Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Break - Slowing Down

We started a tradition a few years ago that has become a part of our culture.  The last work day before the break is designated as "Cleaning Day."  We stop work on projects and we don't go to meetings.  We bring in coffee and snacks, and we provide pizza for lunch.  Staff are encouraged to dress casually.

We provide a variety of cleaning products and suggest that everyone pitch in and clean up.  This is physical as well as virtual.   The result is a winding down of activity to the break.  There's laughter as we find really old software diskettes or manuals.  There's a lot of "Why did we keep this?" talk.  And we leave the space really fresh for our return in the new year.

The list of suggested activities includes:

  • Update all assigned help and project tickets with current status and clearly described next steps.
  • Update any status reports.
  • Update the wiki or other documentation.
  • Clean up old email and reorganize your labels. 
  • Review and delete unneeded files from your desktop or laptop computer.
  • Delete and organize files on shares.
  • Reorganize your desk and drawers.
  • Backup your computer.
  • Clean out and drop in the shred bin paper files and documents from your desk.
  • Wipe the coffee and pop spills off your desk - we provide cleaning spray and paper towels.
  • Dust off the tops of cubes, window sills, window blinds.
  • Wipe off door knobs, your phone and your cell phone.
  • Join in the clean-up of common areas such book shelves, refrigerator, microwave, kitchen and such.
  • Note that the refrigerator and freezer will be emptied and anything left will be thrown in the trash.
  • Recycle old periodicals.
  • Clean up areas we'll identify, reorganize, put everything in its place.
  • Take time to review university emergency response materials here http://www.police.oakland.edu/emergencypreparedness/resources
  • Go through the short online training for Preventing Workplace Violence on campus:  http://www2.oakland.edu/training/cal.cfm?courseid=525


  • If you have any departmental rituals for your organization, please share.

    Happy holidays!