With restrictions around the country easing, restaurants and bars are starting to open up with certain conditions. For most individuals, the opportunity to have a drink or dine out is an exciting prospect, but what should restaurants be doing to maintain the utmost hygiene and social distancing standards? We’ve listed some recommendations for restaurants to consider when reopening.
Firstly no part of COVID-19 is a foodborne disease. It can only be spread from person to person, through coughing, touching contaminated surfaces or being in close proximity with an infected individual.
Food safety has always been a priority for the restaurant industry, for both customers and employees. Communal self-serve stations are great nesting grounds for bacteria due to the large number of touch points between a large variety of individuals. Self service buffet style foods, salad bars, cutlery and glass stations should be removed or access monitored. Drinking water should be provided at the table rather than self service stations.
Cleaning and Sanitation
A thorough detailed cleaning of the entire premise is recommended, especially if the business has been closed for a period of time. Cleaning and disinfecting should be focused on high contact areas frequently, with seldom touch areas also being cleaned as often as possible. Ensure cleaning materials are of disinfectant strength (check the label), while avoiding surfaces containing food when cleaning.
Between seatings, condiments such as sugar, salt and pepper should be cleaned or kept separately and only provided when customers request it. Digital ordering devices, door handles, table tops, menus, and back of chairs should also be cleaned between seatings. Single use items should immediately be discarded, with paper menus being discarded. Restrooms should be cleaned and sanitised based on frequency of use. It is also a good initiative to make hand sanitisers readily available for all customers.
Monitoring Employee Health and Personal Hygiene
Employees should be encouraged to remain at home if they’re sick and be excluded from work until they are deemed safe to return by a health professional. Employers should also implement a pre-work screening process before the start of each shift. Symptoms of COVID-19, include fever, coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath and any individuals presenting these should immediately get tested. Training should be conducted on appropriate cleaning measures and also effective hand washing and drying techniques so your staff are well-informed of correct procedures.
Physical distancing is an important component to creating a safe environment for staff and customers. Floor plans should be redesigned to ensure there is at least 1.5 metres between seated tables. Patron movement surrounding the entry and exit from the restaurant should be considered, and if practicable have a separate entrance for each. Guests should be seated as soon as possible to avoid congregation in waiting areas or bar areas. Remind third party delivery drivers and suppliers that social distancing measures are in place and congregating around the entrances is discouraged.
Make technology your friend! Introduce contactless payment systems, automated ordering systems, or mobile ordering apps to help you conduct business with the reduced need for close contact. As restaurants start to open, make sure you’re constantly communicating with your customers through social media, website updates and simple texts advising them of opening times, menu items and reservation options.
With restaurants opening up, Alsco is here to help! With our managed uniform rental service, you can rent your hospitality staff aprons and uniforms, ensuring your employee’s always have access to hygienic and sanitary uniforms while reducing the risk of cross-contamination. Check out our range of hospitality uniforms here.
Whether you’re in the food and beverage, medical or the industrial industry, your uniforms are guaranteed to get messy. You’re in contact with a large range of products and contaminants all day and now you’ve got to figure out how to clean them off your uniform.
Should you make your staff responsible for the cleaning their own uniform? What if they don’t wash it right and bacteria multiplies and thus increases the potential of infection to others?
So how do you provide a more hygienic work environment? Outsource your laundry!
How is it more hygienic?
Regardless of the industry, staff are rarely taught how to properly wash their uniforms. Most individuals just throw their uniforms in with all their other laundry at home and turn on the machine. No special thought is given to disinfecting the uniform prior to the wash or even stain removal. Studies have found a significant presence of bacteria on the uniforms 48 hours after the shift ended. Thus the importance of washing your uniform correctly is crucial.
Most laundry cycles performed at home are done in a cold wash (around 30 degrees), due to cold washes being cheaper to run than hot washes. However, according to the NHS it is recommended that linen, underwear and other contaminated clothes should be washed at a minimum of 60 degrees to prevent any germs spreading. A good washing detergent is also required in addition to the hot wash, another measure which can not be guaranteed when asking staff to launder their uniforms at home.
