Love Them or Hate Them: Top 12 Unforgettable Uniforms

Happy employees wearing their uniforms.

Military uniforms are worn with pride. The same goes with the uniforms worn by doctors, police and many more noble professionals.

Moreover, while wearing the uniform of their workplace, people feel like they belong to something bigger. They feel like a part of a team. This is great for your staff morale and it can boost employee loyalty and productivity.

Benefits of excellent and perfectly clean uniforms go a long way. Alsco knows that best.

On the other hand, there are those who hate wearing the uniform. Truth be told, it is usually due to the fact that their uniform was poorly designed or simply ugly.

Moreover, some of the uniforms around the world look pretty much unique and unforgettable. Some of them are gorgeous, some of them are daring and other are just completely crazy.

Here is our choice of 12 unforgettable uniforms worn around the world for all sorts of reasons.

1. Scottish Bagpiper Uniform

Playing the traditional Scottish bagpipes is a great honour. Wearing the uniform – as well. For all those that are not aware of the way Scottish traditional uniform looks like, it may come as a little bit of a surprise.

This uniform consists of several parts:

  • Kilt – the skirt-like lower part of the uniform that may look a bit odd to those that are not used to this kind of attire for men. The tartan patterns of kilts are very important and unique for every clan.
  • Sporran – a decorated pouch worn in front of the kilt
  • Ghillies – traditional boots worn with knee high socks
  • Sgian-dubh – a small knife worn tucked in the kilt belt

This is definitely a uniform that you do not forget about that easily.

2. Pontifical Swiss Guard Uniforms

Swiss guards in formation wearing their uniforms.
Photo Courtesy from: Wiki Media Commons Image by http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/19697

This uniform is actually the uniform of the Pope’s guard. It has long tradition and it has remained unchanged since the 16th century. That is what makes it so interesting and unique.

Guards wearing this uniforms look like they just appeared from some Medieval fairytale. That is enough for them to get stuck in your mind.

3. Hot Dog on a Stick Restaurant Uniforms

The USA fast food chain restaurants also have a tradition – a tradition of cladding their staff into the awfully uncomfortable and at times ridiculous uniforms. Hot Dog on a Stick takes this one step further by developing one of the most hated uniforms in the food industry ever.

They are multicoloured and carnival-style. The staff wears blue shorts, multicolored shirts and the same, oddly-shaped caps.

4. Disney Actors’ Daily Uniform

Different Disney characters with people taking pictures.
Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by Curtis Palmer

Disney has a very strict set of rules about what their staff can and cannot do. Actors are to stay in the character throughout the entire day and keep the feeling of being inside a magical Disney world at all times.

For some actors that is not very challenging, but what about those actors that need to carry around those enormous heads? Imagine being a Mickey Mouse during a hot day.

Either way, they are doing a great job and their uniforms are definitely something that makes a dream come true to many little boys and girls that come to visit Disney World.

5. Fiji Traffic Police Uniform

Fiji traffic police uniform will definitely catch the eye of those that are not used to this type of wear. While the upper part of the uniform has a classical cut, the lower part resembles mid-length white skirt.

Of course, that is a beautiful sulu that is a part of the rich Fiji culture. Still, for those that see it for a first time, this uniform is something to tell about back home.

6. Sochi Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony Uniform

To list all the unforgettable uniforms that people wore to the Olympics would mean writing a small book. Still, if there is one Olympic uniform that people find hard to forget, it is the official uniform of Norway for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

If you think about it, it resembles optical illusions a bit. Admittedly, they are hard to forget.

7. Greek Guard Uniform

Greek guards known as Evzones.
Photo Courtesy from: Wiki Media Image by Marshallhenrie

The proud guards of The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are called Evzones. Besides their dignified and magnificent job, they get to wear one of the most unusual uniforms ever.

It consists of:

  • White, wide-sleeved tunic
  • White kilt made of 30 meters of fabric and 400 pleats signifying 440 years of Ottoman occupation
  • Embroidered waistcoat
  • Traditional fez: the red cap
  • White woolen socks
  • Red-leather clogs with unforgettable pompons on them.

8. British Queen’s Guards Hats

British guards wearing red and black uniform.
Photo Courtesy from: Pixabay Image by LucieLucy

The main task of Queen’s Guard is to protect the Queen and to guard her many residencies. Since the Queen’s guards are not allowed to move or talk no matter what is in front of them.

This remarkable traits made them a part of the touristic attractions of London. But be warned, Queen’s guard is not there for your amusement.

Their uniform is also something that you remember for a long time.The red coat is really beautiful and notable on its own. However, in combination with the oversized, black, fuzzy hat, it is absolutely stunning.

9. Foot Locker Uniforms

This is a chain of retail shops that sell athletic gear and equipment throughout the USA, Asia and Europe. Probably in attempt to provide their customers with a fun on-court experience, they decided to make their staff uniform look like the uniforms of sports referees.

