Welcome to my first attempt at a blog post, and yes, the expectation is that you bear with me.
Whiteboards. The gloriously glossy successors to the dusty banshees that were the chalkboard. They now populate many environments we occupy on a daily basis. You may have one in your home for the kids’ chores, one in your favorite coffee shop with the daily specials detailed, and, almost certainly one in the office. Of all the examples mentioned, the office whiteboard is likely to see the most use – during meetings of nearly every type, as a handy scheduling tool, budget report illustrations or for doodling during office parties.
But like most kitchens in workplaces, the workplace whiteboard may not always receive the TLC is needs, and this may cause you grief in more ways than one. Below I tell you my 5 reasons to keep the workplace whiteboard clean at all times:
1 – Professionalism
I know.. “Thanks Captain Obvious!” But seriously, think about this scenario. Your company, no matter the size, is about to sign a big client. The big fish everyone has been grinding for. They are about to come into the office to have a meeting, and hopefully, sign the paperwork that makes it all final. The secretary picks up the phone, its security saying the client is downstairs and about to take the lift up. They’re on the floor – walking like a group of stoic mountains dressed in grey and black. They seem to stare right through your very soul, but their gaze is slightly off to the side, you sheepishly follow it and see the greasy, smeared smudges of marker on the giant whiteboard you are standing right in front of – and your heart just sinks… There’s still the ancient remnants of a 2013 date in the corner, the accidental encounter with a permanent marker in another, and a freshly advertised and inappropriate office wager in bright red.
2 – Sanitation
This one does not need as granular detail like the previous example but think about it, markers are not dry, moisture is one of the best breeding grounds for microscopic surprises. Yes, they contain alcohol and other chemicals that do not necessarily create a fertile breeding ground, but there are some tough micro-organisms out there – don’t believe me? Google “Tardigrades” and what they can do – you’ll be scrubbing in no time!
3 – Order
It is a well studied and nearly conclusive fact that neatness in one’s environment can directly affect one’s mood, energy levels and overall health. Think back to your college days, you walk into your room (a mess, as always) and you can feel your lack of willingness to do something about it draining away – Same thing.
4 – Creativity
Creativity is the ability to fill spaces one perceives as vacant with something unique. If a whiteboard looks all smudged up and filthy, it already seems occupied and therefore can not be used for something new. Keeping it clean could bolster a working group’s creativity and keep that surface at the ready for anything that might cross someone’s mind.
5 – Lifespan
Whiteboards do not live forever. Eventually their glossy surface wears down and the marker ink gets more difficult to erase. Wouldn’t it feel better that when the day comes to say goodbye to “Old Board-O”, that it doesn’t feel like a waste but rather that it served the office so well that it almost deserves a 21 gun salute and a marble headstone?
Just some thoughts from your friendly neighborhood Account Manager slash Web Developer.
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