If a workplace is dirty, smelly or germ-ridden, serious issues can arise very quickly. Here are our top tips on keeping your working environment sanitary, healthy and productive for all.

  

Clean as you go

Food packaging, leftovers, grubby computer keyboards, dirty carpets and various other miniature environments can become breeding grounds for bacteria, odours and microorganisms. Whether you work at desk, a till, in a forklift truck or here, there and everywhere, make sure to keep your surroundings clean at all times. It doesn’t have to be a case of scrubbing and steam cleaning, you simply need to put rubbish in the bin immediately, wipe down workstations daily and let in some fresh air whenever possible.

 

Provide cleaning materials

Janitorial staff should be allocated suitable and effective cleaning materials, including relevant equipment. Other staff should have access to basic hygiene products that can be used safely by anyone, such as soap, handwash, screen wipes, washing up liquid, cloths, furniture polish, dishwasher tablets, toilet brushes, air freshener and so on. If these are available, employees can use them when required.

 

Train all staff in basic hygiene

This can help everyone to stay healthy in the workplace. Though some pointers may sound obvious, such as putting rubbish in the bin, others could make a big difference, such as helping to keep the fridge free of spoiled products. Meanwhile, signage in toilets will encourage people to thoroughly wash their hands, and no smoking signs in otherwise unclear areas will help to prevent air contamination.

 

Pest control

If your workplace has any signs of pests, from insects to vermin, you must immediately take action. In the majority of situations you should contact a pest control company, as trying to sort out the problem yourself is rarely effective and could even result in accident or injury.

 

Personal hygiene

This is a delicate area and hopefully won’t come up, but if a member of staff has low hygiene standards that are affecting the workplace, you need to confront the problem. Make sure to approach the situation kindly but firmly on a one-to-one basis in a private room, otherwise you could cause the individual embarrassment and agitation. Everyone has the responsibility to maintain good hygiene; shortfalls and lapses can range from body odour and bad breath to shabby appearance and excessive dirt under the nails.

 

Show ill employees compassion

If someone in the workplace is poorly and needs to take a sick day or two, don’t pressurise them into returning before they’ve recovered. Aside from causing the individual stress and limiting their ability to get back on their feet, it could result in the illness being passed on to other staff. Common examples are colds, stomach bugs and diarrhoea, but in fact any form of ailment (even mental strain) should be allocated a suitable period of convalescence.

 

hygiene at work