10. Skymark Airlines

Usually, when you travel by an airplane, you expect nice looking flight attendants in smart attire. That attire usually consists of formal shirts, medium long skirts or pants for female flight attendants.

However, Skymark, Japanese company, introduced the uniforms that you do not really expect to see on your average flight attendant.

They are distinctively blue dresses, very short and feature yellow flowers on the neckline. Also, they include a blue cap.

You may love it or hate it, but you will definitely remember it.

11. Any of the Food or Sports Mascots

Different colourful sports mascot.
Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by Arturo Pardavila III

These people are usually stuck in an enormous costume throughout the day, regardless of the temperature or weather.

It is never easy to wear this uniform and it is is hardly pleasant. Still, they are designed in a way that make you pay attention to them and remember them.

12. Pediatric Nurse Uniforms

Children are not usually big fans of doctors. Unfortunately, some of those young ones need to spend their time in the hospital or go and see a doctor.

There is a new trend in pediatric uniforms that medical staff wears when performing the checkups or treating kids. White or pale green uniforms are serious and dull.

More playful and interesting, colorful uniforms take the edge off the entire situation.

Therefore, some of the uniforms that pediatric nurses wear can be quite memorable.

There may be good ways and bad ways to make uniforms unforgettable and memorable. One of the worst ways to make sure you are remembered is to have dirty and messy staff uniforms.

Alsco can make sure that your workplace garments are always flawlessly clean and perfectly good looking. Our rental service supplies you with the garments that you choose from our wide array of uniforms. Moreover, we come and pick it up when it’s time for washing.

Alsco includes amazing industrial-level washing services into the same monthly rental fee you agree on.

Call Alsco now and ensure always fresh uniforms for your business.

Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by Austrian Airlines

17 Workplace Safety Tips To Share With Your Employees

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2016 and has been updated with more accurate information.  

Anyone who runs a business knows how important workplace safety is. Nobody wants someone to get hurt on the job, right?

Keeping employees safe is paramount to creating a healthy workplace environment that they will enjoy working in.

It also makes sense to ensure that your safe and healthy workplace is up to par with regards to local regulations and standards.

One of the institutions that create such rules and regulations is Workplace Health and Safety (WHS), often referred to as Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S). They’re responsible for the assessment and migration of risks that may impact the health, safety or welfare of those in your workplace.

Every business owner needs to comply with these legal requirements to ensure that their workplace is safe for everyone – from employees to customers, visitors, contractors, volunteers and even suppliers.

Aside from complying with legal requirements, workplace safety is also critical for the long-term success of any business.

A safe workplace helps:

  • retain staff
  • maximise productivity
  • minimise employee injury and illnesses
  • minimise sick leaves and absenteeism
  • reduce the costs of injury and workers’ compensation
  • meet legal responsibilities and employee obligations

There’s always something you can do to make sure that all your employees go home looking and feeling as great as when they started the day.

Here are a few tips on workplace safety you might also want to share with your team.

1. Keep every corner clean, organised, and clutter-free

Slipping and tripping are usually caused by scattered objects or spills on the floor. Make sure that your workplace is always clean and fresh. Keep aisles clean, organised, and clutter-free to ensure that nothing is in the way that could hurt those who are working.

This is just one, direct way, that clutter influences your workplace negatively. However, there is another, more indirect way.

Stress reduces the cognitive abilities in people. This means stressed employees will be clumsier, more prone to mistakes, accidents and decreased productivity. If you cannot declutter your workplace, at least make sure you have a well-stocked First Aid Kit ready.

2. Use mats on slippery floors

Alsco’s line of wet area rubber mats are a perfect passive move towards employee safety. They’re industrial grade and capable of absorbing up to 80% of water and dirt. Placed strategically around the office, they can save your employees from nasty slips and falls.

Again, simply preventing a trip and slip is the most obvious and direct way of ensuring safety. There are other types of floor mats that can also make your workplace safer.

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By placing dust control mats at your workplace entrances, you will reduce the number of germs that are being brought inside. Which will in turn reduce the number of infections, flu and other germ induced illnesses.

Infections and germ related illnesses are not the only causes of sick days taken by your employees. Those that spend many hours standing are in great danger of having back issues and/or painful joints. Anti-fatigue mats ease the burden prolonged standing has on people’s back and joints.

3. Store combustible materials properly

When not stored properly, these combustible materials are serious fire hazards. They can put everyone’s safety at risk. Make sure these materials are stored in areas with proper ventilation.

Again, any spills made while working with these sorts of materials should be properly cleaned right away.

That is only the beginning. Every workplace that handles flammable and combustible materials needs to do so in accordance with Workplace Health and Safety rules and regulations, depending on the state in which the business resides.

First of all, all materials need to be properly labelled, based on GHS – the globally harmonised system for the classification and labelling of chemicals. These chemicals need to be labelled in accordance with ADG7.4 – The Australian Dangerous Goods Code Edition 7.4.

