We cannot overestimate the importance of the workplace environment on both employee performance and overall company productivity.Many offices have specific legal requirements regarding cleanliness that share importance with other vital functions such as completing tasks and attending to production or service schedules.
Aside from workplace rules and regulations designed to avoid accidents and prevent injuries, transferring contaminants from one controlled area to another will reduce the standards of cleanliness for all areas. An un-kept worksite has the potential to become a breeding area for all sorts of health hazards including microorganisms like bacteria and viruses, along with mold and mildew.
Each of these increases the chance of propagating sickness or infectious disease among staff, resulting in both lost time and productivity as well as increased healthcare costs.
Cleanliness in the workplace is far too important to be taken for granted. We have put together a list of tips to help you effectively prevent transfer from warehouse (or controlled areas) to the offices of your organization. This helps maintain your workplace’s state of being clean.
Maintaining a Healthy Work Environment
Casual observance of cleanliness rules in not acceptable. All employees must be aware of the procedures and hazards that can contribute to cross-contamination between working areas.
When moving equipment from one area to another, such as using a warehouse truck to move an office filing cabinet, there is dirt and dust on the item that both enters and leaves the offices. Aesthetics aside, there is contamination beyond tracks left on the carpet. It can take the form of fingerprints on walls, greasy residue on doorknobs, and dirt knocked loose while maneuvering in tight spaces.
It is up to employees and supervisors alike to take note of these pitfalls and see to it that they are a) avoided, or b) cleaned up immediately should they occur. OSHA recommendations encourage supervisors to pay close attention to these occurrences.
When these recommendations are followed, it reduces harm to employees, employers, and customers, and results in:
- Improved employee performance
- Increased staff satisfaction
- Extended life or use of company assets
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Enhanced public perception of the business
- Increased overall productivity
Top Five Tips for Optimum Office Cleanliness
1. Invest in High Quality Cleaning and Restroom Products
Workplace cleanliness results from selecting products with significant benefits for both customers and staff. They are no less important than cleaning products selected for the home, particularly since the propagation rate for germs is much higher in public spaces when adequate environmental hygiene or safety products are not available. Typically, these include:
- Sanitary wipes
- Hand sanitizers
- Proper trash cans
These products can help control the spread of germs on all surfaces, whether it is your phone, keyboard, desk, the microwave, or common areas/shared spaces. Grime or mold can easily get a foothold when daily cleaning is not a practice. Ensure that your janitorial team carries a daily cleaner or all-purpose cleaner for all surfaces.
2. Display Signage with Cleanliness Themes
Not only does this heighten employee awareness, but it also lets customers know that this is something which is important to you. “Cover when you cough” signs and “wash your hands before returning to work” signs further emphasize that your workplace cares about personal hygiene.
A publicly displayed company policy sign such as: Don’t be ill here! Call in sick, if necessary! makes a strong statement about your beliefs. One person shouldn’t be in the position to knock out a portion of your office staff, or production workers.
3. Encourage Employee Hygiene
Training employees to work towards a clean and safe working environment is very important. Excessive clutter and dust provide the opportunity for infections or other threats to take root, and spread to others.
4. Supervise Janitorial Staff
One of the primary responsibilities of janitorial staff is to maintain a clean, healthy environment that promotes employer, employee, and customer safety. They remove the accumulated dust, dirt, and grime of the day, and without their dedicated work we would all be at risk. Not only does this help decrease the spread of common colds and other illnesses, but it also helps reduce seasonal allergies or other reactions to other common allergens such as dust, mold, and dander.
Check that spills, stains, and dirt are always removed; that carpets and mats are vacuumed and maintained in good condition; and that old cleaning products are disposed of when they reach their expiration date and are replaced with the correct commercial products for your needs. Cleanliness requires much more than brooms and mops—it requires vigilance and continued maintenance.
Record instances of neglect on the part of your cleaning team and reinforce your expectations. You don’t want your restrooms to become an eyesore either for your employees or your customers.
A customer seeing such things will believe that the office is incapable of delivering a quality product. And, of course, it provides an active source of discouragement for employees when the office condition starts to deteriorate.
5. Use Enviromat® Floor Protection
Finally, as the ultimate tool for preventing cross-contamination between your various work areas, Enviromats are the number one choice of conscientious business owners. Each Enviromat® offers a tacky surface on a polyethylene film. It is designed to collect contaminants found on shoes such as dirt and dust, to make sure they don’t travel further into an area, and to prevent casual hazards to both health and safety.
Enviromats come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials to guarantee maximum surface protection. Each mat comes with 30 individual sheets which are easy to change when a layer gets dirty.
Place them in front of entryways, high traffic areas, or sensitive (controlled) areas where you want to prevent cross-contamination. This could be particularly important between warehouse space and office space, for example, or at main entrances to prevent dust, dirt, and pollen from traveling further into your commercial space.
Maintaining a clean working environment is a matter of good management and making wise decisions. Not only does it portray a good, responsible company image, but the financial and health rewards for your business and staff are their own reward.
When you invest in the right commercial cleaning products and encourage your employees to participate in keeping your work environment sparkling clean, you are perceived as a good community member, a responsible employer, and a reliable business partner.
In business, a good reputation, supported by happy employees and delighted customers, means your business will grow! And who doesn’t want that?