Cleanliness and personal hygiene have always been an important part of any business, but considerably more so over the last two years. With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the way we interact with each other for the foreseeable future, keeping your workplace clean and safe has never been more of a priority.
A business with strict hygiene standards not only makes a better first impression on clients but also helps keep its workforce healthy and productive and provides a comfortable and desirable place to work in. If you’re looking to improve the hygiene standards of your workplace, here are 6 ways you can get started.
- Provide nitrile gloves
In certain professions, such as food handling, cleaning, gardening and trades, gloves are an integral part of safety and cleanliness. Not only do they prevent the transmission of germs, but it also protects the wearer’s hands from dangerous chemicals, infectious materials and receiving cuts or abrasions.
Nitrile gloves in particular are best for providing high levels of protection against contamination and most chemicals, as well as preventing them from contaminating any item or surface that they touch. It’s generally recommended to avoid using latex gloves as many people are allergic to them or can begin to develop allergies to them over time after repeated exposure.
- Place sanitizer in communal areas
One of the best ways to help your employees stop the spread of germs and stay on top of their personal hygiene is to provide plenty of hand sanitizer throughout the office. Having sanitizer readily available and always in arms reach will help promote good habits and keep your employees safe even if they’re in close working environments.
As well as hand sanitizer, providing antibacterial wipes or sprays are an excellent way to help staff keep their workspaces clean. Our desks, keyboards, phones and chairs can accumulate a lot of germs over time, so giving them a quick wipe down regularly can go a long way.
- Encourage sick days & working from home
Pre-pandemic, it was the norm for sick days to be looked down upon and for employees to be expected to suck it up and come to work and get the job done regardless. However, this way of thinking can actually be counterproductive, as if an employee feels comfortable staying at home at the first sign of illness not only are they more likely to recover quicker, but they won’t spread it around the office either.
Even better, if working remotely is an option then many employees will be happy to still remain productive at home even if they don’t want to risk coming into the office. While you can’t expect all your staff to work from home if they’re feeling sick, most will offer to do so if they’re feeling up for it.
- Set up a garbage disposal system
Having overflowing, dirty bins is not only unsightly, but it can make your office look unprofessional and be unpleasant to work in. Working with a garbage disposal company to set up a recycling and waste disposal system that’s well organized and collected on a routine basis is the best way to overcome this, and is well worth the investment.
Make sure that the company you choose also replaces the bin-liners and cleans out the inside of the bin to keep bad smells at bay and stop germs from accumulating.
- Keep communal areas clean
Common areas in the office are an integral part of workplace culture, giving staff somewhere to take a break, recharge and consume snacks and food that will give them the energy to maintain productivity. If these areas are not cleaned regularly then they’ll become a feeding ground for germs, and they’ll only continue to get worse the longer they go without being cleaned.
Making sure that these areas are regularly cleaned will not only make a better work environment for your staff but help your office maintain a professional and well-maintained appearance to outside visitors and clients.
- Educate your employees
While all these ideas are great in theory, all the responsibility can’t come down to you alone. It’s up to your employees to follow through with these standards and get into the right habits so that certain hygiene levels can be met.
Having a team meeting to discuss these changes and the importance of hygiene in the office should get the job done, and make sure you get everyone in the office involved to yield the best results possible.