Hygiene and wellness have a higher profile now than ever before. While many employers have prioritised a clean workplace, others haven’t given it quite the priority it deserves.
But it isn’t all about the money. We now know that cleanliness can help protect staff from significant health challenges.
Coronavirus isn’t the only health and safety challenge a clean workplace can help tackle. Even though it’s still very much the risk of the moment, it’s only one of many that businesses have to contend with.
Fortunately, most of them can be tackled, or at least mitigated, with a thorough cleaning regime.
Here are just a few ways office cleanliness can positively impact a workforce and improve office safety.
You know from your own experience the difference between walking into a clean space and walking into a dirty one.
You’ll probably feel a lot more positive towards the clean one and won’t mind spending the next 8-10 hours working there as much as you would in a dirty space.
This then feeds into your productivity, attitude towards the company, the office or workplace, the equipment and health and safety.
Motivated workplaces encourage paying attention, diligence and doing a good job. All of which contribute to a safer, happier workforce.
‘If my boss doesn’t care about the office, why should I?’ Sound familiar? It’s something we hear about a lot in workplaces that aren’t cared for or cleaned properly.
This attitude is dangerous. Not only does the employee not feel positively towards the boss or business, they don’t feel positively towards the workspace.
What if that employee spots a hazard? Are they more or less likely to report it as a risk or actively do something about it to prevent an accident or further damage?
From our own experience, we would say less!
Health and safety
Neglected offices and workplaces can generate hazards and not address existing risks.
Dirty spaces can hide all manner of risks such as exposed wires, sharp edges, chemical spills or worse.
You don’t have to work somewhere industrial or around heavy plant to experience risk in your workplace!
Clean spaces will quickly show risks as there is nowhere for them to hide. Vacuumed and debris-free floors will immediately identify trip hazards or areas of risk.
Clear workspaces with no rubbish laying around or full bins will show exposed wires, those sharp edges, damage to the building or furniture and any potential hazards within your area of work.
We regard employee health as more important than health and safety but the two are not mutually exclusive.
In this context, we’re talking about clean air, hygienic bathrooms, clean kitchens, sanitised public and social spaces and all those things that keep staff healthy.
A healthy workforce is a more productive workforce. It’s also a workforce that takes less time off sick.
Simple things like regular checks and cleaning of bathrooms can make a huge difference to health.
Clean kitchens, sanitised kitchenware, thorough cleaning of coffee machines or welfare spaces and even wiping door handles with antibacterial solutions can all help too.
All things a competent cleaning company can provide as part of the service.
A clean staff kitchen is much less likely to be a site of an accident. Clean, dry bathroom floors are less likely to present a trip hazard.
Sanitised kitchenware is less likely to transmit bacteria or viruses of any kind, including coronavirus.
You get the idea.
You can get more involved with employee health too if you have air conditioning. We all know the hazards presented by AC systems that aren’t cleaned and serviced regularly!
Cleaning is an investment and not a cost
A clean office is an investment and not a cost. Depending on the size of your workplace, cleaning could pay for itself many times over with a happy, more productive workforce who take much less time off sick.
We won’t pretend office cleaning is the panacea to every challenge your business faces. But, in the current climate, a clean, hygienic workplace is probably the most important asset you have aside from your people.
If that isn’t worth investing in, we don’t know what is!