Office Necessities: Health, Hygiene & Beyond


There’s no doubt that the setup of a modern working office is not the simplest of tasks. On some levels, the design and function is the easy bit. A few correctly aligned desks, the right software installed on the computer, and you’ve largely got that bit ticked off. 

The harder things to get right are the aspects of office design that don’t directly relate to your business, but can have a huge effort on the productivity of the entire work environment. Some of the suggestions below might sound like they are far from essential - perhaps even dismissed as being frivolous - but there’s no doubt they can make a crucial difference to how your office is able to function. If you’re going to step up your game and make setup as effective as it can possibly be, then there’s a few additions - from the seemingly obvious to the more esoteric… 

#1 - A Water Cooler 

Hydration isn’t just something for the company gym or a hot summer day - it’s actually essential for cognitive function. If you want your employees to be constantly working at their best, then you need to make sure they have a constant supply of water to drink. While water coolers have been synonymous with office gossip for decades now, even this social aspect can help your business to function more productively. Employees can’t be “on” and set to work all the time; let them have their five minutes of chatter and then they will go back to their work feeling refreshed and ready for the challenge. 

#2 - Good Quality Soap 

Admittedly this is more one for the bathrooms, but it still has a huge impact on your office environment. Given that we wash our hands so often, it’s odd that most of us don’t quite realize what actually removes germs. Basically, the soap loosens the grip of bacteria to our skin, allowing us to wash them away when we rinse. That’s why you should always prioritize access to good soap over antibacterial hand gel, which doesn’t need to be rinsed - ultimately, nothing is going to replace good old soap and water. So opt for a natural soap and make sure it’s restocked on regular occasions. Not only will this make your office generally cleaner, but it could help reduce the spread of illnesses like coughs and colds. Left unchecked, these conditions can whip through an office with alarming precision, but an insistence on good hygiene can help prevent that.

#3 - A Medic (Or As Close As You Can Get) 

No matter how many safety barriers you put in place, an office can always have medical issues that derail the day. A scratch from a paper cut or an employee falling over and twisting their ankle, through to the more severe problems such as the risk of heart attacks and stroke that every human is at risk of. That’s why you need to ensure that for every floor of your building, there’s at least one person who holds up-to-date CPR and First-Aid certification. This person is the designated first responder within the office in the event of health and wellness issues. 

Many staff will undertake this qualification under their own volition, given how it can be helpful in other areas of life also. However, if you don’t currently have anyone with an existing certification, then it’s well worth your time to invest in training so an existing member of staff can qualify. In fact, it might even be a necessity for your business liability insurance to be valid - so make sure you don’t take any chances and you have at least one qualified person per floor. 

#4 - A Good Sickness Policy 

Remember the mention of coughs and colds, and how these bacterial and viral infections can spread through an office? That should be a real concern for you, especially when preventing it is so simple. 

If someone has a cold, you might not think something that is relatively minor and common warrants a day off work. Maybe that’s the case, but they need a day off work anyway - or at least to be removed from group activities. These infections are incredibly easily transmitted. While Patient Zero might be able to handle a cold, what if it spreads to someone with a compromised immune system - such as someone who is pregnant, or has an underlying health condition? That could knock them out of action for weeks. 

It’s far better to practice containment or send home staff who exhibit signs of these “minor” illnesses. You have to think of your office as a closed system, which means you need to protect it from any invasive threats. 

Remember, if you decide to practice confinement, it’s not just person-to-person contact you need to keep Patient Zero from to ensure better health. Everything they touch - from handrails to their computer keyboard - needs to be thoroughly washed down, and they should be encouraged to make use of that great soap you knew you needed since reading step two. 

#5 - Natural Daylight 

Wherever possible, the more natural daylight you can bring into an office, the happier your staff are going to be. People feel more positive, more upbeat, and are more productive on bright and sunny days, and you need to guarantee they can get the most of the good weather when it arrives. On darker days, make the most of what light there is by ensuring the windows are not obstructed - blinds can be an obstruction - and that the light can enter the office without issue. Your employees will be happier, healthier, and they will do a better job - so this is definitely a step worth taking. 

So while the basics of an office are fairly easy to get right, you’ll need to put a little more thought and attention into the little things. Provided you don’t neglect the often-overlooked office necessities, your business and your staff should be able to thrive in a cut-throat business world.





I hope you enjoyed this article about office necessities when it comes to health, hygeine, and overall employee wellness.

Interested in more articles about optimizing your workplace?

Read My Posts:

- 4 Tips To Organize Your Work Space

- Make Sure Your Office Is Customer Ready

Published by Michael J Schiemer
Owner of Bootstrap Business
Money - Marketing - Motivation
Digital Marketing | SEO | Social Media
Mike Schiemer Builds Better Business

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