Healthy workplace, healthy workforce

10th of July 2018 Article by Joanne Gilliard
Healthy workplace, healthy workforce

In her first blog for ECJ, Jangro chief executive officer Joanne Gilliard explains why it is so vital for workplaces to be kept clean and healthy.

There is no question that working environments have a significant impact on health and wellbeing. Productivity and morale in office-based staff can all be impacted by small changes in working conditions, for instance, simple features such as natural lighting and modern kitchen amenities can potentially have a big impact on the wellbeing of a team.

Of course, a top-quality barista service would also make a nice upgrade to any office, together with a weekly back massage service - but that might be getting slightly carried away.

In fact, one of the simplest ways of supporting a healthy workforce is by ensuring that workplaces are kept clean and hygienic with regular, thorough cleaning schedules that use the most appropriate products.

This isn't just for aesthetic reasons, although it is undeniable that clean and tidy entrance halls or washrooms give off a far better impression of a company than the dirty, unhygienic facilities. In fact, it is well-known that promoting hygiene and appropriate cleaning in the workplace can actually improve the health of a workforce and reduce absenteeism.

Sickness absence

It is estimated that more than 400 million working days were lost in the UK due to sickness absence between 2013 and 2015. In fact the UK Health & Safety Executive says sickness absence is a key business issue, and an indicator of how well an organisation is managed. While workplace productivity can be affected by a number of factors, including stress and anxiety, infections can also spread rapidly in closed environments and also cause workers to take days off sick.

Sick in office

A regular and thorough cleaning schedule throughout an office is essential, targeting key germ hot spots such as office phones, door handles and kettles, while maintaining high levels of hygiene in all areas from the office to the reception.

The washroom should also be considered a germ hot spot in any building, requiring extra attention and planning to keep to a high standard of cleanliness. After all, germs that make their way on to the hands here can easily be transferred to other surfaces throughout a building.

And the majority of infections can be carried and transmitted by the hands - at any one time a thriving community of well over 300,000 species of bacteria dwell on each palm. But while it is widely known that you should clean your hands thoroughly after using the washroom, many people still do not comply.

Give workers options

Office washrooms should offer a range of soap and sanitiser dispensing equipment, so that there is something to suit the personal preferences of every worker and visitor. Some people prefer to use touch-free dispensers, for instance, while others will always use paper towels over hand dryers or prefer to use gel rather than foam soap.

Keeping things spick and span is a practical and simple way of boosting the health of a workforce. Once this fundamental is perfected, then it might be time to think about the in-office massages, upgraded coffee stations and beanbag breakout areas.

www.jangro.net

 

Our Partners

  • ISSA Interclean
  • EFCI
  • EU-nited