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Clean Workplaces Are Ideal for Both the Environment and Productivity

clean workplace

There are loads of things that you need to take into consideration when you are trying to run a green business. You have to pay attention to your company’s overall carbon footprint, which often entails investing in renewable energy and choosing suppliers that make products that can be easily recycled.

However, there are some factors that may not be as obvious to the average green business owner. You need to consider the importance of implementing policies that encourage efficient use of resources, even if the environmental benefits are not so obvious.

One of these examples is with creating cleaner work environments. These are both good for the helping the planet and creating a more productive workplace.

The Planet and Your Employees Will Benefit from a Cleaner Workplace

As a sustainable business owner and employer, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about what you can do in order to get the best out of your employees. You may be racking your brain trying to figure out exactly you can change in your management style, or what you can do to find the best types of employees who will stay motivated.

The personal element does matter, yes, but there are other things you want to consider as well, like environment. This doesn’t mean investing in something like a pool table or some type of feng shui, but the basic. One of the best things you can do is work on keeping your workplace clean and organized as best as possible, even if it means enlisting a professional cleaning service. The payoff here comes in many forms.

Let’s discuss the benefits for both the environment and the workplace as a whole.

Benefits to the Planet

The observable benefits of creating a clean workplace are not as obvious, but they are still profound. You should consider the following:

  • Your building, furniture and other capital will last longer if it is properly cleaned. Since constructing these resources requires raw materials, you will preserve materials for the planet.
  • You will minimize the need for future deep cleaning services, which will require a lot more environmentally harmful chemicals than you would if you simply tried to keep up with it regularly.
  • A lot of grime can create corrosion and other damage that will seep into the environment and create more damage.
  • If you don’t maintain your property properly, gas reserves and other harmful chemical storage units can start to fail. They can then cause the chemicals to seep into the earth.

There are a lot of great reasons that keeping your workplace clean is good for the planet. Let’s talk about some of the productivity benefits as well.

Direct Productivity Benefits

While this first concern may not apply in an office environment, it’s important that we take the time to talk about cleaning a workplace and hazards. OSHA defines an occupational hazard as anything in the workplace that may cause harm. To clarify, chances are that not keeping a clean office won’t probably cause a hazard in some situations. What it may do, though, is obscure a potential hazard so you aren’t aware of it until it is too late. For example, let’s say you’re stacking a set of boxes as storage in an unused office. If you don’t properly clean the area and an employee goes in there, that stack may fall, causing a potential injury. Slipping hazards from liquids are also something to consider.

This is an extreme example though. When it comes to office cleanliness, the biggest cost when it comes to not paying enough attention is probably going to be illness, especially in scenarios like flu season. Don’t believe that sick days can impact your business? Statistics show that sick days cost businesses more than $225 billion dollars each year and result in 54% loss in productivity. That’s a pretty heavy cost no business owner wants to shoulder. What can you do? Make sure that daily disinfecting, vacuuming, and sanitizing are priorities for your cleaning team. What can you do? Make sure that daily disinfecting, vacuuming, and sanitizing are priorities for your cleaning team. Also, it’s good to use a vacation and sick time tracking software to reduce heavy cost.

Your employees don’t have to take a day off to feel the effects of an unclean environment. Cleaning products reduce the number of allergens in the air. An employee with an allergic reaction probably won’t feel the need to go home, but symptoms like itchy eyes, runny nose, and congestion will likely leave them miserable, and only working at a fraction of their full potential.

Indirect Benefits

This is a major part of keeping a clean workplace, but there are also more low-key benefits that can pay off in a lot of ways. For example, for many businesses, a major part of bringing in new clients is meeting with them in person. After all, wouldn’t you rather deal with someone face-to-face? If this includes bringing them to your workplace, then your workplace suddenly becomes an extension of your brand. If someone sees a dirty workplace, the questions start flying through their head? Does this person not care about their business? Are they not doing well enough to afford proper cleaning? If they can’t keep a clean space, how will they treat our potential partnership? All of these are the last things you want a potential client or partner to have on their mind.

It’s also important to keep your employees in mind as well. Many of the same issues a client sees apply to them. A well-maintained workplace helps keep your employees at their most productive and happy as well. After all, they spend an average of eight hours a day there. Don’t they deserve to have a clean space?  In addition, if they feel the need to work to clean their space, that’s time going away from their work. If they feel unhappy or distracted from their work due to a bad environment, that may spill into their interaction with clients and customers.

Cleanliness may not be the first thing on your mind as an employer, but time lost due to illness is money out of your pockets. All the more reason to make sure you invest in cleaning your workplace the same way that you may buy new desks or pay for a seminar in order to get the most out of your employees.

About author

Kayla Matthews is a technology and energy IT writer whose work has appeared on Motherboard, MakeUseOf and Triple Pundit. To read more posts by Kayla, follow her on Twitter @KaylaEMatthews.
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