Cleanliness in the Office and its Connection to Workplace Wellbeing

Poor cleanliness and hygiene at work are top of the list of reasons why absence occurs within the workforce. With the exception of the Covid pandemic, minor and short term illnesses such as colds and flu, stomach bugs and headaches are the most common reason why employees take time off sick.

Whilst your company tries to maintain its maximum level of productivity, a bout of coughs and colds is all it takes to throw a spanner in the works. Couple that with time lost through ‘seasonal’ distractions (the office Christmas party for instance) and you could find that the man hours lost can really tally up.

So where does hygiene and cleaning come into play?

It can reduce absenteeism

With common illnesses like colds spreading through the workforce like wildfire, it helps to cut off the problem at source, where possible. Pre-Covid, people weren’t so stringent about their personal hygiene as they might be now, and the spread of infection via contact points and hotspots was commonplace.

Germs and bacteria can stay present on surfaces for up to 72 hours, so regular daily disinfection would eliminate the possibility of harmful infection being transmitted via contact. This would almost certainly have an impact on the number of employees potentially being infected, thus reduce the risk of loss of productivity.

It can highlight presenteeism

This might not sound like a problem, but it is. The fact is people turning in to work when they are ill is doing far more harm than good. They might think they are being conscientious or are afraid they’ll fall behind in their tasks if they take time off. But spreading germs around could cost the company far more in lost man hours in the long run if that one person infects ten more.

Encouraging your staff to work flexibly if they are under the weather could save time and hassle. Ask yourself how productive would they be if they come to work poorly?

Encouraging good hygiene and self-care within the workplace will work wonders!

It boosts overall productivity

Workplace cleanliness is not necessarily something you’d consider a top priority, especially if your company has money to make and no time to waste. When employees have got piles of work to get through, that dust and dirt build-up doesn’t seem all that important. But failure to maintain a clean workspace could be harming employee wellbeing.

A clean and tidy workspace is not only pleasant to look at, but it also has numerous benefits for your company – it creates an excellent first impression to visitors and impacts employee productivity, contributing to overall employee satisfaction. When their working space is clean, staff are more likely to be happier and work harder.

It can highlight the need for solutions and strategies

In order for any solution to be successful you will need to strategise. Start with a comprehensive inspection; find the issues that need to be addressed, for example areas that are high traffic, or are susceptible to clutter or dust and dirt build-up. A professional cleaning contractor will be able to help you identify key areas with cause for concern.

Secondly, for any cleaning task to be carried out successfully, clutter and mess need to be tidied away. Ask your employees to keep their desks tidy and get storage systems in place to help.

Thirdly, seek professional help. Investing in regular contract cleaning will keep your premises pristine. Plus, carpet and upholstery cleaning is time consuming and often requires specialist equipment.

It is however worth remembering that the task of maintaining cleanliness isn’t just a job for your cleaning team. Each employee needs to take responsibility for keeping their workstation clean and tidy during the working day to reduce the risk of cross infection.