Regular Office Cleaning Prevents Workforce Sickness and Absenteeism


Office Cleaning

Regular Office Cleaning Prevents Workforce Sickness and Absenteeism


Managers and Directors are constantly confronted with cost-pressures in all areas of the business so much so that office cleaning is hardly featured on top of their list as a priority.  Consequently, facilities and property managers need to be equipped with the necessary information and statistics that could help them in justifying why adequate funding should be allocated to property maintenance and cleaning. The upshots of poor or lack of cleaning, however, can be very costly to an organization. The effect on the business can be more damaging and dearer than the money being saved in the first place.


Inadequate cleaning could hide and further help in breading bacteria which is very hazardous to workers’ wellbeing. In addition, a filthy office is definitely a turn-off to most customers which could result in lost revenue. No customer wants to come into a poorly maintained, filthy, and untidy office. Apart from the prevention of sickness and Absenteeism, cleaning can help companies avoid the risk of costly litigations that may arise from accidents in the workplace. It’s a well-known fact, that an untidy workplace could increase the risk of trips and falls in the workplace which can result in the company paying unbudgeted compensations to injured parties. Evidence has shown that Directors and Facilities Managers of companies cannot afford to push cleaning to the bottom of the ladder when it comes to what to prioritize in terms of budgeting because of the following:


According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), employees took an average of 4.1 sickness absence days in 2017, this may have significantly gone down compared to 7.2 days in 1993, but absenteeism is a drain on the resources of companies. A portion of the cost associated with sickness absence its impact on the productivity of the business. A study has also shown that 49% of staff are absent for more than five days of each year with 14% this figure taking seven days or more off.  This is huge, financially crippling and damaging, especially for SME businesses.


While we do not yet have a figure for the number of employees who are sick but have decided not be absent from work due to the fear of losing their jobs. A research based on the UK, USA and Australia labour market has proven that “For every one day of sickness, employees waste 10 more doing very little”. Those who forced themselves to be at work even though they are not well-spread germs and do not perform at their optimal level thereby impacting on productivity. A cleaner office would go a long way in reducing the above even further.


  • £554: UK average cost of absenteeism per employee, per day,
  • 6: Different coronaviruses, that scientists have identified, can infect people and make them sick. They can survive on worktops and surfaces if they are not cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis
  • £320: The estimated cost suffered by a business each time an employee catches a cold, according to Dr. Charles Gerba.
  • Over 70 percent of employees who are absent from work due to illness claimed they also took ill after a  work-colleague came to work sick.
  • Research shows there is a significant reduction in the spread of contagious viruses after a deep clean is carried out in the workplace.
  • The standard workplace desk retains 400 times the level of germs than the average toilet seat, a study found.
  • A recent poll, revealed 60% of workers eat at their desk. A majority of employees between the ages of 18 and 24 are likely to eat at their desk


Property managers should army themselves with the above information and statistical evidence when discussing cleaning budget so that decision-makers can see the reasons why they should put cleaning as a priority.  While it is true that regular cleaning can help prevent workforce sickness and absenteeism, its benefits are not restricted to that. It can help:


  • Employees to be more focused in the workplace. An untidy workspace is a distraction to employees trying to focus on their job.  Researchers have demonstrated that clutter adversely affects the mood of staff thereby impacting adversely on productivity.
  • A clean workplace leads to a happier workforce. An average employee spends at least 7.5 hours in the workplace, this is a very long period of time for anyone to spend in an untidy office. Employers must make sure staff are able to carry out their duties in a clean comfortable work environment.


As an Employer, you have a duty of care towards your staff. Employers are required to preserve the physical and psychological well-being of their employees which includes the provision of a clean workplace for the staff. If you are finding all of the above a little daunting, then reach out to a good Office Cleaning Company. To prevent the spread of germs in the workplace and get the best out of your workforce, ISSA – The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association –

advises cleaning and disinfecting of worktops and surfaces must be done at least once a day