When you run a business, you may be so busy serving your customers that basic housekeeping and cleaning fall by the wayside. Unless you work with food, you may assume that taking the time to stop and tidy up is a waste. In reality, a clean office goes a long way toward improving your enterprise.
According to Lifehack, many studies about workplace illnesses suggest that the latest virus you caught didn’t come from germs in the bathroom. When tested, office desktops and other work surfaces are actually much dirtier than they appear. Ree Hines, a contributor to Forbes, reports that about three times as many bacteria are on your keyboard alone than on a toilet seat. Additional research found that your computer mouse is equally as disgusting.
To prevent disease moving through your office like wildfire, especially during cold and flu season, clean workspaces at regular intervals. If you know something is going around, step up the cleaning schedule to avoid time lost at the doctor’s office.
If employees have a clean place to work, they tend to be more content. While happiness won’t eliminate employee turnover, providing your staff with a hygienic and organized space goes a long way toward building their loyalty. The team at ALSCO, a leading business support firm in Australia, reports that simple housekeeping tasks can dramatically improve the feel of your office. For instance, cleaning the windows regularly brightens the space with more natural light. Deodorizing products keep nasty odors from hanging around and causing headaches or distractions. A deep clean of the restroom facilities is a good idea to make sure you meet employees’ and visitors’ basic needs.
It’s the law
A clean office is a great way to make your employees happier, and it’s also the law that your workspaces meet minimum benchmarks. The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has several rules that apply to workplace cleanliness as it relates to safety. For example, standard 1910.22 states that, in terms of walking and working surfaces, you must guarantee that “all places of employment, passageways, storerooms, service rooms, and walking-working surfaces are kept in a clean, orderly, and sanitary condition.”
If laws and regulations alone aren’t enough to motivate you to keep your office clean, consider that if you fail to meet these standards, you’ll face fines. For example, Pretty Girl Inc. in New York was fined $43,890 in 2013 after OSHA issued it a repeat citation for “unsanitary conditions and housekeeping hazards,” among other issues. These problems included backed-up sewage in the basement, falling pieces from a poorly-maintained ceiling and haphazard merchandise storage that posed tripping hazards. All of this information about the poor work setting and its penalties is readily available on the OSHA website as a press release where any future employees or clients can find it.
Business housekeeping might not seem like a big deal, but a clean store or workplace can make a big difference in how your enterprise runs. If you’re not sure you’re up to the task, consider consulting with a commercial cleaning firm or other sanitation professional.