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Think cleanliness brings no added value to a company aside from a merely aesthetic viewpoint? You’re not alone. But the fact is, the potential profits from having a properly maintained establishment can greatly exceed the costs! Companies looking to increase revenues can (and should) invest in maintenance and cleaning. It’s just a question of how you look at it.
A number of studies look at the impacts of indoor air quality in the workplace and the risks associated with accumulated dust and bacteria on surfaces. Few, however, look at the financial impacts of health problems caused by inadequate cleaning. The results might surprise you.
Healthy employees are worth their weight in gold
Exposure to dust affects cognitive skills in 2 to 6% of workers. It can cause these employees to experience memory problems and wreak havoc with their logical and creative thinking. Dust exposure can also trigger cold and flu-like symptoms such as dry, watery or itchy eyes, dry throat, headaches and lethargy. These symptoms can reduce employee efficiency by 3 to 8%. Conversely, employees who work in a clean environment will be 2 to 8% more productive –potentially representing several thousand dollars in savings for a company!
Any employer can tell you that a sick employee is an expensive employee. With the average worker taking 7.7 sick days a year, these unplanned absences can reduce productivity by as much as 54% over the course of a year. They can also reduce sales or customer service by 39%.
In this sense, one of the many benefits of having a properly cleaned establishment is there are fewer harmful contaminants to infect workers. A clean and hygienic work environment not only greatly increases employee comfort, it also reduces their chances of catching a cold or flu by 80%. This alone can cause absenteeism to drop by 46%. Regular and thorough cleaning reduces surfaces contaminated with cold and flu viruses by 62%.
What are the most contaminated surfaces in the workplace? Typically, computer mice and keyboards, telephones, microwave and refrigerator door handles, sink faucets and the buttons on water fountains and vending machines.
What about your customers?
According to several studies, customers place a very high value on cleanliness when it comes to deciding which businesses they want to patronize: More than 60% of people say cleanliness is the single biggest determinant for satisfaction; 94% of people say they even avoid going back to a business if it had dirty or unsanitary bathrooms. In other words, cleanliness (or lack thereof) leaves a powerful and lasting impression. Many business owners mistakenly view maintenance and cleaning as operating costs. But the fact is, a poorly cleaned establishment creates a negative impression that can directly impact revenues. Dirty and poorly maintained facilities can also increase the risk of slips and falls, which can lead to legal fees and higher insurance premiums.
The key takeaway is that your approach to cleaning and maintenance can have a huge impact on revenues and profits. To be efficient, cleaning and maintenance does take time and resources, and it must be done on a daily basis. But it can also help your business grow.