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How Hygienic Workplaces Influence Workforce Productivity?

January 20, 2017

Since majority of our time is spent at workplaces, the conditions of the environment we breed in have either positive or hazardous impact on our health and well-being. Having a well organised, safe, and healthy environment is conducive to our professional and social development, as dangerous exposures can have adverse consequences on health.

There are viruses and germs all over the workspace due to various factors such as unhygienic dirty work areas, sick colleagues, and cross contamination from other germ hotspots. This applies to all areas of the work environment, from the washroom to pantry areas, work desk and common spaces, as well as storage areas. This increases the risk of catching illnesses more frequently, causing loss of time and productivity for employees as well as employers.

The Negative Impact of Poor Hygiene

Falling sick frequently can greatly interrupt your work performance, from causing missed deadlines, to incomplete tasks, unsatisfactory work quality, decreased productivity and so on. The danger that lies behind an unhygienic environment can lead to the spread of common illnesses such as flu, cold, stomach issues, and headaches.

Besides direct contamination, illnesses can be spread through cross contamination resulting in severe epidemic or even pandemic outbreaks including Hepatitis A and E, Influenza and typhoid fever that could be fatal. Even non-fatal illnesses such as a fungal infection might lead to irritation and discomfort that could affect your concentration at work.

Identifying Germ Hotspots in the Office Premises Enables Employers to Select the Right Hygiene Solutions for a Healthier Workplace

So where are germs commonly found? There are places which we commonly tend to hold or touch, specifically doorknobs, handles, taps, sink, and more. Therefore, it is very important to clean and sanitise these areas properly and frequently. According to the World Health Organisation, hand hygiene is “the most important measure to avoid transmission of harmful germs.”

See: 5 Great Workplace Design Tips to Boost Employee Productivity

A study has shown that because of touch, germs are able to travel all the way from washrooms to working cubicles and eventually, back home with us.

Identifying these high risk areas is the first step to:
1. Minimise cross contamination to reduce illnesses
2. Increase motivation and morale
3. Improve focus and productivity
4. A safer, healthier and more enjoyable place to work

Hygienic Habits result in Cleanliness

Cleanliness is said to be a dirt free state, and yet, it is impossible to get rid of germs entirely, as there are millions of germs circulating in the environment.

However, a clean workspace can also be referred to as a place where there is an all-round protection from germs. It should not only look clean but, actually be hygienic for the employer, employees and the visitors.

In an independent research conducted by Initial Hygiene UK, it was discovered that 57 percent of employees are more motivated and have higher morale, when the workplace is clean and equipped with proper hygiene solutions. As a result, employees tend to continue working longer and it shows that their wellbeing is taken into consideration.

“A clean and organised office environment will not just be beneficial for the staff but can also attract customers. Hygiene takes habit, and with ample of practices, it is easy and simple to create a clean working environment for all,” said Carol Lam, the Managing Director of Rentokil Initial Malaysia.

A study suggests 64 percent of Malaysian office workers believe that the state of their office washrooms affects their productivity. A dirty place and a clean mind cannot work together, hence good office hygiene can help improve employees’ productivity and in turn result in better business performance and revenue. With improved staff morale and loyalty, there is lower absenteeism and recruitment cost can also be reduced.

Also read: Did You Know the Mere Design and Colour of Walls at Workplace Can Promote Employee Wellbeing?

Image credit: europeancleaningjournal.com

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