Post Covid Importance of Cleanliness When Reopening Workplaces
The beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic had us all maniacally cleaning everything from our doorknobs to the shopping bags. However, with time, many people have become desensitised to the gravity of the virus and the fact that it is still at large.
As office spaces are opening up again, regulatory authorities keep reminding employers that cleanliness is still imperative to control the spread of coronavirus. However, a clean workplace is not just essential to tackle the ongoing pandemic.
It also boosts employee performance and offers assurance to visitors and employees that you are playing your part in ensuring their health. To date, there has been significant research-based evidence to show that cleaner workplaces have better productivity.
Below, we explore the various guidelines about cleanliness in the workplace and explain how it impacts your employees’ performance and health.
Reopening Offices and Cleanliness
As the world is shifting from remote working to physical office spaces, it is crucial to remember that cleanliness is still of utmost importance. Employers should ask themselves the following questions in the wake of office reopening:
How can we ensure efficient cleaning of the workplace in accordance with the Covid-1 guidelines and safety procedures?
How can we provide a stress-free environment to our employees by reducing their concerns about cleanliness and safety?
Should disinfection protocols be put in place?
With offices opening, employers do not only have to focus on keeping the work tables clean, but they also need to ensure high indoor environmental quality. Moreover, safe ways need to be put in place to use conference rooms.
It is common knowledge that some areas in an office are more prone to foot traffic than others. These include the kitchen, water coolers, shared seating space, and food courts. Cleanliness of these areas is paramount since this is where people gather.
Employers are responsible for:
Reducing and preventing viral transmission among their employees
Maintaining healthy and hygienic business operations
Maintaining a stress-free and healthy working environment
How to Clean the Workplace?
The Health and Safety Executive UK has some guidelines in place to help workplaces ensure they are following the correct cleanliness protocols. In the wake of the pandemic, you may have to increase the frequency of cleaning around the office space along with ensuring the cleanliness of surfaces that were previously ignored.
Here are some basic cleaning guidelines:
Make sure surfaces are regularly cleaned so that cleaning and disinfection are more effective.
Set guidelines for cleaning and using toilets to ensure they are spotless at all times.
If you use any equipment in the office, ensure it is cleaned between uses.
Clean surfaces and objects that are touched frequently.
If employees share any tools or equipment, they should be cleaned following every use.
Frequently Touched Surfaces
Some surfaces in workplaces are highly exposed to touch, such as bannisters, buttons, doorknobs, etc. These surfaces should be cleaned regularly and thoroughly to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus or any other illness in the office.
Here are some examples of such surfaces:
Desks, workstations, and platforms
Windows, dispensers, water coolers, rails, and doors
Control panels and control pads for machinery
Printers, touch screens, phones, monitors, and computer keyboards
Cupboards, microwaves, fridges, taps, and kettles
Shared tools and delivery boxes.
In some cases, it may not be ideal or feasible to clean the objects after every use. If that is the case, make sure the items are cleaned multiple times a day.
It is also helpful to have a chat with your employees and convey the new and updated cleaning guidelines to them so that everyone can play their part in ensuring health and wellness in the office.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Different Surfaces
The cleaning methods for different surfaces vary, depending on their sensitivity to cleaning agents and frequency of use.
Soft Surfaces (Rugs and Carpets)
Such surfaces should be cleaned using detergent, soap, or any other cleaner that is appropriate for the fabric. It is best to follow the manufacturers’ instructions in this regard, especially if you do not want to affect the longevity of the surface due to poor cleaning practices.
A better alternative is to hire a cleaning service, such as Able Kleaners, to free yourself of the hassle and let professionals take charge.
Some experts suggest putting wipeable covers on touch screens, remote controls, and keyboards since they facilitate cleaning and disinfection. Again, follow the manufacturers’ guidelines when choosing the cleaning agent for electronics.
Often, workplaces only focus on cleaning the interior and forget about the outdoor areas, such as ground cover, parking space, and roads.
Although it is not entirely necessary to clean these areas, you should go an additional mile to ensure everyone’s safety in the workplace.
Why Is Cleanliness Important in the Workplace?
It does not come as a surprise that a cleaner environment is healthier to work in. However, this is not the only benefit of keeping the office spick and span. Cleanliness actually impacts your employees’ performance, increasing their productivity and improving engagement.
Here are some benefits of keeping the workplace clean:
HLW International LLP conducted a study of 400 employees and managers to determine the effect of cleanliness on their performance. The results showed a 5% gain in productivity owing to a clean office.
When employees walk into a clean office, it gives them a morale boost. On top of that, they cultivate a sense of belonging to their offices since it is where they spend most part of their days, and cleanliness adds a touch of habitability to the place.
Reduce Sick Days
According to the Office for National Statistics – Labour Force Survey, the main reason for employees calling in sick is minor illnesses. As per the survey, minor illnesses are nausea, sickness, flu, colds, coughs, and diarrhoea.