There has been more and more focus on becoming more environmentally friendly in recent years. Increase your corporate social responsibility by outsourcing your laundry to a company that uses environmentally friendly equipment and incorporates going green into their services.
At Alsco, we’ve decreased the energy usage of our newest facilities by 63%. We’ve also researched and improved our water reuse systems where we now use up to 50% less water and 30% less chemicals.
Choosing Alsco means choosing a brighter, greener future for our environment. Not only that, it also means creating cleaner, healthier Australian workplaces.
A large portion of a child’s life is spent in a classroom. Ensuring safe environments for your child to learn and thrive in is crucial. Making a classroom environment inviting and fun can also increase your child’s participation and sense of belonging within an educational environment.
While setting up and creating a fun environment is your primary focus, it is still essential to consider these tips:
Keep exits and floors clear: make sure all exits to the classroom as well as all windows and doors are kept free of clutter and are accessible at all times.
Are passageways between desks clear?
Are there any changes in flooring levels that need to be highlighted and corrected?
Is there any obstructions around the door that could block the exits
Furniture and Fixtures: ensure bookcases, clocks and shelves are fixed to the walls where possible.
Are permanent fixtures (bookcases, shelves) in good condition and mounted to the wall with brackets to avoid the risk of falling objects?
Is any portable equipment such as TV stands in a stable condition? Are the objects placed on these surfaces also stable?
Is the furniture an appropriate size for the space and those who need to access it such as teachers or in some cases, children?
Electrical Equipment: make sure electrical cords are not present in high traffic areas, including walkways and doorways as these are common tripping hazards. Ensure electrical outlets are not overloaded.
Are all trailing cords and wires organised or taped down where possible to prevent hazards?
Are all cords and sockets in good condition and working? Have these been appropriately child-proofed or covered to prevent small children from playing with them?
Encourage children to be organised and tidy: encouraging children to tidy up after activities can prevent further injuries and keep a clean and safe space for all to enjoy.
Is all equipment (e.g. scissors, hot glue guns) put away after each lesson?
Is the equipment being stored in the correct areas and in a safe manner to prevent injury?
Equipment Safety: more than 50% of classroom injuries were related to improper equipment use. Teaching children how to use and handle equipment such as sewing machines, scissors, knives and art tools is therefore crucial.
General Safety: teaching and constantly reiterating general safety to children is imperative. General safety messages could include no running inside, no climbing on inappropriate equipment, no throwing things and being careful around electrical equipment
Hazardous Materials: ensure any hazardous materials such as cleaning products and chemicals used in science or for general purpose sanitation are clearly labelled and stored out of reach (and preferably out of sight) of the children.
Mitigating classroom risks is an essential part of educational risk management. Although most of the risks can be avoided with careful supervision of the children, practising and educating children around the risks can significantly reduce injuries in the classroom.
When an injury occurs, it is important that first aid kits are easily located and staff are well trained. With Alsco’s first aid kits, schools can pay a monthly fee and Alsco will ensure their first aid kits are always well stocked and replenished, with no extra fees required, even if you use all of the items, so you don’t have to worry about preparing your first aid kit.
In order to provide the right duty of care to the children, staff must be trained in first aid. As a registered training organisation, Alsco can also provide first aid training for your staff and provide a portal where you can keep track of which staff have recently completed training as well as who still requires training. All of these services are provided through our managed training services and email reminders will be sent when retraining is required for continued certification.
Cold weather conditions can bring dangerous hazards to the workplace, whether this be slipping accidents, health issues and illnesses (such as hypothermia), unsanitary work conditions and exposure-related injuries. It’s really important that businesses take various safety precautions to minimise the various risks of winter weather and protect their employees.
For employees who are working in cold outdoor weather conditions, these hazards are amplified significantly. These include workers who are involved with trade occupations such as construction, agriculture and fishing, along with snow clean-up crews and recreational employees. Workers who are frequently exposed to cold temperatures such as freezer storage workers or ski/snowboarding instructors are also at high risk of potential injuries.