GHS defines a flammable liquid as a liquid having a flash point of no more than 93°C. The chemicals are further classified according to their flash points.

The person who runs the business is responsible for the following:

  • Creating and conducting all emergency planning
  • Ensuring everyone on site has personal protective equipment
  • Dealing with risks from flammable solvent vapours, including the places where it exceeds 5% of the lower explosive limit
  • Managing fire and explosion risks
  • Keeping the amount of flammable and combustible substances at the lowest practicable quantity
  • Providing a manifest and site plan if there is too much of one substance on site
  • Ensuring storage areas are properly labelled and signs are visible
  • Containing and managing leaks and spills
  • Making sure containers, pipework and attachments are damage-free
  • Providing appropriate fire protection systems
  • Managing all risks associated with storage and handling systems and equipment

4. Ensure proper training when handling equipment or machinery

Any employee tasked to handle tools, equipment, or machines should go through proper training first. Anyone who isn’t trained should never be assigned to handle heavy machinery and should stay away from it.

Training is not enough for high risk work involving heavy equipment and machinery. Your workers need to have appropriate licences to work in certain conditions and handle certain machinery and/or equipment. Once acquired, this licence needs to be renewed when stated.

The licence is categorised and you need to make sure your employees are eligible for the category your business needs. A Licence to Perform High Risk Work is for handling different machinery and equipment such as:

— Cranes
— Reach stackers
— Elevating platforms
— Hoists
— Boilers
— Scaffolds

Needless to say, whenever you have heavy machinery and dangerous goods in your workplace, you need to have proper First Aid Kits and trained personnel who can administer it properly.

5. Provide clothes appropriate for tasks

Employees who will be using power tools should wear proper workwear when operating machinery. Have them wear the right shoes and protective equipment for the task. Only use gloves that fit right and that are appropriate for the task.

Different industries require different uniforms and protective gear.

For example, medical personnel need uniforms that will prevent them from being contaminated with bacteria while enabling them to move comfortably.

Industrial workwear needs to provide UV protection, protection from fire and other hazards. Of course, it all depends on the industry. Naturally, you will opt for sturdier fabrics if you need to equip workers in the automotive industry. On the other hand, those that work with open fire and flames need fire retardant fabrics.

Food processing garments don’t have to be that special, but they need to be made from antibacterial fabrics to prevent bacteria contamination.

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6. Clearly label designated hazardous zones

Areas, where dangerous equipment is stored should be clearly labelled and the walkways should be highlighted with the necessary signage.

It also helps to mark the hazardous zones with tape or black and white stripes painted on the floor. This keeps employees aware of dangerous surroundings and helps them avoid accidents that may cause serious injuries.

It’s important to make sure the signs are properly made and positioned. You need to consult Australian Standards AS 1319:1994 for this. This Standard lists the requirements for the design and use of safety signs in the workplace. They are classified as follows:

  1. Regulatory signs warn about actions and measurements required by law. They are subdivided as follows:
    a. Prohibition signs
    b. Mandatory signs
    c. Limitation or restriction signs
  2. Hazard signs that warn about dangers and hazards. They are subdivided as follows:
    a. Danger signs – warning of a particular hazard that can be life-threatening.
    b. Warning signs – warning of a hazard that is not likely to be life-threatening.
  3. Emergency information signs include directions to emergency-related facilities such as exits, safety equipment or first aid facilities, including fire signs.

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Free Caution Signs
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Free Mandatory Signs
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7. Provide first aid training

Providing your employees with first aid stations goes a long way towards safety and is a practical way to deal with emergencies. These wall-mounted stations must be fully stocked with a first aid kit that has all the meds and supplies needed to handle the most commonly encountered situations in the office.

The first step toward creating a safer workplace is to undertake a professional workplace risk assessment. This will identify all the potential risks that lurk in your workplace. Once that is done, you can go on and take all the necessary precautions.

Some of them include simply putting appropriate signs throughout your workplace. Others involve a closer look at your First Aid efforts

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There are several things to take into consideration when you want to ensure a safe workplace in terms of First Aid. Here’s a detailed explanation of your obligations in terms of First Aid by Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations and Model Code of Practice: First aid in the workplace.

General recommendations include the followings:

  • You need to give your employees access to First Aid Kits and trained First Aid personnel.
  • First Aid Kits need to be positioned in areas where injuries are most likely to happen.
  • Your workplace vehicles need to be equipped with special Motorist Kit.

First Aid personnel are your employees who are trained to administer first aid in case of emergency. The number of First Aid personnel required depends on many factors, including risk levels in your workplace and the distance to the nearest medical facility.

The risk levels in your workplace is directly correlates to the number of people that are there throughout the day, including both employees and the visitors. Larger workplaces carry higher risks. Certain industries carry higher risks (e.g. an IT company is at lower risk than an automotive company).

