7 WORKPLACE HYGIENE TIPS FOR EVERY STARTUP TO FOLLOW
We have discussed in previous blogs before how a clean workplace can increase the productivity in your business. Generally, it has everything to do with maintaining a clean and healthy environment for your staff and your customers or patrons. While we say that it is the responsibility of everyone especially the workers to keep their work space clean, you as a business owner must be at the forefront in this endeavour. The best time to instill this sense of responsibility over a clean workplace in every worker’s system and culture is at the start of your business.
If you intend to take on more environmental or green initiatives for more sustainable business operations, these workplace hygiene tips may help you in your advocacy:
Establish a cleaning schedule
Ideally, cleaning must be done every day. For businesses that deal with an influx of customers to their office or space on a day to day basis, daily, thorough cleaning is a necessity. Those in the food service industry, several cleaning sessions must be made within a day to help ensure that the food being served is not contaminated with bacteria and other germs. Offices with few personnel and customers that come to their office can schedule a thorough cleaning session 2 to 3 times a week.
It would be easier to keep your work areas clean if you have a designated utility personnel to do just that. But that shouldn’t be made as a license for workers to not do their share. Individually, your workers must already include the cleaning of their workspaces in their to-do list for the day. Other businesses have also imposed a clean-desk policy for employees to clear their desks of clutter every end of day.
Develop a waste management plan
A waste management plan here does not necessarily impose acquiring equipment or setting up a materials recovery facility of some sort to ensure that waste is properly disposed. This means that a strategic plan on how to dispose the waste in your workplace must be in place.
The plan must include the areas where garbage bins or disposal units must be placed. They must be accessible and visible but never near the work areas of your employees. Other businesses have several disposal units to segregate their waste into biodegradable, non-biodegradable and hazardous materials. Aside from the disposal bins, of utmost importance too is to ensure that these bins are emptied to avoid contamination and unpleasant odors.
Install hand sanitizers
Hand sanitizer dispensers are usually installed in the office restrooms impressing upon people that germs are contained in the restrooms. However, it must be remembered that germs can be everywhere. Your employees might be dealing with customers who are sick and unhealthy so an accessible hand sanitizer dispenser can help them avoid any instance of contamination. These units if installed strategically will serve as a reminder to employees to always keep their hands clean and that they wouldn’t have to go to the restroom to do that.
Designate eating and smoking areas
A lot of companies have in place a policy restricting eating or even just bringing of food in the work areas. Larger offices have canteens or cafeterias. Others have pantries in each department where sinks, refrigerators, cutlery storage, food storage, coffee machines, microwave ovens and dining tables are installed so as to contain any activities related to food within that area only.
Smoking areas are usually a designated space outside of the office. Some companies even designed their smoking areas with plants to help dispel smoke and smell that other employees might find offensive.
Install air purifiers and fresheners
Most of the bacteria and viruses are air-borne. Other businesses have really gone to the extent of installing air purifiers and fresheners to improve the air quality in the office and keep the workforce from being contaminated with air-borne bacteria and virus.
It is difficult for your staff to work efficiently if the air in the office environment is filled with dust, reeking with foul odor or having a hint of smoke. If your staff can breathe in clean and fresh air even within the four walls of their office, their senses can be stimulated and thus will make them more productive and efficient in working.
Impose protective clothing
This will bode well for those businesses that need a controlled working environment to ensure that no contamination can take place. Not only will this benefit your business in general but this will greatly benefit your workers in that their health will be protected.
Protective clothing may include gloves, masks, suits, hair caps and shoe covers. Other companies even installed automatic shoe cover dispensers to ensure that workers wear the protective clothing that they imposed.
Create a health and hygiene awareness program
You can do an information campaign to build awareness in each of your employees about the company’s environmental and hygiene policies. You can organize health and hygiene forums that will not only cover work environment but also their homes. In this way, you are helping create a clean habit and hygienic practice in them that will be valuable in their homes and in your workplace.
Through this program too, you can inform your employees about their health benefits that must include of course paid sick days that they must take when they are sick to avoid infecting others especially if they are contagious. Making them aware that their health and well-being is important to your business or your company will somehow motivate your employees to be productive after a mindful rest.
Health and Hygiene is everybody’s concern
The responsibility of health and hygiene does not solely rest on one person. It must be a conscious, collective effort of the team to ensure that everybody in the office is healthy, productive and efficient. But as the business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that everyone adheres to your plans, programs and policies. It is after all, your business.