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2017, there were over 20,000 occupational injuries related to harsh cold weather conditions. In fact, in January 2019, there was a chilling polar vortex in the U.S which brought record-breaking low temperatures that caused the deaths of 21 people.
Here is how you can prevent illnesses and injuries associated with chilling weather:
Slippery Floors – Use Wet Area Mats & First Aid Kits
Heavy rainfall and cold weather are a recipe for slip-and-fall disasters. According to SafeWork Australia, trips and falls result in thousands of preventable injuries each year. The most common injuries include musculoskeletal injuries, cuts, bruises, fractures and dislocations. In fact, from 2003-15, trips and falls caused the death of 386 workers, where 56% were caused by environmental factors.
Businesses can easily prevent this hazard and minimise WHS negligence complaints by investing in equipment and materials that deal with slippery rainwater on the floor. One of the best types of products is Alsco’s Wet Area Mat which is cleverly designed to provide a safe barrier against liquid spills. The durable rubber mat has textured surfaces that provide great grip and even have anti-fatigue properties, while it’s bevelled edges anchor it to the floor, providing optimal safety for workers.
Another way to preemptively prevent cold weather-related injuries (stemming from slip-and-fall accidents) is to install First Aid Kits around the workplace. Every business must have first aid kits that comply with Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) regulations, ensuring that the workplace remains safe and secure for all employees. These kits have to be restocked regularly on a quarterly basis. Of course, along with first aid kits, companies should invest in first aid training for their employees. Both of these are essential for providing treatment for nasty bruises, sprains and any serious wounds which may come from slick rainwater-covered floors and muddy puddles.
Cold Weather & Heart Attacks – Defibrillator
Not many people know that cold weather can affect your heart condition, particularly with elderly workers who are more susceptible to the winter. Cold weather makes your heart work harder to keep your body warm – this puts pressure on your blood vessels, which constrict so that the heart can concentrate on pumping blood to the brain and other major body organs. This increases the risk of developing blood clots which could eventually lead to a heart attack or stroke. In the possible event of a cardiac arrest in the workplace, businesses should invest in an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to adequately prepare for these sorts of unexpected emergencies.
Cold & Flu Sicknesses – Hand Hygiene & Washroom Services
In cold weather, the chance of catching a cold or the flu (seasonal influenza) is also intensified, especially for more elderly workers with heart conditions. In Australia, cold and flu infections are most likely to occur between May and September, which can be easily spread among colleagues or workplace visitors if the right precautions are not undertaken. This can interfere with their productivity and any pressing work deadlines.
Whether you work in an enclosed work facility or office environment, you are at risk of contracting the cold and flu virus since it spreads rapidly within constrained, indoor areas. This contagious illness is amplified when the virus becomes airborne or contaminates surfaces that people can easily touch, like tabletops and laptop keyboards. Due to this, employees in the workplace can also become infected by shaking hands or inhaling air particles carrying flu droplets. There are various strategies which businesses can implement to minimise the chance of people catching illnesses in the workplace:
Proper hand hygiene is crucial for preventing cold-weather illnesses in any workplace environment, whether this be a professional restaurant kitchen or a butcher warehouse. This includes mounted automatic soap dispenser units, hand drying (paper towel) solutions, surface sanitisers or instant hand sanitiser dispensers.
Washroom services are an essential facility for the workplace. A clean and hygienic bathroom will prevent bacterial cross-contamination from the cold and flu virus. This includes seat sanitisers and urinal digital sanitisers which prevents harmful bacteria and microbes that become airborne whenever the toilet/urinal flushes.
Cold & Flu Signs can be placed strategically around the workplace (such as entrances, lifts and stairwells) which can remind staff/visitors to stay away when infected. These warning signs can be effective in counteracting the spread of contagious infections, such as urging employees to wear personal protective equipment (i.e. surgical face mask), covering their mouth when sneezing or coughing, or performing hand hygiene practices. Businesses can order customised safety messages for these cold and flu infections.
