After spending a whole year working from home, people are happy to be back on their office desks. Even though everything is returning to normal, the pandemic isn’t over yet. Still, there are millions of positive Covid-19 cases and hundreds of people in critical conditions. Therefore, people should step outdoors with caution. From covering their faces, wearing gloves, to carrying disinfectant sprays, everyone must adapt to the new normal.
Unsurprisingly, the same rule applies to organizations and companies opening their doors for employees. They have to abide by all SOPs issued by the government and ensure every employee is taking necessary precautions. In addition to safety measures, managers have to deploy practices that promote hygiene in the workplace. After all, bacteria and viruses originate from dirt and clutter. You can create hand-wash stations in every corner and place sanitizers on desks.
Similarly, hire a cleaning team to remove debris and sterile the floors regularly. Allocate specific areas for eating and smoking to avoid the mess in the entire office. In addition to making employees feel safe, clean workplaces have a direct impact on productivity levels. If you are having difficulty figuring out everything, have a look below. Here are six must-have workplace practices that promote hygiene.
1. Educate Employees About Hygiene
Before creating cleaning schedules, take a dig at employees’ habits. Most employees have a habit of accumulating wrappers on their desks instead of throwing them in the bin. Likewise, they shouldn’t be typing on keyboards with their one hand inside the pack of chips. Besides making the place dirty, such unhygienic practices give birth to bacteria and germs. So, how can you school workers on hygiene?
Firstly, educate them on the importance of washing hands to create a germ-free environment. Likewise, place posters on how to wash your hands properly around the office to send the message of practicing hygiene. You can also conduct team meetings to discuss the importance of cleanliness to maintain workplace hygiene. The inclusion of everyone in the workplace will bring the best results while encouraging employees to adopt healthy habits.
2. Let the Air in
Generally, offices have inadequate ventilation systems, which can pose significant health risks. The smells coming from photocopying machines are quite dangerous, and even inhaling small amounts can result in chest pain and throat irritation. Similarly, if employees stay in the office for long hours, their body starts using stale air, leading to health issues.
If you have heating or air conditioning systems, open windows once in a while for some fresh air.
The doctors at the respiratory clinic in London suggest that if you have heating or air conditioning systems, open windows once in a while for some fresh air.
Also, use appropriate scents and air fresheners to maintain a healthy atmosphere inside the office.
3. Limit Paperwork
In today’s tech-driven world, there is no point in keeping unnecessary paper documents. The files and folders accumulate dust which can lead to respiratory problems for the employees. Likewise, sharing documents with colleagues can also transfer germs from one person to another. Hence, limit information sharing to digital devices. You can email documents or share files on task management tools to eliminate paperwork. Above all, digitalizing all receipts and invoices can reduce the clutter and germs from your desk, creating a clean and tidy working space.
4. Be Extra Vigilant with Bathrooms & Kitchen
Is there a coffee-spot in the office? Usually, workplaces have a small kitchen with espresso machines and mugs for employees. And since we are talking about hygiene, you have to ensure cups and kitchen surface is clean to use. The janitor must wipe off surfaces with disinfectant and clean mugs with dish soap to make the place germ-free. Unsurprisingly, the same goes for the bathroom. You have to ensure that every bathroom is sterile and safe to use.
Instead of using soaps, ensure placing hand-wash and paper towels to avoid any contamination.
5. Set Up a Garbage Disposal System
Now more than ever, organizations need to have a well-thought-out garbage plan. Over-flowing trash bins give birth to flies and mosquitos while bringing unwanted smells. Besides having garbage cans in every nook and corner, place small trash bins near every employee’s desk. That way, you will prevent garbage accumulation and contamination on the surfaces. Moreover, you can create a garbage disposal system with the cleaning company. They would empty the bins, replace liners, and clean them regularly to eliminate any smells.
6. Offer Sick Leaves
In modern-day workplaces, productivity is the key. Managers want to ensure employees use each hour and minute efficiently. Thus, giving time off for illnesses is not on their bucket list. However, this approach can be counterproductive. If one person is sick in the workplace, it increases the likelihood of others also getting infected. But if you grant a few sick leaves, the germs won’t spread in the office and make other people sick.
In addition to reducing the risk of diseases, the sick employee can also recover quickly since he/she can rest well. Nevertheless, if the sickness prolongs for weeks, allow employees to work from home. It would maintain the same productivity while protecting the office environment.
Honestly, workplace hygiene has become a growing concern in today’s time. The outspread of viruses is encouraging people to take additional precautions. Likewise, offices have to implement better hygiene practices to ensure worker’s safety. However, you have to ensure effective hygiene practices even when the pandemic is over. After all, it is in every company’s best interests to keep the workplace germ-free and tidy. Alongside improving productivity, clean offices have higher employee satisfaction.