Why is My Desk So Dirty?!

When it comes to general office cleaning, janitorial service providers have a heavy task at hand. And, unfortunately, office staff can tend to be quite critical of cleaners sometimes even when they are doing an excellent job. A common, key area of contention are personal office desks and cubicle desks throughout the facility.

Why do desks get so dirty and what on desks should be cleaned regularly?
Think about it. Office desks are used daily by professionals. Staff sits at their desks using the space to work and even eat at. Computers and other office equipment, especially electronics, that sit on most desks attract dust and collect dirt. Phones, keyboards, and computer mouses (or is it mice?!) are touchpoints because they are used daily and get smudges and debris caked on them over time.

Whose responsibility is it to clean off desks?
Many office employees assume that the nightly cleaning staff is responsible for cleaning everything in their office, including their individual desk. This, however, is not always so. Janitorial staff in offices follow a strict work schedule that is defined by the agreement with the facility services provider. Some areas of office cleaning will not be included but can be included upon request or added on as a special service. Desks can be an area of confusions because while it is important that they are clean, just like the rest of the office spaces, cleaners want to be respectful of office staff’s personal spaces. Cleaners are, understandably, cautious when it comes to cleaning desks because they do not want to move or ruin work or other personal items. Most general office cleaning will include computer monitor dusting, wipe down of phones, and cleaning of chair, desk, and table legs at regular intervals. How the office desks themselves are handled is determined by each facility per their work schedule and agreement.

How is the best way to make sure it gets done and is done right?
When office desks are included in the scope of work then it’s important for office staff to understand that cleaners will always respect their space. Cleaners will not move papers, files, notes, and other items on individual desks. For staff who wants to have their desks whipped off and dusted, the best way to signal that to cleaners is to neatly stack those desk items to the side – or better yet, on their chair. When the desk is cleared off, cleaners will not be hesitant to take care of desk cleaning. Note also that many offices choose to not include desks in their work schedules. In these cases, office staff will want to take a few minutes to wipe down their own desks at least once a week.

It should always be known that communication is king. If there is a lack of clear communication between facility managers and service providers regarding desk cleaning, no one is happy. When it comes to general office cleaning, be sure it is clearly defined in work schedules what areas of the office are cleaned and how frequently. Taking all of this into consideration, everyone can avoid the ‘blame game’ when it comes to why a desk is dirty!

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