Hygiene is an important and critical part of the life of any human being. The importance of hygiene can be best understood by the fact that almost every religion on earth has preached hygiene. The benefits of hygiene are not only limited to the physical structure of a human being, it also influences some psychological behaviors. It creates self-confidence, boosts morale and uplifts the self-esteem of a person.

Why is hygiene so important? Why has man converted his forests and lands into cleaner roads and proper societies? The answer is simple. Hygiene is a measure of a person’s way of life. A person having good self-hygiene not only enables himself to feel comfortable in his skin but it also helps others around that person, to work in comfort. A person with good values will never ignore his personal hygiene.

Every workplace has its norms and policies. Cleanliness and personal hygiene are always part of these norms and policies. All businesses have a dress code. This dress code is a part of the self-hygiene of employees. Maintaining proper hygiene at the workplace is very important for the good reputation of businesses. Both the official authorities and the employees need to take care of hygiene. No boss would want a dirty person to represent his company in the market or in front of the public. Similarly, no employee would want to work in a firm with dirty restrooms, cubicles, and the environment. The contribution of both parties is essential for the good reputation of the firm.

Contribution by the workplace authorities:

Employee retention is one of the major concerns of firms nowadays. Keeping the employees happy and content in their workplace is very important for the consistent success of the business. Employees are greatly influenced by their workplace policies & environment. A tempting workplace creates a good level of comfort in the employees. Keeping a workplace clean helps in creating a good environment. There are several essential measures that can help maintain the hygiene of the workplace. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • Emptying the trash cans on a regular basis.
  • Regular cleaning of restrooms.
  • A Spray of some light air freshener in intervals.
  • Cleaning of the windows.

Contribution by the employees:

What would happen if an employee, who is supposed to give a presentation to a multinational company, shows up with messy hair, no tie, rough nails, dirty shoes, and smelly body? The answer is obvious, he’ll get fired the minute he sets his foot in the office. The standard of hygiene of employees of a firm gives the idea of how good the firm is. Maintaining a proper self-hygiene by the employees is as critical to the repute of the firm as their performance. Some essential measures by the employees are discussed below:

  • Following the proper dress code.
  • Taking a  bath every morning before coming to the office.
  • Proper haircut and hairstyle.
  • Polished shoes.
  • Use of a deodorant.

Self-hygiene greatly enhances the value of a person. If employees maintain their hygiene up to the mark, they fall in the good books of the boss automatically. Also, a clean workplace ensures good health of the employees and they are less prone to contagious diseases. Consequently, the performance of the employees is greatly increased.

2020 – Coronavirus 

What guidelines should I be following as an employer to limit the spread and provide a duty of care to my employees?
A number of major Australian businesses have ordered team members who have recently visited affected areas to stay at home for 14 days to avoid any potential spread.
If employers are concerned and wish to take precautionary measures, they should follow current AHPPC community recommendations. As such an employer should:

  • Put out a generic communication to all employees advising that you are seeking to mitigate the risk and respond to the outbreak and as such have put reasonable precautions in place.
  • List the criteria for isolation.
  • Provide general health advice encouraging anyone who develops flu-like symptoms (including fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose or shortness of breath), seek medical advice immediately.
  • Advise the precautionary stance is to maintain a safe environment and provide a duty of care  for all employees
  • Reiterate that you will continue to monitor the situation and be guided by advice from the Australian Government Department of Health in relation to your response.
  • Suggest employees keep updated on current advice and information.

What Other Things Should Employers Be Thinking About When it Comes to the Coronavirus?

  • Employers need to be aware that should an employee be required to stay away from the workplace as a precaution, they are entitled to receive full pay and should not be disadvantaged in any way. Where possible, arrangements should be made for an individual to work from home.
  • To avoid any claims of discrimination ensure that you are taking the ‘front foot’ and sending out generic communication to all employees. You must not target specific people. 
  • The Coronavirus situation is rapidly changing, employers should keep themselves informed by following federal and state government advice and updating their communication to staff accordingly.