The warehouse is a vital part of your business, but it’s often an overlooked part when you clean and organize. After all, this is a busy industrial location filled with machinery and heavy equipment, and it’s one place in your operation that customers may never see.
But proper cleaning of any work environment has many benefits. It improves productivity, boosts good morale, encourages safe work practices, and protects your investment. Could your warehouse use a little sprucing up? If so, here are five ways to keep it clean and functional.
1. Hire a Service
Warehouse employees are often among the busiest of all your workers. That means a company which relies on workers alone to do all the cleanup will always face an uphill battle. While employees should help out with daily cleaning, hire an outside service to be responsible for the primary cleaning work. Make a regular schedule for standard cleaning as well as deep cleaning of floors and machinery.
2. Provide Cleaning Tools
If you want a busy employee to do light cleanup, both scheduled and emergency cleanups, give them the tools to do so. The farther that a worker has to move to find a tool, the less likely they are to go to the effort.
Large workstations and those with a high probability of messes — such as machinery that creates metal shavings or that fills packing material — should have their own cleanup station that includes things like brooms, dustpans, rags, and all-purpose cleaner. Smaller stations could have a communal cleanup station placed at a central point.
3. Regularly Empty Bins
One easy way to ensure that garbage ends up where it should — and not on your warehouse floor — is to provide plenty of trash receptacles. Legend says that Disney has done the research on how to encourage the best use of trash cans and avoid litter, placing their garbage and recycling containers no more than about 25 steps apart.
While you don’t have to be that meticulous, you should err on the side of caution. Assess trash can use over a few weeks and see what the patterns are. Empty trash bins long before they reach maximum capacity, which may call for a schedule that accounts for busy and slow times.
4. Organize Regularly
The better organized the warehouse is, the more easily everyone can keep it clean. Try to have a regular home for everything possible, from forklifts to power tools. Floor labeling is a great way to achieve this. Use paint colors to mark off things like storage areas for large and mobile equipment, employee pathways, temporary holding locations, and garbage bins.
Shelves and hanging storage are another way to prevent items from cluttering up the place.
5. Clean as You Go
The idea behind a clean-as-you-go plan is that cleanup is easier and more likely when messes are manageable. For example, if workers spend the entire shift making a mess of the packing area, they may need to spend a long time cleaning it up — or the mess might get left for the next shift if things never slow down.
Instead, institute a policy of cleaning while work is still going on. It could be something as simple as sweeping used packing material to a designated holding area until it can be cleared. With a few simple tools, staff should be able to sweep up messes and wipe down equipment even as they continue to work. At the very least, all shifts should be responsible for cleanup before they hand over their station.
Some cleaning tasks in the warehouse are simple to enact while others take some effort and time investment. But the reward will be a happier workplace and a more efficient crew. Let Advanced Office Care help. Call today to meet with our janitorial professionals and create a cleaning strategy that benefits employees, customers, and your business.