As a rule of thumb, you need one First Aid Provider for every 50 people in a low-risk company and one for every 25 people in a high-risk company.

8. Implement emergency procedures

Unfortunately, emergencies do not announce themselves. In Australia, you can expect floods, fires and even earthquakes. You need to be prepared if you want to ensure the safety of your business, employees and your visitors.

To be successful you need to have some procedures should an emergency arise:

9. Have an ergonomic workplace

Consider putting ergonomically designed furniture and equipment in your workplace. It’s also best to rearrange the work area and make sure that everything is within easy reach to prevent things from falling when reaching for things.

When it comes to offices, make sure that everybody has a workstation that suits them. This includes a good computer, excellent desk and chair and enough light to work well.

On the other hand, a barista who stands all day will need a good anti-fatigue mat to help them deal with a sore back and joints. They will also need a bar which is at an appropriate height and well-functioning appliances.

In other words, make sure that anything that can be adjusted so that it prevents unnecessary strains and unfortunate body positions for employees.

10. Use mechanical aids for lifting and transportation

There are two ways you can lift something: on your own or by using some sort of aid. For tasks that involve a lot of heavy lifting, provide mechanical aids such as a wheelbarrow, conveyor belt, crane or forklift. Otherwise, you are risking your employees’ health and you will see a rise in the number of injuries.

Think about how much heavy lifting there is in your workplace. Is it just an occasional occurrence? Do you own a warehouse?

Even if you work out of an office that only involves some box carrying here and there, it is still important to protect your workers. Teach them how to lift safely and avoid back injuries.

However, if there is a warehouse involved or a large storage room, you need to rent or invest in transportation and lifting devices. Make sure they are used safely and the best way to do it is to hire trained people to handle them or to provide training for those that are responsible for handling heavy objects.

11. Ensure new employees understand risks in the workplace

The first thing you need to do, as mentioned earlier, is to understand the associated risks in your workplace. This is done by conducting a full workplace risk assessment. Once you have all this information, you need to convey this information to your new employees. They need to know:

  • Possible general risks and courses of action in case of emergency
  • Risks specific to their own position in the company

General workplace risks are to some degree the same in for companies in the same industry. For example, everybody must have a way to deal with fire hazards. Everybody needs to know where the First Aid cabinets are.

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Certain jobs come with certain risks. For example, baristas are more likely to burn their hands on hot steam. Chefs will be more prone to cuts from a knife while those that work in the automotive industry are at risk of inhaling dangerous chemicals.

Any specific hazards of a job or workplace should always be discussed when orienting new employees. This helps them to be more aware and cautious when moving around the workplace and reduces the risk of work-related injury or illness

If your employee is hired to complete manual tasks, you need to warn them about the following:

  • which postures, movements and forces of the task pose a risk
  • where during the task they pose a risk
  • why they are occurring what needs to be fixed.

In order to ensure the highest levels of safety for your employees who complete manual tasks, you need to consult Hazardous manual tasks: Code of practice 2018.

12. Avoid assigning the same repetitive tasks over and over

Repetitive tasks are more dangerous than you may think. Even if they are as simple as typing. These kinds of tasks can be taxing on your employees in two ways. Repetitive tasks can be strenuous on their body and their mind.

Repetitive tasks can cause Occupational overuse syndrome (OOS) which is another name for repetitive strain injury or RSI. It can affect your back, shoulders, arms, elbows, fingers, wrists and other joints and muscles. The common symptoms include:

  • Uncomfortable aches
  • Weak muscles
  • Restricted joint mobility
  • Swelling
  • Numbness

It is important to understand that OOS effects will not simply go away on their own and they need to be treated.

Another way repetitive tasks can take a toll on your employees is by increasing their mental fatigue. It can cause loss of focus, increase stress, trigger depression episodes, and decrease overall satisfaction levels.

Vary employee activities to keep them from doing one task for long periods of time. It also helps to rotate tasks, as this teaches staff more about how the business really works, while also allowing changes in their posture and activities.

13. Service your tools and machinery regularly

Servicing your tools and machinery should not only be done when they break down. You need to do your best to prevent any malfunctions in the first place.

Why? If machinery breaks down it may cost your business money.. Even more importantly, somebody could get hurt in the process!

Maintenance needs to be thorough, professional and regular. Proper maintenance includes:

  • Inspection
  • Testing
  • Measurement
  • Replacement
  • Adjustment
  • Keeping the logs

All maintenance needs to be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation. Not just anybody can maintain your equipment. Some of it will have to be subcontracted to professionals that deal with those specific pieces of equipment

14. Reduce workplace stress

The most common causes of stress and work burn-out are long hours, a heavy workload, job insecurity and conflicts. These can lead to depression, sleeping difficulties, and affect your employee’s concentration.

In more general terms, workplace stress happens when the employee’s position requirements surpass their capabilities, resources and current state. This causes frustration that, if continued for a long period of time, can turn into chronic stress.

