Encouraging Cleanliness at Work

Encouraging Sanitary Habits

Living through a pandemic has made everyone a little more conscious of preventing the spread of germs, both in their personal lives as well as their professional lives. At work, it can be more difficult to keep illnesses under control, because not everyone has the same standards of cleanliness. However, by encouraging sanitary habits, all workers will be much better off.

Wondering where to start? These five areas should be targeted first.

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Not everyone washes their hands when they leave the bathroom. This has the ability to impact everyone in the office, in part because of all the common surfaces that are touched (doorknobs, refrigerator handles, etc.). Putting up signs to encourage employees to wash their hands can help.


Some employees operate under the theory of “organized chaos.” There’s nothing inherently wrong with having a bit of clutter on a desk unless the clutter becomes a health hazard. Old food and other bits of trash can make for an unpleasant working environment and should always be thrown away promptly. As with the bathroom, placing reminder signs in the workplace may be useful.


Employees should always cover their noses when they sneeze, ideally with a tissue. However, that does not always happen. Employers can help by strategically placing tissues at each desk in the office.

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The trash bins should be emptied on a regular basis to help keep the office as clean as possible. Consider setting up a schedule, and assigning employees to handle different days, to ensure the trash is emptied at regular intervals. If you have the budget, employ a cleaning crew to do it for you.


If you have a break room with a sink and a refrigerator, dirty dishes could be an issue. If left unattended, they could cause a bug infestation and start to smell bad. Each employee must understand that they are expected to clean up after themselves. Supervisors should model that behaviour and encourage others to follow suit.

Ensuring that your building is clean can lead to a positive working environment for all of your employees. Not only that, but it could have an impact on the number of sick days your employees take during the year as well. While a number of the tasks can be handled by your supervisors and workers, it is always beneficial to consider bringing in a professional cleaner as well.

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