Opinion: Hygiene priorities

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Opinion: Hygiene priorities

Reckitt’s Jonathan Weiss points to great hygiene as a vital component of a healthy business.


After the past three years, when we look at businesses across a variety of industries and geographies, they continue to face several challenges – ranging from inflation all the way through to staff shortages.

On this latter point, there are 126,000 vacancies in the UK cleaning sector alone, for instance. Staff shortages can be attributed to multiple reasons, including the tightening of immigration rules post-Brexit or the incorrect labelling of cleaning and hygiene professionals as ‘unskilled’.

With many cleaning professionals being required to do more with less, the importance of productivity and efficiency has never been higher. While not the sole factor, robust protocols can play a crucial part when it comes to building the foundation of a holistically healthy business for office customers.

Addressing absenteeism

As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, there are rising pressures of absenteeism. According to the Office for National Statistics data, 185.6 million working days were lost in the UK due to sickness or injury last year.

With companies taking responsibility for maintaining high cleaning and disinfection practices, it is hoped these numbers will drop this year, thereby increasing productivity.

A study conducted in the US in 2016, assessing the link between a comprehensive workplace hand hygiene program, absenteeism and employee perceptions and practices, concluded that providing hand hygiene solutions throughout a building improved employee health outcomes and job satisfaction. At Dettol Pro Solutions, we pride ourselves on our reputation.

Our research (Zappi Survey Partnership Screen 2020) indicates that 72% of people are more likely to be confident in the level of hygiene in an organization if they use Dettol, which increases to 81% among those who are ‘hygiene driven’ when making decisions to visit a business. These results help us understand how vital consumer trust is, but also the impact effective solutions can have.

Curbing contamination

An office environment where many people are sharing a space can be a source of germ transmission. For this reason, a robust hygiene regime is needed which is both backed by comprehensive, science-backed protocols and also engages employees to participate. What’s more, understanding where and when to direct cleaning and disinfection measures is critical.

A key method to minimize time, product and the spread of germs on surfaces is to look towards techniques where surface and hand hygiene interventions are prioritized and most needed. By focusing on what requires the most attention, businesses can be more efficient, simply by encouraging cleaning and disinfection to take place at key moments, rather than just ‘frequently’.

Research has shown that high touchpoints such as door handles are easily contaminated. Using measures such as hand sanitizers, it’s worth bearing in mind that, if a dispenser needs refilling less frequently, it might mean it needs to be placed somewhere more accessible and visible. Or perhaps the messaging encouraging its use should be revisited.

Driving commercial success

Creating a workplace where the well-being of all staff is front of mind is not just the right thing to do, it’s good for business. If this isn’t a priority, the costs associated with sick leave and needing to replace employees can lead to a potential productivity issue.

At Dettol Pro Solutions, we understand that running a holistically successful business involves many factors, but maintaining a rigorous hygiene and cleaning program should be high up the priority list.


This story was originally published as premium content by our sister publication OPI.
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