Other risk factors of stress can include conflicts at work, being bullied or even harassed. While other stress management actions should be implemented for other causes of workplace stress, these two require stricter and sometimes even legal action.

The effects of workplace stress can range from mild to severe. Physical signs of stress are:

  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion
  • Low immune system
  • Muscle tension
  • Pains and headaches
  • Sweating
  • Disturbed appetite
  • Sleeping issues

Psychological effects of stress are also present and they seriously reduce the life quality of your employees. These include:

  • Feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, worried or guilty
  • Being irritable or unhappy
  • Losing confidence and decisiveness
  • Having negative and/or racing thoughts
  • Memory issues

Promote a healthy lifestyle and create a stress-free environment in the workplace. After all, this is one of the manager’s tasks since stress at the workplace means the workplace is not safe and managers are responsible for safety.

To act in these situations, you first need to be able to identify the risk factors of stress with your employees. Download the Job Identification Stress Checklist and use it to pinpoint any stressed individuals in your company.

After that, you need to make sure you know how to approach these individuals, while preserving their right to privacy and ensuring they don’t feel threatened. Read how to communicate with your staff on the topic of stress.

15. Stay hydrated all the times

Living and working during Australian summers can really become strenuous due to high temperatures. Dehydration is not uncommon in such circumstances. The symptoms of mild dehydration include:

  • The feeling of being thirsty
  • Having dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Dark or insufficient urine

Dehydration also decreases your brain function and cognitive abilities. Even being dehydrated as little as 1-2 percent makes you think slower. This means slower reactions, less concentration and consequently, more accidents at work.

Encourage your employees to drink lots of water every day. Drinking more water, juices, and other non-alcoholic drinks at frequent intervals will help a lot with replacing all the fluids they’ve lost from working.

Coffee, alcohol and certain salty and sweet foods will increase chances of dehydration and make it more severe. Carbonated drinks are not a good source of hydration because they contain salt.

Click the image to view the whole infographic.

16. Schedule regular breaks

Employees that have regular breaks tend to feel fresher and more alert than those who don’t. Let employees rest in a cool place. This helps to avoid injuries and burnout.

The latest recommendations state that numerous mini-breaks are much more effective than one long break. According to experts, these types of breaks will improve your employee’s cognitive abilities, boost their creativity, improve their satisfaction at work, reduce stress and improve their health.

Since boosting concentration and focus is one of the benefits of taking breaks, it goes without saying that they reduce the occurrence of accidents in the workplace. Especially the ones that happen due to fatigue, lack of concentration and focus.

17. Be prepared in medical emergency situations

First aid should cover the basics. But what happens in a true emergency? In some industries, workplace accidents can be quite serious. The most common workplace injuries in Australia are:

  • Strains and sprains
  • Fractures
  • Open wounds
  • Contusions
  • Tissue disorders
  • Burns

However, even if it is not that common, people can suffer from sudden cardiac arrests or heart attacks at any time or place.

It is important to learn all about the warning signs although they may vary from one person to another. Here are the most common ones:

Make sure you have an automated external defibrillator ready in case of situations like these so you and your employees have a simple yet effective way to respond quickly to a  life threatening emergency.

Don’t wait for the defibrillator to be available before administering CPR and dialing 000. The ambulance should be called immediately.

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Being Prepared Can Save Lives

The HeartSine Samaritan 500P is a single button operation device that you can get for a single annual fee.

Regular checks and maintenance, instructions on proper use are all included. Even the unit itself gives simple step-by-step instructions for use so anyone can use it when the need arises.

Alsco has been providing quality commercial services to Australia for over 50 years. We’ve leveraged that experience into services that you can count and rely upon.

Our Managed Rental Services ensure that you don’t spend too much on workplace safety. You don’t have to ever worry about the effective functionality of any equipment that you get from us because we include their upkeep in what we offer.

Additionally, all our services can be tailored to your specific needs. You say jump and we’ll ask: how high?

We also guarantee compliance with complex WHS laws.

Give Alsco a call today and we can come up with a plan truly suited to you.


Photo Courtesy of Flickr Images by Oregon Department of Transportation.

6 Things You Should Be Doing To Reduce Employee Absences

Working employees but there are absent

Did you know that employee absenteeism eats up 5-17% of an organisation’s total payroll?

Chronically absent employees aren’t working employees.

They are unproductive workers that are bad for any company and therefore shouldn’t be found anywhere in your organisation as well.

Look around your workplace. Is there anyone who isn’t on their work desk right now but should be?

Has it been going on for quite a while? Have you ever wondered what causes employee absenteeism? Are you aware if chronic absenteeism is happening in your organisation?

