Maintaining a hygienic, sterile workplace is of utmost importance at all times, but even more so when we are faced with a pandemic. The past few months have undoubtedly been incredibly concerning, and as we begin to transition into the next phase, we must start considering how we will ensure that environments are safe to return to. As an employer, it is critical to implement strict procedures to not only limit the spread of the coronavirus, but also provide your employees with the duty of care that they are entitled to. To ensure that you and your workplace is fully prepared for the return of team members, we have put together a comprehensive guide to business hygiene.
A Comprehensive Guide To Business Hygiene
In these unprecedented times, it can be tricky to know what is the best way to protect yourself and those around you from COVID-19. As the majority of us have spent the past few months at home, returning to work can be astonishingly daunting, especially when there is still so much uncertainty across the globe. However, the one thing that we can be sure of is that hygiene will be our key weapon in fighting the coronavirus, meaning that particularly as a business welcoming their staff back to the workplace, this is something that needs to be the main priority. With this in mind, we have broken our guide into two and will discuss the following:
Before delving into how you can ensure that your commercial property remains hygienic, it is essential to take a closer look at why it is important. Although we all know that hygiene helps to protect against illness, many of us are unaware of how this is made possible, especially in the situation that we are currently facing. Workplace hygiene also comes alongside a wealth of other benefits aside from health, which will most definitely reward you for your efforts. Just some of the many reasons as to why cleanliness is important includes:
Prevents The Spread Of Germs
Particularly if you work in an office environment, you would have all experienced the winter cold, which seems to spread its way across every team member. While this may not have been seen as anything too dangerous in the past, with the current outbreak of the coronavirus, this is no longer something that you can allow to happen. Coronaviruses, as a whole, are made from a group of viruses which are always contagious; however, COVID-19 has spread across the globe considerably quicker than anyone could have anticipated. As researchers have not yet created a treatment to cure the illness or vaccine to protect against it, preventing the spread is the only way that we can continue to reduce the outbreak. Aside from keeping a distance from one another and staying at home, which is not always possible while in the workplace, the only way that you can remain safe is to stay hygienic.
The moment that someone coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets of the virus enter the air, which will then eventually fall and land on a surface. COVID-19, in particular, can survive on surfaces, which means that if they are not disinfected, the virus will continue to spread. The moment an individual touches the contaminated surface, their hands are now contaminated and everything they then touch, until they wash their hands, will also become contaminated. Before you know it, your entire workplace is filled with potentially life-threatening germs. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), common disinfectants are capable of killing the virus, meaning that you can prevent the spread if you act quick enough.
Reduces Sick Days
In return for ensuring that you follow the above points with regards to preventing the spread of germs, you will notice a reduction in sick days. For the next few months, we can almost be sure that there will still be hundreds of coronavirus cases, which means that should any employees show signs, they must be sent home to isolate immediately. Although it is mainly as a precaution, regardless of the severity of the symptoms, individuals will need to remain at home for at least two weeks, meaning many days of them outside of the office. In this instance, while you cannot control where your team members go outside of work, you can control how many catch the virus when inside of work. So, through ensuring that you maintain exceptional hygiene levels, you can limit the number of staff who need to take time off; therefore reducing sick days.
Maintains A Positive First Impression
Although maintaining the health of those in the workplace is the most important reason to improve hygiene, it can also work towards your advantage in terms of drawing in new business. As a company, first impressions can make or break whether a client or customer invests their money in you, which means that you need to ensure that this is always positive.
Your commercial property is one of the key contributing factors towards a first impression and should always be a reflection of your brand values. An unsanitary, grubby looking workplace will do nothing but put visitors off, meaning that they may not even give you the opportunity to prove your companies worth. A clean, tidy and hygienic environment, on the other hand, will show that you care how your business is portrayed, creating a company image that you can be proud of. For ten more tips on how you can ensure that your business makes an excellent first impression, take a look at Medium.
Improves Air Quality
According to Healthline, coronaviruses as a whole, including COVID-19, are amongst the list of airborne diseases, along with other viruses such as the common cold. While research is still being undertaken, we do know that, as mentioned previously, if someone was to cough or sneeze, particles of the virus will enter the air before resting on a surface. What we are currently unsure of is whether someone can catch the virus merely by breathing in the same air as someone who has tested positive. As science is yet to be confirmed, we must take precautions to ensure that, should this be the case, our air quality is as pure as possible.
By ensuring that you regularly disinfect surfaces, employees wash their hands, and you maintain an overall hygienic environment, you can prevent harmful contaminants from entering the airflow. Germs can be killed before that have the chance to spread their way around the workplace.
