There is something depressing about dirt. A mucky kitchen, a smelly pond, a grubby car seat – something within says we should steer clear. How much of that is caused by upbringing and how much by an instinctive awareness that dirt is dangerous, who can say? But there is no doubt that when it comes to the workplace, cleanliness is next to productivity.
Good for Workers
A clean workplace means a more effective workforce. Dirt harbors bacteria and other microbes. An outbreak of norovirus can rapidly shut down an entire workshop, and an environment which is dirty can lead to a much higher incidence of staff taking sick leave.
A dirty environment is also inherently discouraging. The morale of workers will be higher in a clean location. This is one way of showing that the employers care about their employees, increasing a sense of common purpose and leading to higher productivity and less staff turnover.
Good for Assets
Dirt holds abrasives which can cause damage to your workshop and its equipment. Floors and work surfaces wear out more quickly when they are dirty. Machinery that is not cleaned regularly will clog up and break down sooner, leading to expensive repairs.
Good for Customers
Customers are put off by dirt. A clean environment proclaims a team which takes pride in its work, and a prospective customer will always prefer that message to an advertisement for indifference.
Keeping a workplace clean is not difficult. It just needs a system. Conduct a careful review of the whole site and decide how often each element needs cleaning. Most working surfaces will want a daily clean. Floors will be swept daily and washed weekly. Storage units may need a monthly dusting. Write all this down and have checklists available. Establish a policy of cleaning an area on the completion of each job.
Use the Right Stuff
Technological advances have produced cleaning materials that are very effective. It is worth taking the time to find out what will work best. Microfibre cloths have revolutionized the humble duster by absorbing much more dust and water. For cleaning greasy environments, modern degreasers do a thorough job in far less time than used to be the case.
Make it Easy
The easier it is for your workers to keep their own area clean, the more it will become part of their routine and the less you will need to spend on cleaners. Distribute bins generously and empty them regularly. Have cleaning utensils easily available, so that no one has to walk far or rummage around for them. Create a culture of pride in a clean and tidy workplace.
Keep It Clean
It is much easier to keep a workplace dirt-free than to have the occasional thorough clean. In the long run, it can be incorporated into the routine of the day and no one will regard it as a burden. The result will be a more productive workforce and a more impressive shop window for the business.