With increasing numbers of employees working away from the office in the wake of the coronavirus health crisis, the line between work and home life is becoming increasingly blurred.
For many, it’s harder than ever to switch off, with less time to keep on top of household chores and cleaning.
There’s also the very real challenge of ensuring that whatever environment an individual is calling their workspace, that it’s safe, clean and fit for purpose – much in the same way an office needs to be. There are lots of guidelines available to support IT safety and policies that extend to home working to ensure a safe working environment but little support is offered in the core ‘cleaning’ space.
For employers who want to go the extra mile to look after their colleagues, or for those looking at ways to enhance their employer proposition and benefits offering, there’s now an interesting new opportunity to consider the provision of home-cleaning as an employee benefit.
Why clean is as important as safe
There are many reasons why home-based employees should focus just as much on a clean working environment as they should on a comfortable one.
- Keep sickness at bay
Germs and viruses will spread far quicker in unclean surroundings. Preventing the spread of such harmful bacteria through regular cleaning, including desk space, IT equipment, drawer and door handles and other items regularly handled throughout the day will help minimise any transfer of unwanted germs.
Why it matters: regular cleaning to get rid of harmful germs will reduce sickness and therefore absence from work, which has a direct impact on productivity.
- Uncluttered desk, uncluttered mind
Even before the health crisis, employers were shifting to a more flexible approach to working. For many, this meant more hotdesking, paperless environments and lockers for personal items that needed to remain in an office overnight. This lent itself to increased cleaning regimes as full cleaning could take place. It can be hard in a home-office to think about decluttering, but ensuring there is adequate space for things to be tidied away at the end of the working day means not only is there a sense of ‘logging off’ for the day which has a positive effect on wellbeing, but also ensures it’s much easier to stay on top of daily cleaning.
Why it matters: Cluttered and dirty environments can lead to stress and a lack of focus; when surroundings aren’t clean, it can be hard to focus the mind.
- Greater focus and productivity
Thinking beyond the desk space to the wider working environment, ensuring this is clean is one of the best triggers for success. A tidy, clean environment is more conducive to feeling relaxed and focused, which has a direct correlation with increased productivity. The working day is often hectic with demands on time and energy coming from all angles; there is no benefit to brain-power being consumed by worries about the mess.
Why it matters: the demands on individuals working from home, particularly those who are used to working in an office, are often all-consuming; a regular cleaning regime that is simple and easy to stick with means it’s one less thing to worry about.
- Safety first
Working from home means there is a burden of responsibility on individual employees to ensure they are working safely, as well as on the employer to have taken all reasonable steps to assess workplace suitability. Loose wires, trailing cables and cluttered spaces can all represent trip hazards, while spillages not cleaned up properly can lead to slips and falls. To avoid unnecessary incidents whilst working, it’s important that health and safety precautions are taken.
Why it matters: Health and safety incidents are just as serious when they occur in an employee’s home workspace as they would be in the office. Proactive steps to manage this can reduce injuries and therefore absence from work as well as the administrative support needed to capture from an ‘accident at work’ perspective.
Improved cleanliness and hygiene are known to improve safety for colleagues in the office and in other workplace environments; so much so that cleaning has been increased in many of these in line with government guidance. Despite this, the closure or repurposing of sites means that there are still many experienced and knowledgeable cleaners who no longer have the portfolio of buildings to manage that they are used to.
Cleaning Employees Houses
There is a unique and very real opportunity to think about how the cleaning principles being deployed in the workplace could be applied to people’s homes as a benefit or reward. At RFM, we believe this concept offers a real win-win for employers; they are able to ensure health and safety compliance through specified cleaning requirements whilst also motivating employees by taking away the chore of regular cleaning, which is amplified for many by working from home.
We have designed a range of services for employers who wish to explore cleaning as an employee benefit. We have teams of cleaners who can represent a single employer and cover as many, or few, employee properties as desired and who can clean to a schedule that works for both parties.
Get in touch with us today to find out how you can take your employee reward to the next level.
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