Do you think that you’re the only one cringing at your dirty office or work space? Not so! Those dirty desks, messy bathrooms, unclean floors and unkempt kitchenette are causing more than just stress levels to rise, they are costing your business a ton of money! And we’re not talking pocket change here, we’re talking billions and billions of dollars each single year.
So how exactly does an unclean office end up costing the American economy billions of dollars each year? A dirty workspace contributes to higher employee absenteeism and sickness rates, racking up a number of direct and indirect costs. In fact, illness is the number one cause of absenteeism in the United States. Additionally, if your store, office or other type of business doesn’t smell clean you could be losing out on sales, too.
Just how much money is lost due to employee absenteeism, exactly? According to Absenteeism: The Bottom-Line Killer, by Circadian, professionals (excluding nurses, doctors or teachers) are responsible for more than $24 billion in lost productivity due to absenteeism each year! The number one cause of employee absenteeism? Absence due to an illness or sickness.
Now let’s take that figure of $24 billion in lost productivity one step farther. Broken down even more, unscheduled absenteeism caused by illness costs companies roughly $3,600 per year for each hourly worker and $2,650 each year for salaried employees. For a company of 5,000 employees that means a loss of $18 million in just one year.
These costs can be attributed to many direct and indirect factors including:
- Wages being paid to absent employees
- Having to pay a replacement worker more money (like overtime pay or extra money for a temporary replacement)
- Administrative costs involved with managing absenteeism
- Reduced productivity
- Extra time that your manager has to spend dealing with discipline and finding a suitable employee replacement
- Poor quality goods and/or services resulting from under-staffing and overtime fatigue
- Safety issues associated with under-trained employees filling in, rushing to catch up after arriving as a replacement, etc.
- Poor morale among employees who have to “fill in” or do extra work to cover absent coworkers.
When you also consider the fact that customers who visit a dirty store will likely not return, the amount of lost revenue grows even larger. Grimy bathrooms, dusty surfaces, dirty floors and foul odors will turn-off customers, prevent repeat business, and damage a company’s reputation. And it doesn’t end there; there have been recent studies that show smell influences customer buying behaviors.
It comes as no surprise that a customer will not want to buy a piece of furniture from a store that smells like vomit. But what does come as a surprise is the effect that pleasant smells can have on employees and customers alike. Having a clean, pleasant smell in your office or business will encourage customers to stay longer and spend more money, as well as encourage employees to work more productively.
Nike and the Las Vegas Hilton’s casino both conducted studies that found a clean, floral scent works best at encouraging patrons to spend more and stay a little longer. Sometimes, achieving a clean smell is a matter of subtraction not addition. If your customers are turned off by the smell of employee lunches drifting out of the break room, start using a neutralizer right outside the break room door. If your office hasn’t been cleaned since you-can’t-remember-when, contact a commercial cleaning service to give the place a solid cleaning and sanitizing, the fresh clean smell is just an included bonus.
Now that you know how serious a dirty office really can be, you may be wondering what you can do to help keep the office nice between professional cleanings. Sometimes the most dirty surfaces can look like they’re clean, like the handles of refrigerators, microwaves and doors. So where exactly should you begin your cleanliness crusade?
Here is a list of the dirtiest office locations, from dirtiest to not as dirty, so you can get proactive on your own:
- The break room sink faucet handles
- Microwave door handles
- Keyboards (you thought this would come in closer to the top, didn’t you?)
- Refrigerator door handles
- Buttons on water fountains
- Buttons on vending machines
- Your computer’s mouse and desk phones
Because it is so easy to recontaminate some of these areas (especially in the kitchen and other personal work spaces), the best thing to do is provide employees ample access to things like sanitizing wipes, gels, and paper towels. Depending on the situation at your office it may be necessary to educate everyone on proper procedures to prevent the spread of infection and germs.
Maintaining a clean and safe facility is almost a full-time job in itself, which is why many businesses and companies are under contract with a commercial cleaning company. So the next time you are at work and you are tempted to just scoot that pile of dirt under the rug, don’t even think about it. You are only going to make your coworkers and yourself sick, while costing the business a boatload of cash. If your office or workplace is in need of a good cleaning and sanitizing and you need the help of professionals, don’t hesitate to give Anago of Philadelphia a call. No job is too large or too small for the professionals at Anago.