There are many ways in which the state of a workplace can have an impact on those who are there day in, day out. From reducing the number of sick days that staff take due to illness, to increasing productivity by providing a cleaner and more positive environment in which to work, any business can see a wealth of benefits from making improvements to the workplace motivated by hygiene and health.
1. Partner with a professional cleaning service. The cleaner the general office environment is, the more likely staff are to make an effort with their own areas. It pays to have a regularly scheduled office clean that focuses particularly on high traffic areas such as the kitchen and the bathrooms. Especially if your office is open plan it’s worth committing to a bi-annual deep clean to ensure that nothing unsanitary is lingering.
2. Make sure your office is promoting positive hygiene practices among staff. So, for example, everyone in the office should be regularly washing their hands, especially after using the bathroom. You can encourage this by putting signs in relevant spots and by providing a plentiful supply of soap and clean paper towels or effective hand dryers. Hand sanitiser is another useful product and one that is more likely to be used if provided for free.
3. Give staff responsibility for their own personal area. Employees should be encouraged to keep desks tidy – clutter not only allows dirt to build up but can also create a pretty depressing working environment for those around. Provide anti-bacterial wipes and hand sanitising gels to avoid any excuses around staff having to provide their own cleaning materials. Ensure that your office cleaners are also tackling desk equipment, such as computers – one study found that this area is a magnet for bacteria with the average PC mouse contaminated with more than the average toilet seat.
4. Have robust illness policies. For example, if you have staff who are off sick with something contagious, such as Norovirus, ensure that they stay away from the office for at least 48 hours before returning. This can help to ensure that you don’t end up with an office-wide outbreak.
5. Involve your workforce in the process of upgrading hygiene practices. As well as encouraging staff to keep desks clean and ensure that they are regularly washing hands, you can engage your employees in the process of creating a cleaner and healthier environment to work in. For example, recommend that staff don’t share any items within the office – offer paper towels so that there is no sharing of tea cloths and give everyone the option to have their own mug. Ask that staff be up front if they have been unwell and may still be contagious – offer flexible working options, such as working from home, so that no one feels compelled to be in the office if they are very ill.
A cleaner, healthier workplace is a positive environment in which staff can thrive – these basic steps will help get your office onto the right track. If you’d like to learn more about the different facilities products available you can explore our range here.