Cleaning services and equipment should be cleaned regularly to ensure cold viruses are eradicated. This means using disposable disinfectant wipes on particularly risky areas such as door knobs and handles, buttons on machines such as photocopiers and microwaves) or benches/counters in office kitchens.
Training programs and services can be used to educate employees about the various ways the flu infection can spread around the workplace, cold and flu symptoms, common flu strains and the preventative measures to be implemented to safeguard against contagion. Businesses can also use these training programs to promote flu vaccinations.
Cold-Related Stress, Fatigue and Dehydration
Employees working in any cold environment are at risk of cold stress, which is a very serious health condition where the body can no longer maintain its normal temperature as the cold atmosphere draws heat from the body. Cold work environments involve conditions with temperatures below below 10℃, high wind speeds exceeding 40MPH, humidity, contact with cold surfaces/water and inadequate clothing.
This includes industries where workers are required to work outdoors in particularly cold weather climates and atmospheres for extended periods of time, such as ski or snowboarding instructors. However, this is not simply limited to the outdoors – employees who work inside places such as refrigerated warehouses, freezer plants, cold air-conditioned stores and the supermarket fridge aisle can also be affected by cold-stress.
In extremely cold weather, other serious cold-stress related illnesses can also arise which can cause permanent tissue damage, or even death. This includes chilblains (painful inflammation of skin blood vessels that causes itching, ulcers, swelling, burning and red patches), trench foot, frostbite and hypothermia. It can also cause minor symptoms such as fatigue and dehydration which can adversely impact the workers’ mental health and productivity. All workplaces should take the suitable precautions below to manage these risks of cold-stress illnesses and injuries.
Conduct safety initiatives revolving around cold-induced illnesses by establishing safety standards (WHS compliance) and promoting a company culture of workplace health and safety. Businesses should also be training workers or supervisors to treat cold-related injuries or illnesses. This involves assisting employees in identifying, treating and preventing cold-stress symptoms, including frostbite, trench foot and hypothermia.
Enforce safe working practices and signage which remind workers to frequently drink warm liquids and eat warm, high-calorie foods to heat up the body. However, drinks with caffeine (coffee, tea and hot chocolate) and alcohol should be avoided because it is easy to become dehydrated in cold weather.
Encourage workers to wear protective clothing to stay safe in both cold weather and indoor environments. There are various fabrics to be considered – for example, cotton loses insulation when it becomes wet, whereas wool or fleece absorbs sweat and provides insulation even when soaked. Face masks and gloves/mittens are also good options.
Wear at least 3 layers of clothing – wear an outer layer to break the wind and allow ventilation, a middle layer of wool/fleece, and an inner layer of synthetic weave to allow further ventilation
Use head coverings (knitted hats, hard hats, beanies, etc.) since 40% of body heat is lost when the head is exposed in a cold environment
Wear insulated boots which are sized appropriately since tight-fitted footwear restrict blood flow. This will go well with a pair of thermally insulated socks as it provides an extra layer of insulation and warmth
Provide a controlled heating environment for employees such as radiant heaters or infrared heating panels installed within the office. You can also implement electronic or hydronic floor heating, which can deliver warm air without circulating germs, bacteria and dust. Other factors include: building insulation, workstation layouts, direct sunlight control and control of air flow.
Enable workers to take frequent short breaks in warm, dry shelters
Create a “buddy system” where employees can work in pairs to identify signs and symptoms of cold-related illnesses
In today’s climate, cleanliness and hygiene have to go hand in hand with ensuring an environmentally sustainable and effective solution when it comes to cleaning.
One technology that has been available for many years is “microfibre” technology, which has become a byword for green, sustainable, and hygienic cleaning. However, you still need to ask the question – what are the ancillary products you are using with your microfibre cloth? And what quality of product do you have in your business – how clean is it, really?
It’s important to remember that there remain many myths and beliefs not backed by facts when it comes to green cleaning solutions. For instance, many people still use chemicals even with a system designed to be used without chemicals. At the other end of the spectrum, you get what you pay for – and selecting the cheapest provider with an inferior product won’t give you a better result with your cleaning solution that it will in any other walk of life.
