Most businesses and organisations nowadays have some form of office use that will inevitably get messy and need cleaning. Even, say, a tradesman where the majority of their work is out with the tools, will include some administration invoice work at a desk back home.

So whether you need to include such office areas yourself in a regular clean, or you're involved in organising outsourced easy cleaners for larger office areas at your business, here is the low down of what you need to remember.

The exact detail will of course change for whatever type or size of office area you're dealing with, but the principles are the same, and with this daddy of checklists to go through you can easily then take out what isn't applicable to you.

And right at the end we'll explain how you can immediately download this final office cleaning checklist in order to then begin rolling out.

The Traffic Light Style

We have actually laid out the essentials in 3 traffic-light stages to help place everything in context.

The first 'red' light stage is stopping to make sure you get things set up correctly right at the beginning, including all the compliance checks you really need to make, particularly in a business office context.

The second 'orange' light stage is getting the practical things ready to roll, whether that's the correct cleaning equipment and substances, or PPE with say aprons and gloves.

The last 'green' light stage is when you’re ready to get going, and a final cleaning schedule which basically lists all the individual cleaning tasks you need to carry out and when. As you then go through the cleaning taking into account the earlier red and orange stages, you can log progress and issues that you come across.

The Red Set-Up Stage

So as you begin to set-up the right cleaning schedule for your office area, here are the main compliance pointers to bear in mind.

You can check out more details on these here, with these helping as a checklist for your own internal cleaning arrangements or auditing those being completed by an external cleaning company.

1. Insurance Cover

Making sure the right insurance cover is in place for the cleaning company, or any cleaning activity being correctly included within any current business policy. Public liability is the main one, but you may also need others like employer’s, contents, and even buildings and vehicles.

2. COSHH Health & Safety Policy

A policy needs to be in place taking account of how the cleaning activities are being completed within your unique business context, which considers the obligations under COSHH legislation.

3. Risk Assessment

A unique risk assessment for these cleaning activities, including related issues like Coshh and individual cleaners.

4. Data Sheets and Safe Stock

For all your cleaning substances, make sure you have these correctly documented with a Data Sheet and then safely stored away in separate locked cupboards and areas where required, particularly riskier substances like bleach for toilet areas.

5. Guides & Training

Make sure a basic guide is provided for how the cleaning is being carried out, with initial and updated training routines and records.

6. Signs & Notices

These are both permanent for, say, cleaning cupboards, and any temporary ones like flip-signs on wet toilet and kitchen floors.

Within offices you may also require additional letters and signs for workers, for example when they need to place items away for a deeper clean, and any updates on general housekeeping.

7. Cleaning Schedule

This is your main bread-and-butter list of what actual cleaning duties are needed and when, outlined below in the green section. These will need to be signed off each time by the cleaners, and any issues or accidents documented on them and any additional records.

8. Accidents & RIDDOR

Be prepared at all levels for accidents, from basic first aid and emergency clean-up kits, to recording incidents in an accident book and reporting serious accidents and deaths through RIDDOR obligations.

9. Building Policies

The unique details about the building being cleaned will need to be known, including building guides and policies, fire evacuation policies, and access and security arrangements.

10. Personnel Policies

Information on the welfare and management of individual cleaners will be required, for example lone worker arrangements for being alone and outside working hours to initial policies on equal opportunities and basis of employment, to any unique arrangements for circumstances such as disabilities.

11. Data Protection

In addition to the protection of data being for the individual cleaners, the policy for the office business also needs to be appreciated, for example what information can be viewed, thrown away, or shredded by the cleaner.

12. Folder

It sounds obvious, but an on-site folder with all the essential information for easy access in addition to whatever digital and files copies you have elsewhere.

The Orange Preparation Stage

Okay, when looking at what you need to prepare for, this often boils down to practical things like the correct cleaning equipment and substances, and PPE in order to be kitted-out and ready to roll.

Here are the main ones to consider:

1. Cloths & Dusters

The three popular types are general microfibre cloths for surfaces with and without water and cleaning spray, disposable ones like j-cloths for areas like toilets which will then be thrown away, and dusters for polishing and that special touch-up.

2. Sprays

In addition to general all-purpose ones for tough office areas, look at specialist ones like window cleaner for glass and mirrors, and special kitchen and toilet ones.

