The American workforce has been flipped on its head over the last year. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way millions of people thought about work, with many businesses having to close or lay off employees, and others switching to remote work to keep people safe.

Now, thanks to everyone's effort to slow the spread and the vaccine rollout, it seems there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. Some businesses will forever be changed by the pandemic. In fact, many employers are choosing to remain remote with their services.

But, if your business is opening up and your employees are returning in person, it's important to remain diligent. If the pandemic taught us anything, it's the importance of remaining as safe as possible, even in the workplace.

If you own or manage a business, that means taking workplace hygiene seriously for yourself and your employees. How does it benefit your business to emphasize hygiene in a post-pandemic world? How can you make sure your business remains a safe and clean place for employees, especially those who may have compromised immune systems?

A Happier, Healthier Staff

Perhaps the biggest benefit of a clean, hygienic workplace is a healthier, more productive, and more appreciative staff. When you make hygiene a priority, you're setting a positive first impression for both potential employees and those who have worked with you for years. If you're considering hiring an immunocompromised individual, showing them your hygienic priorities could make them more interested in the position.

Keeping your staff happy and comfortable will help them to:

  • Feel safe in the workplace
  • Boost their productivity
  • Remain loyal to your business
  • Reduce stress and anxiety

It doesn't take long for a virus to spread through the average workplace. In fact, 50% of workers can be infected by one person's virus within four hours of that individual clocking in. That leads to more sick days and a decrease in productivity. By taking just a few small, important steps, you can reduce the risk of common health issues like viruses and keep your employees happy all at once.

A More Relaxed Work Environment

Workplace stress is a serious problem that can lead to a lack of motivation and productivity. More importantly, it can cause your employees to feel burnt out, anxious, or even depressed. Establishing a positive environment in your place of business is crucial for the overall well-being of your employees.

That includes having hygienic practices in place.

When your employees are stressed, they can experience:

  • A lack of focus
  • Struggles with distractions
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty remembering things

They might even carry that stress home with them, which can hurt their work-life balance. Stress from work can make it difficult to sleep. Unfortunately, that often creates a vicious cycle. Poor sleep can lead to more serious health problems. That means more sick days, less focus, and unfulfilled employees.

By making hygienic practices in the workplace a priority, your employees are likely to feel safer. From having a clean desk to work on to knowing that safety practices are in place, workers don't have to worry about their health as much. They can focus on their regular tasks and take comfort in knowing you and your business truly care about their health and wellness.

What Can You Do?

There are so many additional benefits to taking workplace hygiene seriously. But, you might be wondering what you need to do to make it a priority. Thankfully, it doesn't require huge, sweeping changes from the way you currently do things. Instead, utilize some of the following to make sure your space is as clean as possible:

  • Invest in a professional cleaning service.
  • Assign cleaning tasks to different employees.
  • Have a "cleaning schedule."
  • Encourage everyone to keep their personal space tidy.

In addition to keeping things clean, put forth an effort to reduce the spread of germs and viruses. Encouraging employees to wash their hands frequently or use sanitizer is a great place to start. Separating desks or spacing things apart a bit more can also help.

Depending on your work environment, have strategies in place to reduce the risk of contamination. This is a common issue in food service, but anywhere bacteria can start to grow can become a cross-contamination threat. Using disinfectants throughout your workplace, utilizing the right equipment and resources, and cleaning things every day will make it harder for harmful bacteria to thrive anywhere.

Your employees don't just deserve to be safe and healthy – they want to be! Workers who know their health is valued will always have an easier time coming to work and getting the job done. Health and hygiene will likely be at the forefront of everyone's mind for a while. So, start creating hygienic habits in the workplace now. Even after pandemic talk becomes a thing of the past, your business can remain safe, clean, and healthy for years to come.