Increase Productivity and Prevent Illness: How to Promote Basic Hand Hygiene in the Office

We’ve all been there, the moment when we notice that one or a few of our employees or colleagues use poor hand hygiene.

Increase Productivity and Prevent Illness: How to Promote Basic Hand Hygiene in the Office

As employees click away at keyboards, touch door knobs, share copy machines, and more, in order to maintain the overall health of the office, it is imperative to promote healthy and correct hand hygiene in the office. Recently, LinkedIn posted an article by Facility Management Magazine that indicated, “50% of office workers admit that hygiene concerns affected their productivity.” This belief is rightly supported, as there are statistics that indicate that poor hygiene should be a point of major concern for individuals.

According to the Center for Disease and Control Prevention, poor hand hygiene is one of the factors that lead to the spread of germs and the proliferation of disease. Promoting hand hygiene in the office has not only a medical benefit, but it also has a positive impact on the bottom-line of a business and overall employee productivity. Therefore, in order to protect you, your business, and others, below you fill find the main ways that you can promote healthy hand hygiene in the office.

Promotional Materials

Healthy hand hygiene and a clean environment kills germs and prevents the spread of disease. One method to employ is to spread around the office promotional materials that encourages workers to wash their hands. Promotional materials can be found here. The benefit of using promotional materials, among other methods, is that it clearly sends out the message of how important proper hand hygiene is. One very popular flyer is, “Handwashing: A Corporate Activity.” This flyer, which can be downloaded at the link provided above, reiterates a number of useful points that will readily encourage employees to wash their hands. It explains that hand washing improves health, saves time and money, and it especially helps workers thrive. Those that wash their hands overall promote a better work environment for themselves and for their fellow employees, as fewer people need to take sick days and suffer from diminished health due to the spread of germs.

Hold and Office Meeting

Statistics show that most individuals are kinesthetic learners, meaning that they understand better through visual cues. In order to truly get the point across that hand washing is necessary and highly important to the health and productivity of the entire office, then consider undertaking a project. Office managers can create slide shows that show the health effects of poor hand hygiene in the office, how the spread of disease affects everyone, and how to properly wash one’s hand. While this initiative may seem a bit pestering, it will provide employees with useful information, and they will take to heart your efforts.

Word of Mouth

One of the most powerful tools that you have is the word of mouth. By communication with employees and spreading information through conversations, you can easily get a campaign going that encourages employees to use healthy hand washing techniques. The best way to go about this method is to simply talk to your employees about statistics and how not washing one’s hands can lead to disease. For example, one useful tidbit of information to mention is recent studies by the World Health Organization. According to the organization, poor hand washing leads to the spread of dangerous pathogens. In order to combat these pathogens, not only should employees wash their hands properly with anti-bacterial soap, but they should also utilize alcohol based handrubs.

Project and Incentives

In the Spring of 2011, one workplace manager decided to start a workplace project to tackle the issue of poor basic hand hygiene in her office. As suggested above, she implement posters in the bathrooms, spoke with employees, and overall promoted an attitude of basic hand hygiene health. Therefore, another idea is to start a workplace project. Make hand hygiene not just an issue that you should tackle, but one that everyone in the office can work together to handle. Everyone can encourage each other to wash their hands and prevent the spread of dangerous pathogens that leads to disease. In addition, it may help to leave educational materials around the office, and to speak to specific workers whom you have observed to have poor hygiene.

Office Cleaning Services

Lastly, consider implementing office cleaning services. The benefits of office cleaning services should be obvious, but for those interested, cleaning services allow professional cleaners to undertake the task of sanitizing and truly making your office into a healthier and cleaner environment. Harkening back to the article by Facility Management Magazine, utilizing an office cleaning service is a way to mitigate concern over the spread of germs and poor hygiene among employees. Therefore, if you really want to take a strong step towards promoting a healthy office environment and hand washing, also consider hiring a cleaning service.

About Nate Goodman

Nathan Goodman is the bestselling author of The Special Agent Jana Baker Spy-Thriller Series. "A terrorist on the loose, a country in panic, and time is running out..." For a free copy visit the author's website. He's also a freelance writer and entrepreneur.