Occupant health is likely the single most critical component contributing to the success of any organization and corresponds directly to facility cleanliness and environmental quality.
Occupant Health Critical to Workplace Success
Occupant health has a direct impact on business costs and productivity.
Put simply--healthy workers produce at a higher level and cost less than unhealthy ones.
Further, workplace health studies have established a correlation between organizations focused on workforce health and the business's stock performance against the S&P 500.
A well-respected 2010 meta-analysis study led by Katherine Baicker, PhD, a professor in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, evaluated the return on investment for 22 companies that have wellness programs.
The study revealed that medical costs fell by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on these programs, and absenteeism costs fell by about $2.73 for every dollar spent.
In separate studies completed by Ray Fabius and Ron Goetzel over the past three years, the authors compared the stock performance of companies that won awards for their health initiatives with the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.
No matter how the researchers sliced the data, companies with a focus on health significantly outperformed the S&P 500.
A crucial component of workplace wellness is the indoor environmental quality of the office building--specifically surface sanitation and indoor air quality.
According to a study conducted by the World Green Building Council;
Good indoor air quality, thermal comfort, high-quality views, daylight, good acoustics, and indeed location and amenities – all play a crucial role in creating a healthy, productive workplace.
For example, on air quality, a meta-analysis in 2006 of 24 studies found that poor air quality lowered performance by up to 10% on measures such as typing speed and units output.
Short-term sick leave has also been found to be 35% lower in offices ventilated with greater supply rates of outdoor air.
Strategies to Ensure Occupant Health
Indoor air and environmental quality have a clear and well-established relationship to occupant health and performance.
Routine enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols have a positive impact on both IAQ and IEQ, especially:
- Leveraging day porter services to spot check and clean critical and high-traffic areas.
- Employing chemicals better suited for long-term sustainable occupation, and;
- Using modern tools and methods proven to produce better cleaning outcomes.
Spot checking restrooms, high-contact surfaces, and heavily trafficked flooring with a day porter will significantly reduce the presence of germs, soil, and bacteria on areas where occupants spend most of their time.
Spotless restrooms will prevent foul odors that negatively impact IAQ and encourage increased occupant handwashing while reducing the presence of disease-causing bacteria and pathogens throughout the facility.
Vacuuming or sweeping high-traffic flooring will prevent the spread of soil and germs commonly brought into a facility from outside and significantly improve IAQ.
Wiping down high-touch surfaces, such as touchscreens or the handle on the main entrance door, will reduce the presence of pathogens and pathogenic bacteria that are quickly and easily spread throughout an office building.
Use Better Chemicals
Many of the cleaning and disinfection products commonly employed in commercial buildings contain dangerous chemicals that can lead to acute respiratory issues in the short term, and debilitating health conditions, such as cancer, after prolonged exposure.
Further, these products are known to off-gas volatile organic compounds, which negatively impact IAQ, often resulting in sick building syndrome, asthma-like reactions, and reduced cognitive output.
Using environmentally preferable products, such as those registered with the EPA's Safer Choice label, will substantially reduce the release of VOCs into the air while reducing the corrosive toxins occupants are exposed to.
Use Better Technologies & Methods
Upgrading your facility cleaning services to benefit from enhanced communications, efficient cleaning and disinfecting technologies, and modern cleaning methods positively impacts desirable cleaning outcomes and occupant wellness.
- Bi-directional communication tools let occupants know what was cleaned, when, and with what products, technologies, and chemicals, while service providers are apprised of any issues.
- Enhanced cleaning technologies are more efficient, use fewer natural resources, and require a lower volume of cleaning or disinfectant product, resulting in less environmental waste when compared to older, outdated appliances, and;
- Modern cleaning methods, such as team cleaning and cross-contamination prevention, improve overall service efficiency while reducing the presence of microbes that impact human health and facility environmental quality.
References & Resources
- Harvard study: Healthy buildings critical to public health strategy
- Ensuring Occupant Health: Key Findings and Insights from Global Study of 21 Office Buildings
- Occupant productivity and indoor environment quality: A case of GSAS
Occupant health and overall wellness are essential for long-term business competitiveness and financial success.
Maintaining high levels of indoor air and environmental quality is a well-documented approach for increasing occupant health and performance.
Enhanced cleaning and disinfection methods combined with modern technologies and ongoing service provider training are mandatory for ensuring maximum indoor air and environmental quality.
Implementing and managing the requirements for sustaining these services in-house is typically cost-prohibitive for small and mid-sized organizations.
Outsourcing is a proven method for onboarding critical infection prevention and control services as part of a greater facility cleaning subscription service at a fraction of the cost of maintaining a similar service in-house.
Contact us today and discover why Vanguard Cleaning Systems® is the Standard of Clean® for businesses throughout Northwest Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
In Oklahoma, dial 918-960-4450
In Arkansas, dial 479-717-2410
In Missouri, dial 417-812-9777