Updated: Oct 30, 2019
Keeping an efficient and highly productive workplace is important for any successful business. And it's no secret that there are many factors that can impact employees and their productivity. But did you know that employee productivity can also be affected by how clean the workplace is? Studies have shown that a cleaner workplace can reduce health risks resulting in fewer sick days, increase employee focus, and improve morale.
"But our office is clean," you might say. Let's look at some data.
A Peek at the Data
Offices are a breeding ground for bacteria. An average office, even a well-kept office, has more bacteria than even found in bathrooms. Let's have a look.
The entrance door handle has more bacteria than a bathroom doorknob.
If you're a coffee drinker, you might want to know that the average coffee pot handle contains more than 100,000 bacteria per square inch, 35 more times than a toilet seat
75% of break room faucets contain alarmingly high levels of contamination
48% of microwave door handles, out of 5,000 tested, contained high levels of bacterial contamination
Of 5,000 tested workplaces, water fountains, water cooler buttons, refrigerator door handles all contained seriously high levels of bacteria
The desk space in an office has the highest risks for unhealthy levels of bacteria
A keyboard has over 4,000 bacteria per square inch, with shared keyboards having higher levels of bacteria
A mouse has nearly 2,000 bacteria per square inch
A phone has over 25,000 bacteria per square inch, making the phone one of the highest risks in terms of contamination
An office chair is more contaminated than a keyboard or mouse
You may want to think twice about eating lunch at your desk. The average desk has more than 10 million bacteria
As if that data isn't bad enough, now consider the level of air quality in an office space due to toxins from cleaning products. Poor air quality is a factor in more serious health conditions. Toxic cleaning chemicals have been linked to cancer, asthma, birth defects, and other serious health issues.
While it's important to have a clean workspace, it's equally important to realize that there are serious risks posed by traditional cleaning products and green cleaning can help to alleviate those risks.
It's no surprise that germs lurking around the office can cause more occurrences of sick days. In fact, U.S. employers lose nearly $230 billion annually due to absenteeism. That means, on average, one employee's absenteeism may cost an employer over $1,600 per year.
When employees are sick but still come to work, this can also be costly. Not only are they not as productive, but they spread germs causing other employees to fall ill.
A Clean Office Sends a Message
Establishing higher standards is a good example for employees. Maintaining a clean workplace shows respect for those around you, employees, and clients. It also instills a sense of pride in the employees as well as a desire for higher productivity.
Being in a cluttered work environment can add unwanted stress to employees and can cause them to lose focus. Clean and tidy spaces can make people feel better by improving their mood. Happier employees are more motivated and feel better about their job. Maintaining focus helps them to be more productive employees.