office.