Why is workplace hygiene important?

by James Murray 5 months ago in advice

Read on to find out why...

Why is workplace hygiene important?

To be productive, your workplace needs to be clean and well organised. This might sound obvious to some, simplistic even. But you’d be surprised how many offices let hygiene standards slip and clutter to build up.

Hygiene is an essential part of facilities management. Here are four reasons to prioritise workplace hygiene and make sure your office is perfectly primed for productivity and wellbeing.


Workplace hygiene primarily concerns health. Without proper policies and cleaning standards, staff can quickly become ill and common infections take hold.

Basic handwashing can prevent 30% of diarrhoea-related illnesses and 20% of respiratory infections. Explaining this to employees and installing antiseptic-gel dispensers in germ-prone areas can help you keep on top of office outbreaks. It’s also important to let employees feel comfortable staying at home if they become sick.

An alarming 98% of workforces are affected by common infections during flu season, so it’s essential that you prepare before they hit. Common prevention strategies include offering on-site vaccinations or vouchers, encouraging your staff to get flu jabs outside of work and increasing the frequency of janitorial services during winter.

Mental health

In the same way mental health can impact personal hygiene, allowing poor hygiene standards to creep into your workplace can dramatically affect staff’s mental wellbeing.

Office clutter can make your workforce feel neglected and, according to a study conducted by Cornell University, is even linked to coping strategies like overeating. If your workplace regularly becomes untidy, encourage your team to set aside some time each week to stow things away, order files and disinfect their desks. This will help your team manage office clutter and maintain a clean workspace.

Company image

Presentation is important. You wouldn’t go to an interview looking dishevelled, and the same goes for your company. When clients, suppliers or investors visit, the last thing they want to see is an unkempt office. Clutter and poor hygiene give the wrong impression and show little care for the success or reputation of your business. Making sure your office space is well kept and clean will protect your company image and mean you’re more likely to make a good first impression when welcoming visitors.

Health and safety

Piled-high boxes, wet floors, mouldy food: these are all common in the workplace and can affect a business in several ways. First, employees working in untidy conditions are far more likely to be involved in an accident. This makes the chances of long-term absences from work more likely and can even lead to legal action, a costly outcome for SMEs.

Second, your office reflects your business as a whole. Employees will form an impression based on their environment. And if it’s untidy or lacks attention, it’s likely your staff will eventually form the same opinion.

Making sure your office space is clean and tidy will reduce the likelihood of trips and falls and facilitate the egress of staff during emergencies. Keeping desks and recreational spaces tidy will also encourage staff to keep their office in order and appreciate where they work.

The reasons for keeping your office clean and tidy are straightforward. Without proper policies and an acceptable standard of cleanliness, the space in which you work can contribute towards sick leave, greater dissatisfaction at work (and therefore turnover) and negatively impact the productivity of your workforce.

A clean workplace is altogether different. It’s safe, somewhere staff feel good and, most importantly, a place they don’t mind spending their time.

James Murray
James Murray
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