Improving productivity tends to be a key part of strategy for every business today. In increasingly competitive times, taking steps that help to boost outcomes, drive up revenues and forge more effective relationships with customers can be invaluable. All this needs to be balanced with employee satisfaction and engagement – which, in turn, also contributes to a more energetic, productive workforce. Recent research has found that there is one factor that can have a big influence here: office cleanliness. According to a study by the Association of Cleaning, any business seeking to significantly improve productivity needs to start with the state of the office environment.
What does the data say?
The study conducted by the Association of Cleaning was published in the European Cleaning Journal. It established a direct link between the cleanliness of an office and productivity levels within it. This isn’t the first time that researchers have looked at the connection between a clean office environment and the way employees perform – a Dutch study conducted at Wageningen University (1999) generated similar results.
A clean office = happier employees
The Association of Cleaning study also found that there was a link between office cleaning and employee happiness and engagement. Essentially, in a clean office environment employees tend to feel more satisfied. The workforce tends to be happier and more committed to the business and the end result is that individual employees perform better. This higher standard of performances directly impacts on overall levels of positivity within the business.
Starting with the basics
A commitment to providing employees with somewhere clean to work is essential for employers who are looking to increase levels of productivity within the business. The academic studies in this area have clearly shown that there is an increase in productivity and effort when an environment is clean. So, it’s fair to assume that the opposite could be true where an office is not regularly cleaned and maintained. It’s also important to note the potential consequences of a poor office environment, one where employees are dissatisfied or where standards of cleanliness and care are not well established. For example, sick days in the UK already cost UK businesses £13.7 Billion a year. Unplanned sick days decrease productivity by more than half.
It’s not rocket science
Many employers still consider regular cleaning to be something of a “nice to have,” as opposed to an essential. This latest study indicates that such an approach could be incredibly costly in productivity terms. A basic commitment to regular office cleaning to ensure that acceptable standards are being met could not only ensure that staff are happy and satisfied but that they are also more effective and productive too. Such a clear link should be difficult for any business to ignore.
A clean office contributes significantly to productivity – and to a more engaged and satisfied workforce. Regular office cleaning provides a very simple way for any organisation to demonstrate a commitment to its workforce and to positively influence productivity outcomes too.