In fact, minor illnesses account for 26.1% of all sick leaves across the UK.
These ailments typically arise from a dirty environment, which could quite easily be the workplace a person works in eight hours a day.
In 2017, data was taken from Britain’s Healthiest Workplace, which showed that employees lose an alarmingly high number of 30.4 days every year due to an illness or underperformance that accompanies an ailment.
The survey found that even if the employees are forced to come to work, their sickness lowers their productivity, leading to an average employee losing six working weeks every year. Interestingly, the trend was seen to be consistent among all workplaces, irrespective of their size and industry.
These sick days do not only harm the employees’ productivity but also take a toll on the national economy. The survey showed that absentees in the workplace due to sickness are costing the economy a whopping £77.5 billion a year.
You would think the situation must have improved since then. However, quite the opposite happened. Vitality data showed that the UK lost nearly £92 billion due to sickness-related leaves in 2019.
On average, every employee lost 38 working days. As a result, productivity has been on a decline in the UK, and the working days lost per employee have been increasing since 2014.
Keeping your workplace clean can significantly reduce the number of sick days by ensuring the employees are not contracting any minor illnesses from their office surroundings.
You might think spending a few hundred pounds a month on cleaning is an unnecessary expense, but it will actually save you from a bigger bill in the future.
If you do not regularly clean the workplace, the lack of cleanliness will reflect in the building’s integrity and the overall environment of the office.
As a result, you will have a higher likelihood of paying for refurbishments and deep cleaning in the future.
Impression and Assurance
When the pandemic started, there was a lot of misinformation going around, making people more concerned and cynical about things. Since then, most people have unlearned this behaviour, but the uncertainty is still there.
Customers and visitors to your workplace would be more comfortable if the area was visibly clean. No one feels good walking into an office with litter bins overflowing and dust visible on the workstations from a foot away.
Meanwhile, a clean workplace leaves a good impression on visitors and employees. Therefore, it is important to maintain a clean interior and exterior in your office.
Clutter in your home or office workspace is a huge no-no. According to 2011 research, neuroscientists found that decluttering your work environment results in better focus and increased productivity.
It also allows you to process information in a better way.
When employees are constantly surrounded by an unclean environment, their bodies stay in low-grade fight or flight response, which is just how humans are wired for survival. It leads to additional stress and anxiety that lowers productivity and impacts focus.
On the other hand, a cleaner environment keeps your employees stress-free, allowing them to perform their tasks to the best of their abilities.
Why Hire a Professional Cleaning Service?
Let us get one thing clear; you cannot rely on your employees to keep the whole office clean. Getting help from professional cleaners is a must for every business.
Here are some reasons to hire a professional cleaning service for your office:
Saves Equipment Cost
If you make a list of all the equipment and cleaning solutions you need for the assortment of surfaces in the workplace, you will soon realize how costly things can get.
On the other hand, if you hire a professional cleaning service, they will bring their equipment along. They are also knowledgeable about the use of the right tools for each surface.
At Able Kleaners, we have a reliable and trained staff with expert knowledge. Once our team is at your premises, you can leave your worries behind.
Ensures Better Cleaning
Did you know there are 10 million bacteria on average on a work desk, which means it is much dirtier than your toilet seat? That is not the only alarming thing. Even your computer mouse has three times more germs than any toilet handle. Can you imagine employees working healthily in such an environment?
You may be a pro at keeping your home clean, but that does not mean you can keep the workplace spotless. Who is going to take over your responsibilities while you wipe down every photocopy machine in the building and empty bins?
That is why you should leave your workplace cleaning responsibility to a professional. At Able Kleaners, we believe that cleanliness is a reflection of the business itself. Therefore, we use the best tools to ensure your facility is not only clean but also appears inviting.
Here are some duties we regularly carry out in offices:
Emptying bins and replacing bags
Sanitising equipment, chairs, and desks
Cleaning staff rooms, kitchens, and cafeterias
Sanitising high touch points in the workplace
Vacuuming the floors
Polishing hardwood floors
Sanitising and cleaning the washrooms
In doing so, we ensure that your workplace is visibly clean and also germ-free to prevent the transmission of any disease, minor or major.
Impresses Your Customers
Imagine a customer walking into an untidy workplace. What will be their first impression? It will most probably be along the lines of, ‘’If these people cannot even keep their workplace clean, how will they guarantee me an impressive service?’’
Therefore, cleanliness is paramount if you want to impress customers and leave a good impression on them.
Being clean is a human instinct. We all have an innate need to be clean and live in clean surroundings. Your employees spend a significant portion of their day at work, therefore, raising the importance of cleanliness in a workplace.
At Able Kleaners, we provide you with top-notch cleaning services suited to your individual requirements. All our staff are
fully trained and DBS-checked to ensure your ultimate satisfaction. We realize the importance of a clean workplace, and that is why our services are designed to make your office look inviting while being absolutely hygienic for your employees.
Fill the form on our website to get a no-obligation quote today.