Any good business owner or company executive knows you must invest in success. Usually, the first things you think of investing in are infrastructure, inventory, staffing, and marketing, to name a few. But the smartest business people know they must also invest in the hygiene of the workplace to be successful.
Customers rank cleanliness as the most important element in a store’s environment, and it’s high in customer satisfaction, too. For employees, cleanliness can affect everything from recruitment and retention to productivity and absenteeism. When you consider the average employee misses 7.7 days a year due to illness, that translates into a cost of more than $225 billion for American businesses. Workplace hygiene matters.
Seven hygiene tips to keep your business (and your humans) healthy:
1. Dispose and recycle garbage regularly. Not only is it unsightly and smelly, unattended garbage can also harbor germs that lead to sickness. Plus, it sends a bad signal to customers about how you do business. Empty trash and recycling at least a few times a week, if not daily.
2. Make hand sanitizers and wipes available. Employees should have easy access to hand sanitizers (not just in the restroom) and anti-bacterial wipes so they can regularly wipe down countertops and workstations. Believe it or not, the average desk has 400x more germs than a toilet seat! Use wipes, compressed air, or Q-tips dipped in alcohol to get into the cracks and crevices of keyboards and phones where grimy hands deposit and spread bacteria.
3. Keep restrooms clean. Whether they are public or for employees only, keeping restrooms clean should be a top priority. Ninety-four percent of customers would avoid a business if the restrooms were dirty. For restaurant customers, dirty restrooms are also an indicator of how (un)sanitary the kitchen is perceived to be. While the frequency of cleaning will depend on the number of users, it is always a good idea to hire a commercial cleaning company to take on this undesirable job. You should be able to count on professional cleaning crews to clean from ceiling to tile with the proper tools and cleaners. Installing a pleasant scent is always a plus.
4. Educate employees. Never assume employees will clean up after themselves or use proper workplace hygiene etiquette. Make employee hygiene expectations clear in both company policy and signage around the workplace. Whether it is a sign in the kitchen reminding folks to clean up their trash and dishes, notices about coughing/sneezing into your elbow, or reminders to wash hands after using the restroom, spell it all out. Keeping a workplace clean and a workforce healthy is a group effort.
5. Offer sick days. One of the quickest blows to business is when productivity stops or drops due to the rapid spread of sickness at work. When a sick person comes to work, 40–60 percent of surfaces become infected in as little as two hours, and before you know it, that one sick person turns into three, then five, then half the office is walking around sick. Part of practicing good hygiene is keeping sick people at home, and that message has to come from the top. Offer sick days or work-from-home options and you will save money in the long run.
6. Set up a cleaning schedule. It is very easy for everyone to get so busy with the work at hand that no one has time to stop and clean. Don’t leave a hygienic workplace to chance or when someone has “time” to get to it. Set a cleaning schedule for everyone and for every area. Maybe a professional cleaning crew comes in daily or twice a week, but other hygiene tasks should be scheduled as well. From a weekly workstation wipe down to daily kitchen duty, it is more likely to get cleaned if it is scheduled.
7. Protect easy-to-overlook areas. Even with scheduled cleanings and a group effort, it is easy for areas to fall through the cracks. That’s where electrostatic spraying can make a huge difference. At Enviro-Master, our unique Sani-Guard service uses an electrostatic sprayer (looks like a water gun) which places a positive charge on a germicide that sticks to all kinds of surfaces, from hard-to-reach areas in the restroom, to cubicle walls, flooring and any kind of equipment or countertops. It is food-safe and hospital-grade, killing 99.999 percent of germs. Weekly sprays will kill germs and give peace of mind that your workplace hygiene is the best it can be.
For more information about how our Sani-Guard service can keep your workplace clean and healthy, call Enviro-Master today at 1-833-GERMPROS.