You can wake up every morning and come into a clean and tidy workspace only because a custodian has been there before you. They work while you sleep to ensure that your workspace is clean and safe when you wake up. Imagine a world without them.
Sadly, the hard work of custodians is seldom recognized and hardly appreciated. That has begun to change in recent years especially since National Custodian Day became an unofficial holiday circa 2016. It has forced us to pay attention and recognize the hard work of certain men and women that often go unnoticed.
Why Should National Custodian Day Matter to you?
The job of a custodian is often a thankless, unseen job. Yet, it is the oil that keeps the machine of work, school, and almost every organization running. Without custodians, we won’t have a clean and safe environment for working and learning.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought the importance of custodial jobs to the limelight. With the growing pandemic, and ever-increasing need to keep public spaces well sanitized, the role of custodians as the first line of defense against disease-causing organisms has become evident. Essentially, custodians are tasked with ensuring our safety and wellbeing, even though we often don’t recognize this.
Celebrated yearly on the 2nd of October, National Custodian day is a reminder of the effort of hard-working persons in keeping our spaces clean. It provides us with an opportunity to appreciate the custodians in our schools and workspaces. And it also reminds us of how important custodians are to our well-being.
National Custodian day Activities
National Custodian Day is a day to celebrate custodians and appreciate their sacrifice. There are several things you can do to make the custodians around you feel loved and appreciated.
Write Your Custodian a Thank You Note
Nothing makes work more pleasant than when your efforts are appreciated. Everyone wants to know that their work matters, including your custodian. Writing a thank you note or buying a gift card show your custodians that you care. Adding a gift or even a cake and sweets will make the day even more memorable for the custodians in your life.
Commend Them to Their Supervisors
This might not sound like a big deal but it is. Because most custodians work very long hours and earn little, any goodwill that can get them a raise will bring smiles to their faces. If you’re satisfied with your custodians’ work, you could contact their supervisor to let them know that you appreciate the work of your custodians. Sending in a letter of appreciation and commendation signed by everyone in the office will make the day an unforgettable one for your custodian. What better way to celebrate national Custodian’s Day.
Organize a Party
If you can, organize a party to celebrate your custodians. It doesn’t have to be anything big and expensive. You could simply send out invites to your colleagues and get them to commit to bringing food and snacks. Then, send special invitations to your custodians and their supervisors and if possible make it a surprise party. The glowing happiness on the face of your custodians will be worth the effort.
Get Better Cleaning Equipment
Cleaning is a tedious task, worse if you do not have the right equipment. Another way to celebrate National Custodian’s Day is to buy better equipment for your custodians, particularly if you are the boss. Buy better cleaning agents and replace worn-out or broken equipment. This will make their work easier and far more efficient and show them that you care. And you do not have to wait for National Custodian’s Day to do this.
Create a Clean-Up Chart or Reminder
It is easy to get messy when you’re not the one to clean up a place. As a way of making your custodian’s job easier, you could set a “trash all waste paper in the bin” reminder. It will remind you not to toss waste paper carelessly in your workspace. You could also create a clean-up chart with one cleanliness task to focus on improving per week. Creating a clean-up chart will help you keep tidier and reduce the workload of your custodians. Plus your custodian will feel valued when he or she sees such a chart on your wall.
Incredible Facts about Custodians
Custodians or janitors as they are most popularly called do not lead an entirely boring life contrary to popular opinion. You will be amazed when you find out some incredible facts about custodians. Let’s take a look.
1. Several popular, successful persons started out as janitors. Comedian Jim Carrey worked double duty as a janitor and security guard from age 15, mopping floors at a tire factory.
2. To safely and efficiently do their jobs, janitors have to be educated in the use of high-end tech equipment like walk-behind scrubbers. Consequently, in the United States, over 5000 janitors have a Ph.D. Particularly those in educational facilities.
3. The famous guitarist for the band, The Offspring, Noodles, became part of the band because he was a janitor in the school attended by the band members. He got invited into the band because of his position as a janitor and this opened the door to his rock and roll career.
4. Aside from Stephen King, other novelists have been inspired by their work as janitors. A 15,000-page fantasy novel by Henry Darger was discovered after his death. The novel also included original artwork. He worked in Chicago his entire life as a janitor.
5. Most schools in Japan do not have a janitor. School children carry out most of the cleaning chores themselves. This has to do with the Buddhist tradition and belief that cleaning is associated with morality.
6. Because many janitors work at night, they have abundant quiet time to think and meditate. This is a major reason why some janitors end up becoming very creative. Their work removes them from the noise of daytime activities that can impede focus and creativity.
How Can You Make a Custodian Feel Appreciated?
Similar to Custodian day activities, there are several ways to make a custodian feel valued and appreciated. These are simple things you can do whether you’re a student, teacher, principal, office worker, or employer. Some of them are:
1. Notice what they do and thank them for it.
2. Once in a while write them thank you notes or give them a card
3. Recognize them in staff meetings
4. In a school setting, student volunteers could be recruited to help with daily duties like picking up littered trash outside.
5. Giving random small gifts to custodians goes a long way in making them feel appreciated.
6. Recognize their birthdays (as you do for other staff members) with a card.
7. Highlight their efforts in the newsletter from time to time.
8. Custodians are essential parts of every functioning organization. Talk to them and also consider their needs when making changes to the organization.
9. Including the Custodian Day celebration in your yearly calendar will show your custodians that they are valued.
10. Gifts for custodian day celebration should be included in the dispensing of staff pool of funds.
Flexispot: The Modern Day Office Custodian
Just as custodians are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring your wellbeing in public facilities, so is flexispot.Flexispot has taken the responsibility of ensuring the comfort and wellbeing of workers in the modern-day office. The office furniture manufacturing company has become well-known for its ergonomic chairs and standing desks that promote office wellbeing. Janitors fight germs, Flexispot fights ergonomic injuries.
Flexispot ergonomic chairs are designed to provide maximum comfort by preventing body aches usually associated with prolonged sitting. Ergo chairs like the Soutein Ergonomic Chair and the Adjustable Ergonomic Office Executive Chair provide lumbar support and allow the user to adjust them to the most comfortable height. Because of the lumbar support provided, the pressure on the lower back is reduced and consequently, backache is taken care of. If you do not already have one, you can get one from the flexispot store. You will be glad you did.
Asides from Ergo chairs, standing desks are another aspect of the modern office where Flexispot shines in its custodial role. A standing desk helps you switch between sitting and standing effortlessly while you work. It helps in preventing disease caused by inactive lifestyles (including prolonged sitting). Investing in one is investing in your comfort and wellbeing. You should check out the Kana Pro Standing Desk.
Even though they are often neglected, custodians are the glue that keeps our workspaces and virtually all public facilities together. Without them, buildings will be in disarray and public spaces will be unsafe and unhealthy. Considering how sensitive the job of a custodian is, it is important to recognize the efforts of the hard-working people that do this job.
National Custodian Day provides an opportunity to show our appreciation to these health and well-being front liners. They work while you sleep to ensure you have a safe space to work when you awake. They truly deserve to be appreciated, so remember to do so not just on 2nd October but every other day.