3. Fluids

This mainly includes mopping, and any tougher bleach on non-bleach liquids to dilute with hot water for, say, toilet areas. Also ongoing consumables like washing up liquid, and hand washes.

4. Carry Tray

A handy tray, or even a form of basic bucket to keep all your items together, not only helps you to easily move items around the office but keep them all together and safe from being lost and tampered with.

5. Mop and Bucket

Including basic ones which you see with domestic properties, as well as larger and corporate ones for larger office areas and floors.

6. Brushes

Both long-handled brooms for basic sweeping of hard-floors, or smaller ones with a dustpan for any broken items and areas like cupboards and shelves.

7. Vacuum Cleaner

A bread-and-butter one to make the most of keeping carpet or other floor areas clean. These usually need to be more durable and corporate than domestic ones to cope with the more regular and substantial use.

8. Aprons

Not only do they help protect clothes and provide handy pockets for holding items like cloths, but they help provide immediate branding of who is doing the cleaning.

9. Gloves

Whether disposable or ones to then be cleaned, check if different ones are needed for different tasks, for example toilet areas compared to usual office areas.

10. Head Protection

This may be simple hair ties, hats, or even glasses to help ensure everything is safe and sound.

The Green Doing Stage

As we now come to the main cleaning schedule, this basically lists each individual cleaning task and when it should be completed.

This might range from a regular daily basis, to a more occasional, say, monthly basis for that extra-mile deeper clean.

These not only help provide a guide and reminder of what to cover and when, but a record of what was actually completed, by the cleaner signing and noting what was accomplished in addition to any issues and comments noted.

So here's a basic list of items and frequencies to consider:

* Vacuum the floor and behind doors
* Mop hard floors, using disinfectant
* Empty bins and place in new liners
* Clean glass and window areas with appropriate glass-cleaner and occasional squeeges
* Damp-wipe hard surfaces with mild disinfectant
* Wipe brass/metal handles, light switches, and door frames
* Remove and clean mugs and cups (hand or dishwasher)
* Additional wall marks and scuffs
* Sanitise and clean toilets and basins
* Refill soap dispensers
* Polish or better wipe surfaces like board room tables and solid wood floors
* Remove old food and clean/disinfect fridges
* Check stocks of food and drink e.g. tea, coffee
* Vacuum down and clean chairs
* Clean and dust vents and blinds
* Dust high-level ceiling from the top to the bottom
* Confidential shredding of documents where permissible
* Coffee machines and kettles de-scale
* Organise magazines and newspapers
* Dust skirting boards, picture rails, and window sills
* Vacuum and brush mats and re-position
* Wipe the sides and top of any partitions, for example between workstation cubicles and toilet areas
* Refill toilet rolls, towels, hand towels and dish cloths
* Clear white and notice boards
* Sofas and cushions cleaned and positioned
* Water plants and flowers
* Lifts and stain checked and cleaned
* Hand driers carefully cleaned
* Tidy and organize chairs and tables
* Clear workstations – including keyboards/monitors, coffee mats
* Deep clean carpets
* Wipe and clean equipment like telephones and photocopiers
* Clean and organize drawers and files/paper
* Check and install air fragrance
* Microwaves and cooking equipment cleaned
* Deeper disinfectant clean of bins
* Female hygiene within toilet areas checked
* Window cleaning
* Ceiling lights checked and cleaned
* Storage areas cleaned e.g. filing cabinets, book shelves

Completing the Right Office Cleaning Checklist and Schedule

So whatever stage you're at with getting your office areas cleaned, whether by yourselves or others mucking in, or you're an office manager arranging through workers and an outsourced cleaning company, these three traffic-light stages help get to the bottom of what’s needed.

After first addressing what needs setting up the red stop-stage, including compliance-boxes being ticked, you can then look at what’s needed for the cleaning to happen at the orange waiting-stage.

You're then ready for the final green office-cleaning schedule which lists exactly what is required and when, and recording any feedback and issues from this.

You can access this whole office cleaning checklist here which summarises this three-stage process. This helps summarise all this in one place, and do contact us if you would like help forming a unique office cleaning schedule and checklist for your own business.