Workplace hygiene is not a topic to take lightly.
As a business, school, shopping centre or hospital, during the course of a day, as the number of staff and visitors who walk through your doors grow, so does the potential for germs to spread.
Making sure that your working environment is safe for your employees and inviting to your customers is your responsibility and nobody else’s.
Clean workplaces that employees can be proud of help to make them happier, which means they work harder and are more engaged at work for longer.
Luckily for you, we’ve put together this complete guide to hygiene in the workplace so you know exactly what you need to do!
What is Workplace Hygiene?
Workplace hygiene practices are exactly what they sound like. Company-wide policies that ensure the delicate issue of hygiene can be managed carefully without causing offence to anybody.
First of all, let’s look at why workplace hygiene is important.
After all, your workplace needs to be clean and safe, and your employees deserve a risk-free environment to work in, especially if you work in specific industries such as food production or preparation.
But a clean environment also leads to employees who are proud of where they work, more engaged, and more willing to go the extra mile.
It also makes sure visitors and customers get a great first impression of your company and cuts down on unnecessary sick days.
This is without going into the potential risk of slips and trips, so we’re sure you will agree on the importance of a strict and efficient workplace hygiene strategy.
So, let’s look at some of the workplace hygiene procedures that you should be employing:
Workplace Hygiene Tips
1. Hand Sanitiser
There is a reason hospitals have hand sanitiser on almost every single wall.
Hand sanitiser is more effective at killing bacteria quickly than regular hand washing and grabbing some on the way past the dispenser is much more efficient than taking a trip to the bathroom every time you want to clean your hands.
Even better, mounting hand sanitiser dispensers around your workplace during flu season can help prevent the spread of illness and reduce staff absence.
2. Allow Sick Days
This might seem strange after our last point was about reducing sick days, but you also have to bear in mind that some level of illness is unavoidable and if your employees feel pressured to work anyway, they are just going to spread their illness further and cause further absences.
For the sake of losing a staff member for a day or two, containing the issue and preventing the further spread of viruses or bacteria should be a no-brainer.
3. Set Hygiene Procedures and Expectations
You may think you can trust everybody to handle their own hygiene these days, but unfortunately, you’d be mistaken.
Setting ground rules for workplace hygiene, educating your employees and holding them to these rules will save you a lot of money, sick days and headaches in the long run.
4. Stock Up on Consumables
If your business is constantly growing and staff numbers are changing, figuring out the appropriate quantity of things like toilet roll and handwash to purchase can be complicated.
It’s always better to be overstocked than run out though, which is why we recommend erring on the side of caution when purchasing washroom consumables.
Things that seem minor like a single cubicle running out of toilet paper or paper towels can lead to a backlog of uncleanliness that takes effort to get back to how it should be, even when the items in question are restocked.
phs can handle this for you, regularly delivering and installing your consumables without interfering with everyday activities in your business, including a convenient reordering system that means you never need to run out again.
5. Set Up a Hygiene Waste Disposal System
A well-planned and efficient waste disposal strategy is required to ensure hygiene waste is removed as efficiently as possible. Any kinks in the system will lead to waste hanging around, which can only mean unpleasant smells, mess and spillage, and even sickness.
Hygiene waste bins should be clean and serviced on a regular basis.
Once again, phs is a world-leader at managing this and can manage your waste disposal services if you prefer to worry about other aspects of your business, safe in the knowledge that your working environment is clean and well-maintained.
6. Enforce Designated Eating and Drinking Areas
Eating and drinking at the desk don’t only make your cleaner’s job a lot harder, it also encourages bad habits and encourages people to stay seated all day.
Having a designated eating/drinking area contains all of the food waste to one area and makes it a lot easier to clean. It also prevents distractions and eliminates the risk of food stains, smells and other unpleasant situations.
You should also put the effort in to keep these eating areas clean, enforcing rules about employees cleaning up after themselves, providing cleaning consumables such as gloves or washing up liquid, and make sure everything is comprehensively cleaned from top to bottom at least once per week.
With workplace hygiene regulations becoming stricter with time, and unauthorised absence being a big issue for companies everywhere, a well-organised workplace hygiene system is a must for the future.
Happier staff, increased workflow and improved productivity will all result.
To learn more about how we can manage all of this for you allowing you to focus on your business, take a look at our latest case study on washroom hygiene solutions!