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I work as an admin in a company. My colleagues leave the conference room unorganized. I want to paste a notice asking them to keep the chairs back in their places before they leave the conference room. So what should I write so that it should look professional?

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    Assuming that posting a sign will result in a transformation of your co-workers into neat and responsible people is probably a stretch. – Socrates Dec 5 '14 at 12:21
  • It doesnt matter if it transforms them or not. I just want suggestions for the notice board. – Nisha Dec 5 '14 at 12:30
  • @Nisha if it doesn't matter why are you doing it? – jmorc Dec 5 '14 at 14:07
  • @jmorc: I can't change attitude of people..just doing my share of duty..i believe sensible ppl wl do their bit..as far as irresponsible ppl r concerned i dont give a damn. – Nisha Dec 5 '14 at 15:30
  • @Nisha Ok, so sensible "ppl" are just waiting for someone to tell them to push in their chairs and then they will magically start doing it? You are admitting you want to tell people to do something that you are also saying doesn't matter. Do you just need to feel important? – jmorc Dec 5 '14 at 16:25
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Focus on no more than three things you'd like people to do, for instance:

  • Remove glasses, cups and paper from the table
  • Close the window
  • Move the chairs back under the table

Your top three items may differ (perhaps you want people to wipe the whiteboard, or something else). However, people won't take more than three items seriously.


Next, write a short email. (Short, because no one will read a long one.) Focus on what's in it for everyone. If you frequently have customers, write about projecting a professional image. If you only have internal meetings, draw attention to how the next meeting's participants don't need to clean up everyone's trash. For instance:

SUBJ: Please leave the conference room in order

Hi all,

we would like to make an effort to organize the conference room a bit better. After meetings, please:

  • Remove glasses, cups and paper from the table
  • Close the window
  • Move the chairs back under the table

This will only take a minute and make the life of the next meeting's participants much easier.

Thank you, XXX

Why do you want to write an email? Because few people will read a notice that suddenly appeared in the conference room. A (short) email will have a better chance of actually being read.

If possible, get someone from management to send that email around, it may carry greater weight.


While that email is being sent, post a note on the inside of the conference room door:

After meetings, please:

  • Remove glasses, cups and paper from the table
  • Close the window
  • Move the chairs back under the table

This will only take a minute and make the life of the next meeting's participants much easier. Thank you!


Finally, if you see someone cleaning up later on, remember to thank him or her. Show that you notice and that you appreciate the effort. Conversely, if someone doesn't do this, ask him gently and politely to do one of the three things (not all three things, this will come across as nagging).

There will likely be a couple of people who will never change. Don't focus on those. Focus on the (hopefully) 80% of your colleagues who actually will make an effort. (I may be a bit optimistic there.)

Smile frequently. It does help in changing people.

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  • 3
    At my last company we did this (to reasonably-good effect). The notice in the room had a heading that was something like "reminders" -- that is, we presume that everybody wants to do the right thing and just needs a gentle reminder, as opposed to something that looks more directly like giving commands. – Monica Cellio Dec 5 '14 at 16:08
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So what should I write so that it should look professional?

I'd much rather you sent an email asking them to please help out by keeping the room clean for others, than to post something in the room.

But if you must, how about "Please help keep this shared conference room clean."

Creating a list of "Do this" and "Don't do that" seems rather like first grade to me. And treating colleagues like first graders but expecting them to act like professionals seems silly.

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You should consider whether or not outsiders (business partners, vendors, clients or board members) will be visiting your office. If they do, I would not put up a sign, it makes your company look bad. As a customer at a restaurant, I don't feel very confident when I see a sign in the bathroom reminding employees to wash their hands. Cleanliness is as much ha part of their job as putting things away at your company especially if outsiders will see it.

Try some other options:

  1. Send an email
  2. Go into the room before the meeting starts and remind everyone to put away things.
  3. Go in the room after the meeting and ask people to put away chairs and help out.
  4. Get buy-in from management and they need to set the example. If they put chairs away, others will follow.

Make sure everyone knows why putting chairs away is important. This could be a symptom of people not caring in general. I don't think you can address that, but at least get them to do something.

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