There are multi-faceted benefits of installing commercial hand washing stations in the workplace, including improved hygiene, reduced employee absenteeism, increased job satisfaction, enhanced professional image, and compliance with health regulations.
Whether indoors or outside, permanent or temporary, single or multi-user, hand washing stations play a significant role in creating an effective, healthy, and sustainable work environment.
The pandemic has shown us that one of the most pressing challenges for workplaces and institutions across all industries is that of maintaining hygiene standards. Implementing hand washing stations beyond restrooms is an essential but often overlooked aspect of this endeavor.
Hand washing stations do far more than provide a necessary convenience; they serve as cornerstones of workplace wellness, productivity, and professional reputation. Let’s delve into their benefits and importance in contemporary workspaces.
1. Elevating Hygiene Standards
Good hand hygiene is fundamental in curtailing the spread of pathogens, a critical concern in a shared space like the work environment. Hand washing stations encourage consistent hand hygiene, as they are designed for ease of access, visibility, and use.
The typical office desk harbors more than 10 million bacteria. That is 400 times more germs than found on a toilet seat!1,2 Add to that the high bacterial counts on elevator buttons, office phones, and vending machine buttons—just thinking about it probably makes you want to wash your hands.3,4,5
The widespread adoption of regular hand washing leads to a healthier workplace with decreased potential for disease spread, contributing to an overall increase in hygiene standards.
2. Curtailing Employee Absenteeism
Employee absenteeism significantly impedes productivity and incurs substantial business costs. Even before COVID, health-related lost labor time was estimated to cost U.S. employers more than $260 billion each year.6 In addition, new studies suggest presenteeism—being on the job but not fully functioning due to illness—may actually cost employers two to three times more than direct medical care.7
Commercial hand washing stations, by promoting regular hand washing, reduce the rate of disease transmission. As a result, the amount of sick leave taken can decrease markedly, leading to a healthier workforce and higher, more stable productivity levels. In this sense, investment in hand washing stations is not merely a hygiene initiative but a productivity strategy.
3. Enhancing Employee Satisfaction
Employee satisfaction is multifaceted and is notably influenced by the quality of the work environment. The presence of hand washing stations demonstrates an employer’s commitment to the health and comfort of its employees, which in turn contributes to job satisfaction.
Facilities prioritizing cleanliness and well-being can foster a positive workplace culture, leading to higher morale, commitment, and overall job satisfaction.8
4. Reinforcing a Professional Image
The image a company projects significantly affects its business relationships and growth potential. Hand washing stations, while primarily a hygiene feature, also enhance the professional appearance of a workplace. They are visible indicators of an organization’s commitment to cleanliness, health, and safety, leaving a lasting impression on clients, partners, and prospective employees.
While those little hand sanitizer dispensers are better than nothing, you often find someone forgot to fill them. Hand washing stations contribute to cultivating a reputation for professionalism and meticulous attention to detail.
5. Ensuring Compliance with Health Regulations
Workplace health and safety regulations mandate businesses to provide adequate hand washing facilities. Non-compliance can lead to hefty penalties, damaged reputation, and even shutdowns in severe cases. Commercial hand washing stations ensure businesses meet and exceed regulatory standards, preventing costly non-compliance issues and demonstrating the organization’s commitment to legal and health obligations.
Commercial hand washing stations are more than mere fixtures in a workplace; they are vital components of a comprehensive health, productivity, and reputation management strategy. Their installation produces tangible benefits such as improved hygiene, reduced absenteeism, increased job satisfaction, enhanced professional image, and regulatory compliance. As businesses continue to adapt to evolving workplace dynamics, the importance of these facilities cannot be overstated.
Investing in commercial hand washing stations represents an investment in a business’s most vital asset: its people. By promoting health, wellness, and satisfaction among employees, workplaces can enhance their productivity, cultivate a professional image, and ensure compliance with health standards. It is incumbent upon businesses to acknowledge the multifaceted benefits of commercial hand washing stations and integrate them into their workplaces for a sustainable and prosperous future.
Hand Washing Recommendations for Businesses
- If not already in place, incorporate commercial hand washing stations in their office infrastructure with adequate coverage for all employees.
- Educate and encourage employees to use these facilities regularly as part of their daily hygiene practices.
- Use the installation of these stations as an opportunity to communicate their commitment to health, safety, and employee well-being.
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 Arbogast, J.W., Moore-Schiltz, L., Jarvis, W.R., Harpster-Hagen, A., Hughes, J., & Parker, A. Impact of a Comprehensive Workplace Hand Hygiene Program on Employer Health Care Insurance Claims & Costs, Absenteeism, and Employee Perceptions & Practices. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine 2016, 58(6), e231–e240. [PMC] [PubMed]
 Boone, S.A., Gerba, C.P. The Prevalence of Human Parainfluenza Virus 1 on Indoor Office Fomites. Food Environmental Virology 2010; 2:41–46. [PMC]
 Hewitt, K.M., Gerba, C.P., Maxwell, S.L., Kelley, S.T. Office Space Bacterial Abundance & Diversity in Three Metropolitan Areas. PLoS One 2012; 7(5), e37849. [PubMed]
 From Evidence to Practice: Workplace Wellness That Works. Institute for Health & Productivity Studies, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 2015. [Transamerica Institute]