Here are the signs to watch out for:

  • Repeated/frequent absenteeism
  • A noticeable pattern of Monday and Friday absences
  • Excessive tardiness
  • Leaving work early
  • Frequent absences due to vaguely defined illnesses
  • Unauthorized leave
  • Last minute requests for leave
  • Excessive use of sick leave

And here are some tips that will help reduce employee absenteeism in your workplace:

1. Identify the underlying issues

Once you’ve spotted the warning signs of absenteeism, the first important step to take is to understand and address the underlying issues. Know where this behavior is coming from.

Three female employees discussing to each other
Photo Courtesy from: Pexels Image by Tim Gouw

Before taking any disciplinary action, it is best to consider the factors that are causing an employee’s absenteeism. Try to figure out or understand what are the things that are making your employees not want to go to work.

Could it be work-related stress? Could you improve the workplace hygiene? Could it be bullying by colleagues? Is it workplace distractions? Or personal issues that affect one’s performance at work?

By determining these factors, you will be able to look at the big picture and start taking preventative measures that will help reduce the level of absenteeism of employees in your workplace.

2. Set attendance expectations

Have a set of company policies and expectations regarding attendance and always remind your employees the importance of following these policies.

Have them notify a manager about the absence within a certain period of time, specifying the reason they won’t make it to work, including their illness’ nature, and when they can get back to work.

Male employee holding a mobile phone
Photo Courtesy from: Pixabay Image by niekverlaan

It would be best to have them provide evidence too, such as a note from a doctor that states they are unfit for work.

These attendance expectations can also be incorporated into your company’s leave policy.

3. Kill off the stress

Have you ever felt the need to take a day or two off from stress? Your employees do too! In fact, work-related stress is the second most common compensated illness in Australia.

According to the National Health and Safety Commission, work-related stress is to blame for the longest stretches of absenteeism, costing organisations money. Hence the need to recognise it as a significant health and safety issue.

Create an atmosphere in the office that is conducive to work and will reduce stress in your employees. Work on making the office a safe working environment and make sure that everyone is properly trained to perform their duties.

Employees having an important meeting.
Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by Cydcor

Openly recognising work-related stress as a genuine problem also helps remove the stigma connected to it. Make it a habit to discuss and resolve issues among employees, and make the appropriate action.

Get your employees involved in creating a stress management policy in your workplace. Encourage them to share their opinions about their duties and the management as well.

If possible, employ extra staff or reorganise duties to reduce the need for overtime work.

4. Improve workplace cleanliness and hygiene

Did you know that substandard hygiene in the workplace also leads to employee absenteeism? How about the part that this problem costs Australian businesses a staggering $11.4 billion a year?

All clean and bright work place.
Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by iBrand Company

Out of these huge lost earnings, $5.4 billion accounts for employees taking too many sick days and the other $6 billion is for the total number of days employees spend a year avoiding their dirty office.

Now you know why your workers would rather head out to get coffee instead of making one in your office kitchen. This is the same reason why they spend too much time in the washroom lining up for the only clean toilet cubicle, or why some get sick way too often.

It’s time to clean up. You can start with having a fresh, clean, and hygienic washroom – something Fresh & Clean can help you with.

Alsco’s Fresh and Clean line includes a whole range of hygiene and washroom rental programs throughout Australia.

Invest on eco-friendly, functional, hygienic products for odour control, hand hygiene, and even First Aid in your washroom. Then watch it all be worth it when your employees start to feel fresher, cleaner and healthier in your workplace instead of always dreading to be inside it.

5. Reach out

When you notice that a particular employee leans heavily on the absences, the first instinct is to berate and scold. It’s understandable and it is a part of the human nature. But that will likely drive them even further away into more absences.

A manager and an employee talking.
Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by Randstad Canada

A better way to go would be to take the time to listen and get to the heart of the matter. You don’t have to do this every day. All you need is occasional moments to check on them. Water cooler conversations reveal a lot more than any office meeting will.

6. Give them a little extra

A great way to encourage employees to keep coming in is to provide them with extra experiences that will help them bond with their fellow employees. A First Aid course like that on offer with Alsco is one good idea.

Happy employees on their team building.
Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region

Not only does it totally detract from any topics that are too focused on work, it gives your employees great life skills to apply in their day to day lives beyond work.

There are a lot of cases where employees don’t miss work simply to attend and have fun with their friends.

Absentee employees cost organisations money. A LOT of money. And when taken for granted, high rates of employee absenteeism can have drastic, probably even irreparable effects on your bottom line.

There are a lot of ways you can put an end to these problems and keeping them from happening again. All you have to do is to start now.

You also have a lot of partners in dealing with these kinds of workplace problems. Alsco, has been in the industry of keeping workplaces all over Australia fresh and clean for 50 years.

You can count on Alsco to take a lot of your burden off your shoulders. From hygiene and sanitation to rental uniforms and so much more.

Give us a call today and we can talk about how to improve your workplace today and eventually stop your absentee employees from trying to avoid it!

Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by George Grinsted

5 Lazy Ways to Get Workplace Wellness Started

Three female happy employees

Employees are no doubt the most valuable assets to a company.

