On top of the normal nine to five day, many of use eat, socialise and even sleep in our offices. And, given the amount of time we’re there, it’s bound to have an effect on our well-being. From sick days to workplace injuries, office hygiene rules play an important role in keeping employees both happy and healthy.
An office hygiene policy is a great place to start, and will provide your staff with guidelines on the role they play in keeping the office a safe place. Providing your workforce with the equipment they need for cleaning will allow everyone to keep on top of things.
So, here are a few things your office should be stocking up on to help employees stay happy and healthy:
From the odd drip of water from an overfilled glass, to large scale spills or leaks, keeping your office stocked up with plenty of paper towels can mean any spillages are quickly dried up. Even the smallest of spills can cause an accident, so it’s always worth keeping a steady supply available to employees and enforcing the importance of cleaning these up.
Large scale spills or lingering leaks can cause mould outbreaks if not addressed quickly and efficiently. Keeping an eye on these potential bacteria growths is essential, as they can lead to allergies and infections amongst staff. So it’s always worth reporting large spills and leaks to the office manager.
Disinfectant cleaning sprays
While having a clean breakout area is essential in maintaining high levels of office hygiene, keyboards, phones and surfaces can still harbour germs. Not only that, a lot of office workers will take a quick break and eat their lunch while seated at their workspace. So, if you’re touching your keyboard, talking on the phone or looking through some notes as you eat, you could also get a side order of germs.
Cleaning sprays and disinfectants should be accessible to eliminate dust and grime on dirty desks, with cloths handy for wiping down phones and mouses. Promoting the importance of hygiene from shared spaces to individual workstations will help keep your workforce healthy.
First aid kit
Even the smallest of scratches needs treating to avoid any serious problems. Make sure everyone in your office knows where the first aid kit is, not just the first aiders. It’s also important to regularly check that everything contained in the kit is still in date and safe to use as medical supplies can expire. Keep the kit topped up and use an inventory to find out what has been used.
An accident report book can also be useful to keep your records up-to-date and a log of any incidents that have occurred in the office.
Anti-bacterial hand gel
The Office for National Statistics estimated that 137.3 million working days were lost in 2016 due to sickness or injury. And with coughs, colds and many other illnesses making their way around the office at any one time, workplace hygiene rules, such as washing your hands, should be strictly enforced.
Hand sanitisers are a relatively simple solution in keeping germs at bay, and having a few dotted around the office can encourage staff members to keep their hands clean. Placing a hand washing guide in the restrooms and kitchen areas can also go a long way in promoting good health around the office.
Keeping the walkways clear from coats, bags and umbrellas is an effective way to reduce the risk of injuries during the working day. It’s all too easy to become distracted when wandering around the office and before you know it, that innocuous coat or bag strap could become a very real trip hazard. So having a few coat stands around the office will mean employees can hang up their belongings and keep them out of the way.
The same goes for any loose cables lying around on the floor. Keep them covered up and organised to help avoid accidents.
Disposing of rubbish, whether it’s an orange peel, old papers or wrappers, is another way to keep desks clear and germs at bay. Placing bins within easy reach of desks and in shared spaces will encourage your staff to throw away anything they don’t need.
Make sure the rubbish is taken out at the end of each day to avoid any unpleasant odours for the next morning.
Whether you make small changes or big ones, there are plenty of things you can do to make your office a happier and healthier workplace.