Kimberly-Clark Professional*’s global initiative to create happier, healthier and more productive businesses, The Healthy Workplace Project, has been a runaway success thanks to its simple solutions that help to reduce germ transmission through better hand hygiene in the workplace, which therefore improves overall employee health.
We all know how easy it can be to pick up bacteria or a virus at work. You share an office. You share the same kitchen and use the same door handles to the same loo. So naturally, you share germs too. When even a handshake can leave you vulnerable to cold or flu, it’s easy to think that it’s unavoidable.
The Healthy Workplace Project* is the first step towards creating an environment where germs can’t thrive – but you and your team can. Here are five very good reasons why you should think about introducing the Healthy Workplace Project* to your business
1. Workplaces can be surprisingly filthy!
An infographic on germ hot spots produced by Kimberly-Clark Professional* revealed that the average office desk has more than 20,000 germs per square inch. That’s nearly 400 times more germs than the average toilet seat – yuck! – and these germs continue to be spread every time an employee leaves their desk and touches other surfaces or people.
2. Employee absenteeism is bad news for your bottom line
Taking part in The Healthy Workplace Project* would be good news for everyone in your business. According to Kimberly-Clark Professional*’s research, nearly 100% of people suffer a minor, yet preventable, illness each year.
This frequently results in employee absenteeism, which costs an average of 5% of payroll each year – that’s far too high of a percentage by anyone’s standards. Minor illnesses such as colds may be trivial, but they account for over 1/3 of sickness and unplanned absence at work. According to a recent report, 98% of us will take time off over the next year. A minor illness multiplied across multiple employees in an organisation can create a major, costly problem.
However payroll figures aside, absent employees have a very tangible impact on their workplace as their colleagues are forced to shoulder the extra workload.
3. Less than half of employees would need to take part to see a positive change
The good news for employers that have not yet signed up to to join The Healthy Workplace Project* is that many of their employees already have good habits in place: a third of employees have been found by Kimberly-Clark Professional* to already be ‘hygiene-conscious’.
But in any workplace you’d only need about 20-40% of your workforce to positively change their hygiene habits as this would effectively break the chain of germ transmission, causing a ‘ripple effect’ that would help to improve the overall health of the office. In addition to this, when even just a small portion of employees begin to adapt healthier habits their peers are more likely to follow suit.
4. It’s great for improving workplace morale
Employees are so much happier, and more enthusiastic and productive when they’re healthy, and that goes for their lives inside and outside of the workplace. Giving people the tools and products they need to keep themselves and their workmates in the best of health is empowering, and inevitably, they’ll want to use them.
Participating in the Healthy Workplace Project* puts employers themselves in a positive light, too. It demonstrates that they genuinely care about, and are committed to employees’ wellbeing and will show this by taking active steps to help maintain their overall health.
5. Taking part is so much easier than you think
One of the key ways to implement The Healthy Workplace Project* is to place the right products in the right places, so they can be used at the right times.
The Healthy Workplace Project* is implemented in a simple 3-stage process:
Audit: A team of experts can assess your workplace to highlight risk areas and determine hygiene hot spots.
Provide: Kimberly-Clark Professional* can provide a wide range of product solutions to support the reduction of germ transmission in the workplace such as hand sanitisers, antibacterial soap, surface wipes, desk caddies and KLEENEX® tissues.
Having anti-bacterial and sanitising products freely available will reduce the chances of infections spreading through bodily contact, such as handshakes, and leaving or picking up surface germs by touching buttons, holding handrails and using computers. These are all key points of germ transmission that cannot be avoided, but you can control how many germs are spread.
Engage: Support with start-up events that can help educate employees to take small steps towards healthier habits.
To find out more visit The Healthy Workplace Project website, and take the first step towards creating a hygienic work space that can improve overall employee health.
Have you introduced The Healthy Workplace Project* to your business? If so, what steps have you taken to improve infection control among your employees? Leave us a comment below as we’d love to hear all about it!