Image: Credit to savvy.jobs
Maintaining a clean and tidy workplace is vital. Efficiency, productivity and morale are all directly affected by the hygiene levels of your business. However, the impact of a well-presented and cleanly office carries wider repercussions.
Your building also acts as a form of marketing for your company. A modern, clean and contemporary office will create a lasting impression for potential clients and staff. A dirty, dingy and outdated office will similarly be remembered, and can be damaging to business. The importance of cleanliness cannot be underestimated. To unpack the topic further, we have addressed five of the key areas that are affected by office hygiene.
Most employers will already be aware of the fact that the less sick days taken by employees, the greater the productivity of their employees and business. However, most employers are unaware of the worrying statistics around employee health. According to the cleaningservicesgroup.co.uk, ‘1 person carrying a virus will infect 50% of employees in four hours’
A clean working environment, with free, fresh fruit and readily available chilled water will aid in the revitalisation of employees, boosting their energy, vitamin intake and immune system. Whereas sick days, as reported by HRM Magazine, ‘cost UK businesses a staggering £28.8 billion every year.’
Dirty equipment can short-circuit or become over-heated. This consequently poses a serious fire risk and consequently, a risk to life. It is equally important to keep your office tidy. Businesses produce a lot of paperwork and have plenty of flammable items in close proximity to one another. To minimise the risk of fire spreading, you should regularly empty paper recycling points, bins and tidy stray sheets and other materials from your work area.
Dirty equipment is also less likely to last and can cost the company a substantial amount of money when parts or entire office items need replacing.
A light, bright and clean office significantly contributes to staff morale. Dirtier offices where dust is being breathed in, keyboards are sticky and bathroom facilities are left unclean have a higher employee turnover than others which are kept clean. Spillages that are left unattended to and other forms of office clutter may pose a hazard, as people may injure themselves.
As reported by Phil-reporter.com, ‘Jeffery Campbell, PhD chair of the facilities management program at Brigham Young University conducted a study on the relationship of cleanliness and learning in higher education. A total of 1,481 people were surveyed for the study. 88% of respondents reported that productivity, concentration, and learning is hampered in dingy places. Sensory distractions as clutter and foul smells affect focus in many ways.’
Anybody who views your office will form certain perceptions of the business and business owners. A clean, modern and fresh office, that is well structured and organised suggest that the company carries these values throughout. For example, a clean office may suggest that the company is also meticulous in its business practises. However, it is important to consider that it is not simply clients who visit your premises who form such perceptions; your staff are also likely to react to their office environment. If you keep a dirty and disorganised office, employees are more likely to feel that the company does not have very high standards, which may then be reflected in the quality of their work.
A Home from Home
The level of cleanliness of an office will have a direct effect on the likeliness of employees bringing their food into work to cook, and working over-time. Put simply, a grubby office will deter people from staying there longer. For example, more people are likely to leave the premises in their lunch hour to source food if the company’s cooking facilities are below par. Many reasons may then factor in them returning to the office late after their lunch break has finished. If your employees feel comfortable to cook and interact with other employees, company morale is likely to increase and more work is likely to be completed.
Finally, it is important to consider that your office should be cleaned on a regular basis to combat poor hygiene demonstrated by some employees. Statistics from a survey in the Mail revealed that, ‘1 in 3 people do not wash their hands after visiting the bathroom.’ Regularly cleaning your office will drastically reduce the number of harmful bacteria. This in turn will help to boost the general health of office employees.