Most company managers are focused on their day to day business activities that include acquiring new customers, managing employees, keeping expenses down, and increasing profits. All of these activities impact their bottom line. But few managers are aware of the enormous hidden costs they are paying for, by having an unhealthy work environment for their employees.
The cost of healthcare today has a huge impact on a company’s bottom line yet managers don’t seem to be overly concerned with employee health, illness/injury prevention, reducing absenteeism and promoting overall wellness in the workplace. But what if someone were to quantify the benefits of a healthy workforce and provide definitive proof, connecting a clean work environment and a healthy workforce to increased productivity and a healthier bottom line?
Studies Prove that Cleaning Affects Office Worker Productivity
In a study of 400 managers and employees conducted by HLW International LLP, employees’ productivity levels were determined to be heavily influenced by the cleanliness of the office in which they worked. A clean office produced quantifiable results when it came to employee productivity. They reported a 5% productivity gain ($125,000) in a 100-employee office with an average salary of $25,000.
Additional studies performed by the Minnesota Department of Health reported the following: Good housekeeping protocols that thoroughly removed dust from surfaces were found to have both health and comfort benefits.
- When building occupants experienced mild symptoms of distress or discomfort (dry eyes, itchy or watery eyes, dry throat, lethargy, headaches, chest tightness), they began to perceive a loss in performance
- This performance loss ranged from 3-8% depending on the number of symptoms
- Exposure to a reservoir of dust such as old carpet, affected subjects’ typing skills, arithmetic, logical reasoning, memory and creative thinking skills by 2-6%
Proper Cleaning Can Improve Student Productivity 2 to 8%
A Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) (Minnesota Department of Health, 2008) report regarding the impact of cleanliness on student performance in educational facilities also supports the theory that the average productivity impact of proper cleaning can range from 2 percent to 8 percent.
According to a 10-month survey of more than 25,000 individuals conducted by Advance PCS Center for Work and Health (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2002), off-task workers cost businesses an average of $250 billion a year, or approximately $2,000 per worker. The estimates were derived from their salaries and estimates of time spent at work engaged in reduced on-the-job performance because of illness. Cost impact was estimated by multiplying lost productive time (absence hours plus hours lost from reduced performance) by the individual worker's hourly labor cost.
A study published in the Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine in 2003 reported that, based on a random sample of 28,902 United States workers, health-related lost productive time (LPT) costs employers $225.8 billion per year, or $1,685 per employee per year (Stewart, 2003).
The Connection Between a Clean Environment and Productivity
Research has shown that there is indeed a direct connection between a clean and healthy work environment and worker productivity levels. Companies may be experiencing low employee productivity due to a less than acceptable work environment without realizing it. This is where you come in. You can sell the value of your cleaning service by educating prospects on the importance of a clean work environment. Inform your prospective customers on how a clean work place can have a substantial impact on their employees’ productivity and can reduce their company’s health related costs at the same time.
It stands to reason that a poor work environment means poor employee output. Instruct potential prospects that with the proper cleaning regiment, procedures, and quality control principals in place, you will save them money and improve their bottom line. Quote the statics and watch them take notice.