Cleaning for the Office 2.0

How commercial cleaning is adapting to today’s new work culture

A cleaned, well-maintained facility remains essential to nurturing an office’s productivity and overall well-being. But how one cleans the workplace is evolving, as offices have to adapt their designs and operations in the wake of the pandemic. From managing outbreaks to revamping layouts, we explore the key trends reshaping office collaboration, and how thoughtful cleaning further supports these efforts.

Clean bill of health

The pandemic irrevocably underscored the connection between cleanliness and health. Commercial cleaning is no longer perceived as perfunctory facility maintenance, but recognized as a first-line defense against illnesses. Offices are being redesigned with cleanliness in mind, incorporating improved air filtration systems, new antimicrobial fabric and hard surface materials, automated no-touch systems, and sanitizer dispensers. Administrations are also adopting clear post-outbreak protocols, working around interruptions through remote work options.

Cleaning too is evolving to meet these needs. At SparkleTeam, we incorporate the newest cleaning products and technology to address specific issues. For viral outbreaks like COVID-19, we sourced disinfectants based on the latest approved list of products from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Following a confirmed case, we also use electrostatic sprayers to quickly disinfect exposed areas. Other tools like HEPA filter vacuums also remove microbes and allergy-inducing particles from soft surfaces.

Bridging work and home

Remote work had increased in popularity among employees, as many experienced the lifestyle benefits of work-from-home situations. Returning to work in person, however, remains a priority for many businesses, as it streamlines workflow, boosts collaboration, encourages mentorship and nurtures corporate culture. In response, companies are reframing work environments to serve their employee’s lifestyle needs, by bringing a piece of home with them. Examples of this include family-oriented services like on-site daycare centers, to mental-health initiatives like bringing your pet to work.

In these special circumstances, ensuring a safe environment proves even more critical, as cleaning products and methods can affect their health. At SparkleTeam, we employ green cleaning products with less environmentally harsh active ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide and ethanol. These provide a more family-friendly alternative to conventional cleaning solutions that can cause allergies and other adverse health effects.

Reimagining desk culture

The office desk has seen a shift in the past decade, from cubicle grids to airy open space plans, where employees work side by side without dividers. The need for more social distancing, however, disrupted this trend. In addition, many work organizations are establishing different work structures from the typical five-day, 9 to 5. Some adopt alternating shifts, while others split work between home and the office.

This requires new design approaches to accommodate this changing landscape. “Hot desks” — or workstations shared between rotating employees — have become popular. So too have “flex” spaces, which can shift from an individual work space, to a meeting room, to a private conversation hub. Instead of maintaining individual offices, smaller companies have opted for co-working spaces, sharing facilities between multiple companies. As trends move towards more shared spaces, more frequent cleaning and disinfection would be needed to maintain optimum health conditions.