Legal Law

The ordered boss

Running a business is stressful, but as a cleaner you can reduce some of that stress, simply by making sure the boss’s office is a space where you can work productively and successfully.

You may very well clean up for a very orderly boss, who has a range of great systems to make sure the business runs smoothly. However, it is just as possible that the boss whose office you clean is a disaster area.

Determining which type you have is easy: when you go to clean, is everything neat and organized and you just need to dust, vacuum and clean? Or when you go to clean, is there paperwork randomly piled on the floor, old mugs on the desk, and ruined papers strewn about in the trash can?

As an office cleaner, you should also see yourself as an expert in the art of organizing. Try to help cleaners take care of their workspace and help design systems that work for the business and for people, ultimately making their cleaning job easier.

Talk to your boss to identify the best way to help out in your particular office. The orderly boss may want help moving his furniture from time to time, or be willing to keep his office absolutely spotless. Make sure he knows that you are willing to clean it to his specifications and to let you know when something special needs to be cleaned.

The disorganized and cluttered boss is likely to need a fair amount of help finding systems that work and keeping those systems in place when they help improve productivity and efficiency. However, breaking into your first day is unlikely to make you want a new boss. A friendly guide and a relationship that develops slowly will be much more successful. Developing a relationship with both the boss and his secretary will help you identify what type of boss he is and help you suggest useful options.

If you have a wildly creative boss, chances are there are things everywhere – lovingly called ‘organized chaos’. The organized chaos will be piles of papers, documents, folders and it will be scattered on the floor and will fall from the desk. Sure, maybe he or she can work on this, but a color-coded system will really help.

Encourage and help clean the office by going through most of the paperwork together, filing financial documents in a green bin or folder, urgent documents in a red folder, contacts in a yellow folder (or whatever is applicable to the business). Colors help creative or visual learners (most people!) Organize and optimize their business.

Verbal or auditory learners often don’t need to save much of the paperwork that comes their way, because it’s in their head. If the paperwork is useless to them, they are unlikely to care much what happens to them. Again, giving them a place to put the papers will help a great deal. You might suggest that they use a junior to file those scraps of paper when they appear.

Use file cabinets, shelves and drawers effectively to accumulate piles instead of outside, saving you a lot of time and effort every day when you go to clean. Work together to find logical and useful homes for everything, and then work with the secretary and boss to keep those homes organized.

Be careful though, your job is not to file. Your job is to clean the boss’s office effectively to provide a motivating work environment.

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