The employer and employee are interested in maintaining good hygiene in the workplace.
The employee desires to work in a safe and healthy environment, while the employer, on the other side, wishes to keep his employees motivated and hopefully have them taking fewer sick leaves.
The question is, who is responsible for maintaining such a clean and comfortable working environment? And how should this be done the right way?
The importance of personal hygiene at work
Employees spend almost 1920 hours at work for an entire year.
Spending such an extended time with employees with hygiene issues or in dirty working environments affects their health, efficiency, and satisfaction at work, which increases the importance of personal hygiene in the workplace.
Employees are also responsible for office hygiene maintenance. They should avoid spreading offensive odors at work and reduce other effects of poor personal hygiene in the workplace that spreads the diseases throughout the office and embarrasses their coworkers.
Having your employees follow an office cleanliness etiquette helps in such a case.
5 steps maintain the cleanliness at work
1. Maintain the office water cooler hygiene
One way to keep your employees healthy is by providing them with the possibility of hydrating themselves with clean water from a cooler.
To do this, the company must ensure that the office water cooler hygiene is maintained properly. This prevents dispensing clean and healthy water from the cooler.
2. Maintain the hygiene in the office kitchen
The kitchen in the office is the place where employees make themselves a cup of coffee, store their food in the fridge, or warm it up at lunch.
Employees share the kitchen space daily which means that everybody who uses it leaves their footprints in there.
If the office kitchen hygiene is not maintained, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. As a result, this may contaminate the food that employees eat for lunch which may lead to food poisoning.
3. Keep the office bathroom clean
Another aspect of workplace hygiene is the bathroom. Maintaining the office bathroom hygiene you promote a safe and healthy life at work.
The toilet is shared with other coworkers. So, by cleaning it after themselves, employees show their respect to other coworkers. This behavior prevents the spread of microorganisms between someone leaving the bathroom and other coworkers.
The employer must provide the necessary tools and appliances for employees to maintain their personal hygiene.
4. Approach an employee about their hygiene. If necessary!
The worst part about encountering someone’s poor personal hygiene is approaching the employee about their body odor.
An employee’s personal hygiene issue is a sensitive topic and not many dares to bring it up to his attention.
If a coworker or the HR manager decides to speak with the employee about his hygiene this should be done polite and professional.
5. Let everybody follow the workplace hygiene policy
The HR manager has the necessary tools to address the employee’s personal hygiene issue from a company’s standpoint.
If you are an HR manager, you can make this a company-wide issue. This means that every employee should respect the personal cleanliness and appearance standards mentioned in the company policy during the entire employment period.
This gives room to the employee not take it personally but rather a necessity of the company.
Having a workplace hygiene policy helps and HR manager address an employee with a personal hygiene issue in a professional manner.
Managing employee complaints about a coworker’s hygiene issues is not fun.
To make your life easier make personal hygiene and appearance a company rule.
Having everybody follow these guidelines removes the sources of employee complaints.
Find more information in this guide to personal hygiene.