Hygiene and cleanliness are two things that people often take for granted in the workplace. However, everyone knows that keeping the workplace clean and tidy is absolutely necessary. Studies have shown that cleanliness has a direct impact on the productivity of employees, as efficiency, moral and health are all affected by how clean or germ-free the workplace environment is. Here are seven important steps that everyone should take to keep their workplace clean and germ-free:
Don’t be unorganized or cluttered:
A messy environment is a catalyst for many problems in the workplace. In a messy environment, there are rooms for health threats that could go unnoticed, and this situation can escalate and may turn the place into an accident prone area. In fact, messiness in the workplace is also considered an occupational hazard; this kind of hazard is plainly a result of ignorance on the part of the employer or the carelessness on the part of workers.
For example, in the worst case possible, at the time of emergency due to a fire breakout: if the stack of boxes or equipment are placed near the exit, it may cause the employers to fall or trip over them and get injured or stuck in the fire lit building.
It is not just safety that is compromised when employees are messy. An unorganized office may also hamper the productivity rate of the employee. A simple task may become more of a challenge when unnecessary obstacle arises due to mindless clutter. The bottom line is that as tidiness speaks of professionalism, thus, it is advised to place everything in its right place for the sake of everyone in the office.
Have a Waste Disposal Plan:
Piled up trash can produce dirt all around the workplace. Piled trash can also be the exact place where pests can reside and multiply. They can be a great threat and hazard to the work environment.
Placing dust bins or waste bins throughout the workplace is a way to start. More importantly, there should be guidelines given to the janitorial staff to dispose the waste in the correct place at the right time. Furthermore, reducing and recycling methods should be implemented within the workplace.
On a side note, sanitizers should be kept handy to reduce the hazard of contracting germs and fungi, and the diseases they can bring.
Disinfect the office:
There is a high risk of germs spreading around the office due to various reasons: employees come from different places and come through different modes of transportation, employees touch different types of surfaces, not all employees sanitize all the time, employees tend to be in contact with people outside the office and then with other employees in the office for a long period of time. For these reasons, it is important if employees would use disinfectants around the office religiously, as to minimize the chances of harmful germs or virus to spread.
Whether it is a flu season or dry season, germs are rampant in the environment. Either way, disinfectants can lessen the chance of any of these germs starting to spread and start promulgating various illnesses. Also, using a clinically approved chemical disinfectant is as important.
In order to cut the cost, employers may opt for a cheaper disinfectant, which on the long run can help with the health of everyone in the office. It is advisable to go for EPA registered disinfectants, similar to those used in hospitals.
Another thing to keep in mind is to watch out for pests – for example, cockroaches or other bugs might be feasting on old piles of documents without anyone even noticing. NeverPest’s guide on palmetto roaches would tell you that cockroaches, book bugs, or other types of pests can fester easily in practically every nook and cranny of the office, especially when they are left unattended. Have your stock rooms (and your pantry, most importantly!) checked out for pests often.
Have Germ Control Measures:
Flu season is the season where the attendance register is usually filled with sick leaves. Employers come across various sick leave applications at this time, and germs may well be the very reason for the usual health-related absence. These illness-causing germs can easily disperse across the entire workplace if there is any one compromised. All the more when the cleanliness of the office has been taken for granted.
For instance, the lunchroom may well be called the germ house with the abundance of spots where germs-spread may occur; doorknobs, fixture, handles, taps, and even “clean” rags are the usual places with a lot of germs resides. Thus, it is very important to clean and sanitize these spots frequently.
Apart from flu there is a higher chance of catching serious diseases or even infection through such shared germs within the workplace. There are several infectious germs that may spread due to unhygienic environment and lead to these diseases.
Air borne diseases do not stay back in the race of harming and spreading more and more diseases. There is no way for a naked eye to see airborne viruses or bacteria, but they can be huge threats to everyone in the workplace.
A proper ventilation system works as a backbone against these air borne diseases. Germs, bacteria or any other harmful element that gets in the human body through the respiratory system can be controlled by a good ventilating system. Proper air filtering also improves the lung health of employees – this not only improves the overall well-being of a person, but also increases their productivity by a huge margin.
Regular cleaning and timely changing of the system’s filters is very much advisable. This can further restrict the potential microbial growth within the work environment. Humidity can also affect the germ level in a building. Therefore, maintaining a proper humidity level is also important to the workplace.
This one may seem not that important at first, but lighting in the office is not something that should be taken for granted. It is proven that adequate light is required in order to do the daily tasks. For example, employees cannot perform well if the lighting is too dim or too bright. More importantly, if the staircases or hallways are too dark, the workplace can cause more accidents and injuries because of how limited the vision could be for the workers.
Whether in industrial or office settings, proper lighting makes all work tasks easier. People receive about 85 percent of their information through their sense of sight. Appropriate lighting, without glare or shadows, can reduce eye fatigue and headaches; it can also prevent workplace accidents by increasing the visibility of moving machinery and other safety hazards. Good quality lighting also reduces the chance of accidents and injuries from “momentary blindness” (momentary low field vision due to eyes adjusting from brighter to darker, or vice-versa, surroundings).
The ability to “see” at work depends not only on lighting but also on minimizing the time to focus on an object. Fast moving objects are always hard to see, but employees could do well with proper lighting. Same goes for objects of smaller size. Additionally, too little contrast makes it hard to distinguish an object from the background – and this is something that adequate lighting could be helpful with.