3 Ways in Which Poor Office Hygiene Could Cost Your Business

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Hygiene in the workplace should not be an afterthought.

Did you know that one in four workers does not wash his hands after going to the toilet?

This may seem trivial until you learn that poor workplace hygiene costs Australian companies billions of dollars every year, with the banking/financial, services and real estate sectors most affected. The fact is that poor workplace hygiene is not often associated with unproductive workers. However, it could cost your company much more than just money.

Here are three reasons to prioritize and formalize a culture of workplace hygiene;

1. Reduce illness and absenteeism

Let's face it, an office is a hotspot for dirt and germs. And it's not just the obvious places like communal kitchens and bathrooms that can be a problem. Phones, keyboards, door handles and even the humble printer can also be potential points of infection. This is particularly relevant in shared environments such as offices, where poor hygiene habits will accelerate the transmission of debilitating diseases such as Corona virus or influenza. According to recent research by Initial Hygiene, Australian companies have lost around $5.4 billion due to employee absenteeism, which is directly attributable to poor industrial hygiene.

2. Improving employee retention

Poor office hygiene can also affect productivity and the general job satisfaction of employees. A poor culture of hygiene in the workplace can lead employees to believe that their health and well-being is not a priority for their employer and act accordingly. People who have reason to be upset about the hygiene of their surroundings are unlikely to give their personal or professional best.

3. Protect your brand

The first impression counts, especially when it comes to the hygiene of your premises and the health of your employees. This is particularly important for companies in the service and hospitality industries, where poor sanitary conditions pose a risk to public health and business operations. In the traditional office environment, you need to convey the right image to existing and potential customers, employees and investors. Ultimately, poor office hygiene also reflects badly on an employer. It is less likely that employees will recommend a workplace with poor hygiene to friends and business contacts. This can only lead to a negative association with your brand, which can be difficult to overcome.

Establishing a culture of office hygiene

If you do not already have a proactive office hygiene policy, then you should consider it:

  • Install hand soaps, disinfectants, touch-free containers, paper towel dispensers and touch-free hand dryers in bathrooms.
  • Place signs with hygiene labels in appropriate locations.
  • Introduce formal hygiene education training for staff.
  • Start a cleaning and maintenance program for your workplace and monitor it closely.

Hygiene in the workplace should not be an afterthought. Employers should lead by example when it comes to the health and well-being of employees by ensuring that quality facilities are available and by giving priority to hygiene awareness. The benefits for a company are improved employee productivity, stronger financial performance and a clear return on investment (ROI).

Read More... 5 Ways to Maintain Hygiene in the Workplace

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