Increased Positivity And Morale
You would be surprised how much a clean workplace can have an impact on the overall morale of your staff. As they say, healthy employees are happy employees, which means that if you implement strict procedures to ensure that they are protected against illness, they will instantly become more productive. Attempting to get tasks done efficiently in an environment that is cluttered or dirty will do nothing but cause distractions, meaning operations are unlikely to run as smoothly as you had hoped. Whereas if you create a space that is organised, tidy and hygienic, team members can work to their best ability without any hurdles in the way. Forbes has put together a great article on how you can boost morale and performance, which includes more fantastic ideas!
Once you are well-versed on why it is important to maintain a hygienic working environment, you can begin to consider how you can guarantee this for your staff. Workplace hygiene is something that should not be taken lightly, now more than ever, which means that the more procedures that you can implement, the better. Find out more about our suggestions below:
Regular Deep Cleans
First and foremost, both before allowing your employees back into the office and for the next few months at least, regular deep cleans will be of utmost importance. This must be completed by trained professionals who have all of the industry-level equipment on hand to ensure that every surface is thoroughly freed from germs.
Here at Just Spray, we have recently started offering COVID-19 deep cleaning services to clients in all industries, covering all aspects of the building. Packages can be devised based on your requirements, taking into consideration both your budget and the nature of your business. We will work hard to schedule appointments that best work for your schedule, ensuring that business downtime is kept at a minimum with the option to book a visit within just 72 hours. A minimal contact approach will always be taken, using a cordless airless spray system to disinfect surfaces, along with disposable cleaning cloths. For more information on our cleaning services or to schedule a visit, please do not hesitate to contact our team.
Schedule Building Cleaning
Along with deep cleaning during the coronavirus outbreak, it is essential not to forget about the exterior of your property. Although the interior is going to be more susceptible to the spread of germs, the outside can too prove an issue. In fact, scheduling regular building cleaning should be something that you consider all year round, not just during the pandemic, to prevent damage from occurring, as well as to maintain a positive first impression. Failing to book cladding cleaning will allow dirt and grime to accumulate on the surface, which will begin to eat away at the material. This can result in anything from cut edge corrosion to attracting unwanted pests.
Implement A Hygiene Policy
While investing in professionals cleaning will always be highly effective, it will become relatively futile of your staff do not play their role in maintaining a hygienic environment. With this in mind, we would strongly recommend implementing a hygiene policy, ensuring that all employees take responsibility for their actions. Not only will this include basic expectations such as personal cleanliness but also the daily disinfecting of their workstations.
Particularly while we continue to live through the pandemic, hand washing or sanitising will be crucial in minimising the spread of the virus. All employees must ensure that they wash their hands not only immediately after they cough or sneeze, but before eating, after returning from a public outing or the bathroom. Although this may seem like human logic, you must make it clear that the biggest spreader of the virus is through touch, so hand hygiene is vital. More information on how and when to wash hands to kill all bacteria can be found on Family Doctor.
In addition to personal hygiene, all team members must also ensure that their workspace remains clean and tidy. To do this, encourage every employee to take five minutes at the end of the day before they leave to disinfect their desk thoroughly. Pay particular attention to areas which are known for harbouring bacteria such as keyboards, mouses, telephone and armrests.
Provide Disinfectant Supplies
If you opt for implementing the above suggestion, then you would most definitely benefit from investing in quality cleaning products for employees to use. In providing staff with everything that they need to take responsibility for their own workstations, there will be no excuse for them not to maintain a hygienic environment.
To ensure that germs can be removed from contaminated surfaces, a disinfectant must be used. This can either be disinfectant wipes or a spray accompanied by disposable cloths – whatever you use to clean the surfaces must be able to be thrown away immediately after use. Other essentials that should be on your cleaning supplies list can be found on Quill.
Although all team members should be regularly washing their hands, it is also recommended to stock up on plenty of hand sanitiser for the workplace. Many companies have opted for setting up a sanitising station at the entrance of, for example, the office, where all employees must clean their hands each time that they re-enter the room. This is just another easy way to keep the spread of germs at a minimum.
Stay Hygienic, Stay Protected
Beginning the transition back to everyday life will be incredibly daunting, but the most effective way to stay protected in the outside world is to ensure that hygiene is maximised. Whether you are a business owner or employee, everyone is equally as responsible for limiting the spread of the coronavirus, meaning that working together will remain of utmost importance.