That is why supporting their health and wellbeing with corporate wellness programs is something more companies around the world are starting to practice as part of their human resource management.

“Wellness” is an oft used term that few people truly understand. We do know, however, that when the wellness is lacking, it’s sorely missed.

Wellness, then, refers to the overall health of employees covering all aspects: from the physical, mental, to the emotional and psychological.

Employers who tend to their employee’s wellness will benefit from the greater productivity it brings. Aside from lowering healthcare costs, wellness programs in the workplace can also help in reducing employee absenteeism.

Whatever the company’s size, these wellness programs for employees make a great impact on the bottom line. In fact, the American Journal of Health Promotion has published a study on workplace wellness programs that showed 26% lower healthcare costs, 26% less sick leaves, and 32% showed a decline on workers’ request for disability claims and compensation.

In this piece, we look at five lazy ways to get a leg-up on workplace wellness. We call it lazy because we don’t believe you have to stress out over wellness! That, after all, won’t make you all too well, now would it?

1. Ask the right people

A wellness program best starts simply by figuring out how well (or unwell) your people are! Surveys are a good way to go. Let it be anonymous so people can speak their minds and openly share what they really feel.

Male employee writing on a paper.
Photo Courtesy from: Pexels Image by startupstockphotos.com

Start with physical wellness questions but also ask how they feel, what stresses them out, what makes them happy or sad. The data you get will help you figure out what needs you need to meet.

2. Start with small steps

Get your workplace wellness program started with simple steps. These can include stuff like disseminating useful information on healthy diet and exercise, or providing healthier options for meals in the cafeteria.

Male doctor speaking about the importance of health
Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by Greater Louisville Medical Society

These may seem like baby steps that your employees may not take seriously at first but they are better than not having started anything at all.

Come up with fun and creative ways to promote your wellness advocacy in the workplace and you can expect your employees to start reconsidering their lifestyles. The next thing you know, cigarette breaks will no longer be a thing and your employees just might start living active, healthy lifestyles.

3. Take care of the passive determinants of wellness

Still not all that uppity about coming up with a comprehensive plan? Why don’t you start with taking care of the environment? Cleanliness and hygiene in the workplace is very important. Make sure to kill off germs that cause illnesses.

Employees reminder for cleanliness and hygiene.
Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by Carlos Pacheco

This does not only make your office a conducive place to work, it also lifts the mood of the employees while keeping them healthy at all times, reducing sick leaves and absenteeism. There are two ways to do improve in this regard.

First of all, clean up your washroom. With an investment in our Fresh & Clean line of products, you get just that.

Secondly, odour control. Use this in areas that are the most frequented! Our system can be customised to release subtle fragrances at timed intervals.

These two little tweaks combined provide great passive sources of wellness.

4. Empower your employees

Part of wellness includes making your employees feel empowered. In order to be better at their leadership and other skills, a lot of employees go for seminars or classes. Those that can help them be better workers for the company.

Unfortunately, they often go for classes that are still work-related thinking that can boost productivity and enhance their employee’s lives. While that surely does one of those things, serious work-related seminars will only remind them of their work.

CPR training for employees.
Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Why don’t you try something different? Something they probably didn’t think they need but is actually very useful. A First Aid course with Alsco not only takes them out of the cycle of perpetual work, it also gives them important life skills.

5. Have a literal open-door policy

Lastly, a great thing you can start doing for overall wellness in your workplace is keeping your door open for when your people need to talk to someone.

It might take some time to get them comfortable enough to open up completely so be encouraging but not forceful, friendly but still professional, and eventually, you will find them coming in more and more to open up about what frustrates them.

Female employees talking about work stuff.
Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by Randstad Canada

Naturally, it’s just as important to act on their concerns if possible. Especially, if it actually involves the workplace. You’ll find that something this simple works wonders.

Alsco has been one of the most dependable providers of commercial services for years. Part of that involves caring for employee wellness and well-being.

Our line of products and services centre around making the workplace a better place for employers and employees alike. Give us a call today and we can find what best suits your needs.

Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by Randstad Canada

How To Run a Restaurant – A 10 Stage Guide

A clean and elegant restaurant

What is it about restaurants that attracts so many of us to the idea of actually owning and running one? Does knowing how to start a restaurant make us the ultimate entrepreneur?

With all of its intricacies, does knowing how to run the restaurant efficiently says something more about our business skills?

Maybe the idea of having the career tag ‘restaurateur’ and a team of chefs providing superior nosh is just cool.

But if we should go about starting our own restaurant, what do we have to do? And just how important being ‘green’ is in a sector where cleanliness is absolutely essential?

The 10-Stage Guide

We’ve put together a 10-stage general guide to the art of setting up, establishing and running a restaurant. You never know, reading this might even convince you to go for it!

Starting a Restaurant

1. Restaurant Concept, Name and Menu – These are actually essential in establishing a share of the market. Your concept should tell a story, with everything from the colour scheme of the interior, to the lighting, the cutlery, plates and table linen.

