The modern office can be a wonderful place. Clean lines, modern decor and cutting edge technology. These spaces can foster creativity and productivity. It all comes down to nothing, though, if you’re surrounded by all things unhygienic! In fact, filthy workplace habits can ruin the workplace environment entirely and even spoil specific design features.
The Rise of Productive Office Design
Thoughtful office design has been on the rise for many years now. Some businesses use vibrant colour to encourage positivity. Others choose modern materials with a clean, reflective quality such as glass to project clarity. And many businesses have turned their attention to the individual workspace with flexible desk space and breakout zones. So what’s the point in putting all this thought into an office design or layout if it’s going to be undermined?
What are the Results of an Unhygienic Workplace?
Low standards of workplace hygiene can result in the spread of sickness and corresponding sick days for staff. In addition, an ongoing lack of clean etiquette can result in a general feeling of dissatisfaction within a workforce. So the organisation’s levels of productivity are low even when people are not taking days off sick! It can even be the reason for leaving a job, causing increased turnover of staff.
Which Habits are the most Reviled?
According to office staff, in no particular order, the winners are:
“Coughs and sneezes spread diseases” the adage goes. It’s true, of course. Perhaps we’re sounding like an elderly aunt! But the fact that nearly half of office workers cite this as their worst colleague habit surely shows we’re not alone! So grab a tissue or hankie and make sure you’re prepared.
The office loo is the scene for multiple crimes! From not flushing the loo to failing to dispose of sanitary items properly, an unhygienic bathroom can cause huge stress. We all need to use the loo and if it’s repeatedly left in a disgusting state this can significantly effect a working day. So leave the place as you’d like to find it and you can’t go wrong.
This gets a section all of its own! Yes, it’s certainly an unhygienic bathroom behaviour. But over a third of workers have noticed this habit amongst their colleagues. Which may come as a shock! The importance of hand washing is drummed into us at home and at school all through childhood so it’s a wonder that so many people don’t do it!
This is a tricky one as it’s intrinsically linked with the pressures placed on colleagues by workload. However, eating lunch at your desk carries a cumulative effect on the hygiene of the space. Bacteria can build up in the tiny nooks, crannies and gaps in a keyboard and around your phone if left unchecked.
This is another big one. Over a third of workers complain about uncleaned crockery left in the office kitchen. This builds up very quickly to make what should be a helpful and social communal space unhygienic and unpleasant. Not only this, but the room can no longer fulfil its function.
A bin is only a hygiene solution when it is regularly emptied. If left unchecked, a bin may smell or spill over, affecting the whole area around it. Businesses are becoming more conscious of waste management, and this complaint should really not be as prevalent as it is.
What can we Do about all This?
It’s one thing to inspect all the gruesome habits of our colleagues, but quite another to take proactive steps to change it. But change things we must, to ensure a healthy, happy office workplace. So let’s look at what approaches to take in order to enact change.
Education and information is always key in changing habits. Surprisingly, under 20% of employers provide training regarding workplace hygiene. When an unhygienic workspace impacts the productivity of staff, it is surely worth including hygiene in training programmes.
Similarly, to uphold a clean and functional space for staff, employers should ensure they have policies in place. Promoting a simple principle like leaving an area as you would expect to find it can help to galvanise staff into acting more considerately.
To uphold hygiene policies within the workplace, it’s vital to provide staff with the right tools to comply. So, make sure your bathroom never runs out of soap. Include within your budget things like anti-bac gel, tissues and washing up liquid. All this makes it harder to be unhygienic.
Visual reminders are incredibly helpful in preventing unhygienic work habits re-emerging. So add affirming signage to communal areas like kitchens, bathrooms and breakout areas. Then there’s no reason for staff to ‘forget’!
For reliable maintenance of standards within the workplace, employ a professional cleaner. In this way, your space can be managed and the pressure taken off colleagues. A good cleaner will manage your waste, conduct thorough IT cleaning and even ensure the cleanliness of your communal kitchen.
It’s always more productive to offer staff incentives than threaten consequences. So consider how a competitive angle may help. Perhaps you could have a ‘cleanest team’ reward. Cake or booze tends to be popular!
The importance of professional office cleaning is highlighted when seen through the lens of unhygienic workplace habits. By laying this foundation for a clean environment, business productivity is improved and staff health and morale is lifted. For thorough, reliable office cleaning and guidance, just contact us at CJH Cleaning.