The working environment is an important factor in the growth and success of a startup company. Employers have a responsibility to ensure their employees are working in hygienic conditions. This not only improves their well-being but also assures them of good health at work. If you can afford to maintain a happy and healthy workforce, then you can be sure of increased productivity and therefore growth and success for your startup company.
When employees are satisfied with their working conditions, they stay in their jobs much longer. A loyal and experienced workforce is essential for propelling your business to the next level.
Read on to learn some of the simple but effective ways you can make your startup company a hygienic and healthy place for the whole team.
1. Install Hand Sanitizers
In many setups, the only place one can find hand sanitizer is in the washroom. To make your company environment more hygienic and healthy, consider mounting handwash dispensers in other areas as well. This will make them readily available should employees or clients feel the need to clean their hands without having to take a trip to the washroom. For example, staff may like clean hands after emptying the trash. Hand sanitizers can be strategically located at walls at entry and exit points. This reminds the employees of the need to wash their hands regularly. Hand-washing has been said to improve work space hygiene by up to 50%.
2. Set Up a Cleaning Schedule
There is no set number of times that cleaning should be done. The schedule varies depending on the frequency of people who are coming in and out of the commercial set-up. For instance, a small office of 1-5 people can be just fine with two cleaning sessions per week. Spaces that are frequented by many people, such as cafes and shops, will require several cleaning sessions each day. Cleaning of workspaces like desks should be done on a daily basis. Employees should be encouraged to wipe their working tools in the morning before work, or in the evening after work. Companies can provide wet towels for this purpose.
3. Ensure the Windows Are Cleaned
Natural light is beautiful. Have your windows been cleaned to allow it in? Natural light has a way of putting employees in better moods. Natural light can transform a dull workplace, enhancing the employee’s mood and performance. Ensure that you have clean windows at all times in your office.
4. Set Up a Garbage Disposal System
Install a garbage disposal system so that people visiting the workplace know where and how to get rid of waste. Have dustbins placed at several locations within the premises. It not only keep the workplace hygienic, but also helps avoid unpleasant odors due to poor disposal. Just make sure they get emptied!
5. Ensure That Utensils Are Cleaned
Most workplaces offer tea and snacks to their employees. Make sure that there is someone to wash the cups and dishes after every use. This is because food debris like soup, particles, and sugar are a good breeding zone for germs. All utensils should be washed with soapy warm water, rinsed and dried. The snacks and tea preparation area should also be wiped clean after use, and towels hung out to dry.
6. Buy Some Air Fresheners
Employees may come to work bearing all sorts of scents and fragrances. Others may have tea and snacks which leave a particular smell across the office. This is where an air freshener comes in handy. The scent of an air freshener subdues all other smells, making the environment fresh. The scent also helps employees identify with the work atmosphere which helps them stay tuned in and focused.
7. Educate Your Employees
Having someone do the cleaning two or three times a week is great, but it will not be enough. You need to educate your team as to why it’s important to keep the working environment clean. Educate them on the high-risk hotspots for germ infection, such as toilet seats, reception desks, service charters, telephones and so on. Discuss your company’s potential hot spots and exchange ideas on how best to keep everything clean. Insist they clean their work areas using sanitizing wipes, and reiterate the importance of covering their nose and mouth as they sneeze or cough.
8. Allow Sick Days
It is a common habit for most of us to take over the counter medications to combat common illnesses such as a cold. However, this does not mean that we are healthy and non-infectious. If employees request a sick day, allow them to work from home or just give them time off. This may sound like too much of a liability on the employer’s part, but it is better than having an employee spread the flu to everyone else in the office. It also makes the employee feel that their boss is mindful of their well-being, which motivates them to be more productive once they get back to work.
9. Set Zones for Eating and Smoking
Cigarettes and food bear smells that many people can find offensive and distracting. Designate areas such as canteens and smoking zones. This lowers the chances of dropping hazardous substances in the workspace, and allows other workers to continue going about their duties without interruption. Put up signs so employees know there are designated areas for these activities.
10. Evaluate the Benefits of Hygiene Practices
Each investment needs an evaluation. The same case applies to hygiene measures. Employers need to engage with employees by requesting feedback on the effectiveness of the health measures in place. If they feel involved, they will take personal efforts to maintain cleanliness. They will clean and organize their work space, wipe keyboards, and ask for sick days when they’re ill. They will also feel they can forward suggestions on any areas that need improvement.
11. Check Protective Clothing
Places like hotels and production companies need to maintain protective clothing so it’s in good condition, and always report any damage. This will ensure nothing hazardous reaches the skin or their personal clothing.
When employees make an effort to ensure the workplace is clean and hygienic, they not only do so for the employees but also for clients, distributors, suppliers and potential investors who may come in at any time. You cannot afford to create an impression of mess and disorder to the different stakeholders in a company. This will put them off, which will affect your business negatively. So put these simple, effective practices into place to keep your staff healthy, and your business will grow.
Want to know more? Here’s a link to a FreshrInsights article which you may find interesting.
Are you also a hygiene geek? Why not share some of your advice through the comments section below!