A Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Office Pt. 1

Maintaining a healthy and happy office is good for business. Healthy staff leads to lower absenteeism, improved productivity, increased morale and better staff retention; all of which will have a positive impact on your balance sheet.

Short-term sickness is the most common cause of absence. In this, the first in a series of blog posts on how to maintain a healthy office, we reveals some shocking facts about the spread of infection in the workplace and outline practical steps that businesses can take to improve workplace well-being.

Don’t forget to clean your tech

Modern technology is redefining the way we work. Many of us use laptops, tablets and smartphones, and because of the frequent contact with our hands and proximity to our faces, germs are easily transferred to them.

Studies commonly show that mobile phones can carry up to 18 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. Employees need to be aware of the issue and have the resources to clean this equipment.

Phones, laptops and tablet computers should be cleaned using specially formulated cleaning wipes that are designed to clean hi-tech devices without damaging the electronics or screens. These can be distributed throughout the office to encourage staff to keep their tech clean and
reduce contamination.

Avoid eating at your desk

Where did you eat your lunch today? Too often we eat at our desks, whether that’s out of convenience or a sense of duty to continue working through your lunch break, but what’s the problem with eating at your desk?

More than half of office workers regularly work through their lunch hour

Crumbs accumulate on desks and in the cracks of keyboards. This helps to feed high levels of bacteria – it’s been reported that a typical office desk can harbour more than 6,000 bacteria per square inch. This is clearly unacceptable when restaurants with surfaces that contain more than 700 bacteria per square inch are considered unsanitary.

These unhygienic conditions encourage the growth of bacteria which can lead to sickness and absence. Companies, where possible, should provide dining facilities and encourage staff to take a break at lunchtime. This will have the added benefit of boosting concentration levels and productivity.

A healthy workplace isn’t just about cleaning, although that is an integral part. By looking at the workplace as a whole, companies can make a big difference to their employees health, that of their families, as well as the company’s bottom line. For more advice on maintaining a clean and healthy office, look out for the rest of the blog posts in this series, or contact us on 0800 4488026.