If you want your workplace to be healthier and happier, you should make office hygiene a priority. But what exactly is office hygiene and how can you improve it?
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What Is Office Hygiene?
Let’s start with the basic definition. Office hygiene refers to the overall cleanliness of your workplace. If your workplace is cleaned regularly, thoroughly, and properly, it can be considered hygienic.
Hygiene is both an individual and a collective responsibility. Office managers are usually responsible for coordinating things like professional cleaning, while individuals are responsible for cleaning up any messes they create and maintaining hygienic workspaces. Every task associated with cleaning, from deep cleaning the bathroom to washing an employee’s coffee mug, is part of your office hygiene strategy.
Strategies for Improving Office Hygiene.
So what steps can you take to improve office hygiene in your workplace?
#1. Hire the Right Cleaning Staff.
You probably already have professional cleaning staff in place to keep your organization tidy and hygienic. If not, now is the time to hire someone. Review your options carefully and look for an individual or organization with a thorough suite of cleaning services they can offer you. It’s also important to make sure this group does consistent work; after reviewing their efforts, do you feel confident they’re cleaning your organization thoroughly?
#2. Choose the Right Cleaning Products.
Different cleaning products have different strengths and weaknesses. Review them carefully before stocking your kitchen and bathroom with them. Making these cleaning supplies available to your employees, as well as your cleaning staff, increases the likelihood that surfaces and objects will be cleaned effectively and quickly.
#3. Make wipes, sanitizers, and Tissues Available.
Remember, office hygiene isn’t just about the cleanliness of inanimate objects; it’s also about the cleanliness of the people who work there. There’s only so much you can do to control the hygiene of the individuals who work for your organization; you can’t force them to take a shower. However, you can make hygienic supplies like wipes, sanitizers, and tissues available to them so they’re more likely to practice good hygiene in the office.
#4. Implement a Hygiene Policy.
If you want to go a step further, consider implementing a total hygiene policy. This document will dictate the rules and regulations for how people should conduct themselves from a hygiene perspective in your office. For example, are people required to wash their hands after using the bathroom? Are people required to wash their own dishes after taking them from the office kitchen? Are individuals responsible for cleaning up their own messes and spills?
#5. Prioritize the Bathroom and Kitchen.
However, you approach cleanliness and hygiene, make sure you make the bathroom and kitchen your highest priority. These are the locations most likely to get dirty; they also happen to be some of the most notable locations for evaluating office hygiene. If the kitchen is a total mess, the entire office may feel like a mess.
Why Office Hygiene Is So Important.
Why is this so important in the first place?
1. Reducing the spread of illness.
Every winter, offices throughout the country go through another round of cold and flu season. If even one person in your workplace comes down with the flu come they could easily spread it to everyone who works there. You can fight back against this, and preserve the health of your employees, by improving office hygiene. Simple tasks, like washing hands and wiping down surfaces, can greatly reduce the spread of these infectious diseases. Employees stay healthy and happy – and take fewer sick days.
2. Making employees feel clean
Clearly, this also has a superficial effect; people feel safer, happier, and more engaged in cleaner, more hygienic environments. If you make your employees feel clean, they’ll be more productive.
3. Improving air quality.
Did you know that better air quality is associated with higher employee productivity and cognition? Maintaining a clean, healthy environment should improve indoor air quality (as long as you use plenty of ventilation when using chemical cleaning products). This can also boost employee productivity.
4. Making a good impression.
Do you bring new clients to the office at least occasionally? Do you regularly interview new prospective employees? Maintaining a cleaner office environment can help you form a better first impression with these guests.
5. Improving employee retention.
If you keep their environment clean and organized, employees will be more likely to stay with your organization. Higher employee retention leads to a stronger, more cohesive company culture – and lower costs overall.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more time and money on your office hygiene strategy, you’ll end up with a cleaner workplace, happier workers, and greater productivity overall. Thankfully, it doesn’t cost much to preserve a better environment for your employees.