Well organised with great interior restaurant
Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by Tara Angkor Hotel

2. Equipment and Suppliers – This is not just a matter of cost efficiency but also a matter of quality. From choosing the right kitchen hardware to opting for eco-friendly kitchen mats and cloth roller towel dispensers in the restrooms, getting this right from the off can save money and headache in the future.

Safety mat and kitchen equipment for restaurants

3. The Right Staff – The chef is the soul of a restaurant, so finding a talented one is essential. But your regular kitchen staff and front-of-house floor staff is just as important. Also, consider uniforms and wait staff aprons, as they project a professional, well-organised image that diners find reassuring.

Restaurant staff that are happy and clean
Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by Hotel de la Ville Monza

4. Proper Financing – Keeping start-up costs as low as possible is a key element of the whole procedure – though not at the expense of quality. So, assessing the quality versus price is important if you’re to turn profit.

Proper financing for business is always a must.
Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by Ken Teegardin

Running a Restaurant

5. Keep On Top of Everything – Running a restaurant is a huge undertaking, but we like Restaurant Doctor’s list of 5 simple points:

Good customer service will make your customers satisfied
Photo Courtesy from: Pixabay Image by Peggy_Marco
  • Control (taking a hands-on approach to everything)
  • Cost Effectiveness (prioritising spending)
  • Cleanliness (establishing the right procedures from the start)
  • Customer Service (happy diners will be back)
  • Creativity (‘trying new things’ keeps things fresh)

6. A Humming Kitchen – The Chefs King, Gordon Ramsey, had this to say about the role of a well-run and professionally staffed kitchen play. “Chefs and their brigade have become today’s theatre and in many cases are taking to the actors’ stage like seasoned professionals,” he stated in a lengthy article published on Chefsworld.net.

Well groomed busy kitchen staff
Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by Les Roches International School of Hotel Management

7. Get Pricing Right – There is a bit of psychology at play here, but getting the pricing right can play a big part in getting diners through your doors. Special deals are fine, but if prices are too low then consumers might think there is something wrong.

Looking at the menu in a restaurant
Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by barnimages.com

Marketing a Restaurant

8. The Right Marketing Campaign – Getting your restaurant off the ground means a lot of marketing and promotions. Focusing on the local community is the best way, since it is usually locals who’ll dine there. There are lots of techniques, but knowing your demographics is important.

Knowing demographics is important for your business
Photo Courtesy from: Pexels Image by negativespace.co

9. The Value of ‘Green’ – There is now a distinct swing towards ‘green’ dining amongst mainstream diners. People like to know their local restaurants are good for the environment, so keeping facilities, food supplies and waste management policies in line with environmental principles is more important than pleasing the Health & Safety guys.

Restaurant with green plants and fresh fruits
Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by eGuide Travel

10. Give Diners Something Positive to Talk About – Basically, if you get everything else right, your diners will tell their friends. And with social marketing (Facebook, Twitter etc), the good word can spread faster and wider!

Take advantage of social media marketing
Photo Courtesy from: Pixabay Image by FirmBee

Of course, this is just a fraction of the things you need to handle, since knowing how to run a restaurant successfully means understanding a lot more.

Taking advice is hugely beneficial, so be sure to read more on the points above in the links below.

Clean and Bright Restaurant

The first impression lasts especially if you are running a restaurant. There’s no look in a restaurant more re-assuring to a patron than how it looks, how clean, fresh and bright the white table linen. With clean looking tables it will totally set the mood and image of your whole establishment.

Restaurant's cleanliness and brightness is important.
Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by bloomsburys

If you want to have an easy and economical way to revitalise your restaurant, Alsco is here to help you. Call us now, our friendly representative is waiting.

 

 

Sources / More Information:
1. ‘Choosing and Creating Your Restaurant Concept’, Food & Beverage Underground – www.foodandbeverageunderground.com/restaurant-concept.html

2. ‘Acquiring Kitchen Equipment for Your Restaurant’, Dummies.com – www.dummies.com/how-to/content/acquiring-kitchen-equipment-for-your-restaurant.html

3. ‘Restaurant Staff’, Setupmyrestaurant.com – http://www.setupmyrestaurant.com/staff/

4. Restaurant Doctor.co.uk – www.restaurantdoctoruk.co.uk/Philosophy.htm

5. ‘Gordon Ramsey How to Run a Restaurant’, Chefsworld.com – www.chefsworld.net/news_details.asp?NewsID=clFS

6. ‘How to Create an Effective geo-Targeted Restaurant marketing Campaign’, Restaurant Commando – http://restaurantcommando.com/restaurant-marketing/how-to-create-a-effective-geo-targeted-restaurant-marketing-campaign

7. 10 Things to Help You Get Your Restaurant Business Up and Running

Photo Courtesy from: Flickr Image by daryl_mitchell