So let’s start at the beginning.
What’s so hygienic and sustainable about Microfibre, and does it work without chemicals?
First of all, let’s start with the whole point of this technology from a green point of view. Good quality microfibre cloth is designed to be used without normal chemicals, to reduce the health and toxicity risk both to staff and customers, as well as to the environment. Obviously this does still depend on the quality of the product – poor quality cloths from low value providers will decay and deteriorate swiftly, and will then need to be disposed of.
So, how can we measure the success of a good quality microfibre cleaning system? Amongst the health, hygiene and environmental benefits are:
Lasting at least 500 washes
Reducing water-use, packaging waste and transportation
Using chemicals in the manufacturing and laundering stages only
Preventing skin irritations and respiratory problems
Removing surface contamination and preventing it from spreading while cleaning.
Lighter and more easy to use, strains for users should be lower
But, again, you do get what you pay for. Cheap products are likely to be lower value, and will fail to provide the environmentally friendly and hygienic cleaning solution you are seeking. As Rob Gordon, the environmental services manager who implemented microfibre technology at St Vincent’s Health Australia in Darlinghurst (Sydney), points out; “Microfibre out-performs any other cloth on the market, but it comes down to the quality you buy.”
Gordon also carefully controls the whole cleaning process: its supply, storage, training, handling, testing and maintenance. If we look at this as a cleaning life cycle, the manner in which you can consistently experience high quality cleaning hygienically and in a sustainable low impact way, you then need to ask your second question.
How do you manage change, and deal with the cost?
Much as you would not expect your 1996 Skoda to outperform a brand new Maserati in a speed or engine test, you would not expect the cheapest product on the market to compare to the performance of professional grade hygienic microfibre equipment. It is true that Microfibre equipment at this level can cost up to ten times as much as cheaper options.
When asked about this, Rob Gordon pointed out, these upfront costs become negated over time for a number of reasons. This includes the benefit of hygienic but extended durability, reduced expenditure on chemical purchase, storage, and disposal. In addition, if you conduct regular monitoring through extensive internal testing, professional grade microfibre products tools perform at peak for an average one and a half to two years, and are then transferred to administrative offices, thus extending its life-span.
Now, obviously this can vary from industry to industry. When used in an Aged Care setting, the application of microfibre cloths is largely restricted to environmental cleaning applications. However, with the addition of anti-bacterial nano-silver, disposable microfibre and/or steam equipment, microfibre methodologies are being tested successfully in some hospital clinical areas and infectious rooms, and anti bacterial cleaning through these services will only help to provide a safer, more hygienic and cleaner environment for staff and customers in all industries.
When you are considering this as a solution, though, as with so many other products and services that you can obtain, if you fail in training, you will fail. Not training your facilities or contract cleaning staff in how to use them will likely mean they will continue to “trust what they know “ – ultimately continuing to use chemicals, which negates the benefits you were hoping to achieve as well as destroying the professional microfibre products you have procured for the reason. The biggest success factor is the provision of a managed laundry service to ensure that your product is cleaned effectively, and to a high standard, in a way that provides sustainable hygiene and benefit.
One of the things people consider when they give an assessment of any particular establishment is the washroom.
For sure, you have labelled some places that you will never enter again because of the unkempt, smelly washrooms they have.
Yes, washrooms make up a big part of a person’s first impressions on your building… And this is even more so in restaurants.
Even if your dining area is sparkling clean but your washroom leaves a lot to be desired, that customer probably won’t be coming back. They might not be able to even eat the food they were in the middle of eating before having to go to the washroom.
It cannot be understated how restaurant washroom must be shiny clean and well-maintained at all times, or news will spread faster than a wildfire on social media, and you’ll have some bad rep on your brand. So to stop that, here are 3 ideas on how you can keep your washroom spotless.
You may want to consider providing paper towels
Most establishments use automatic hand dryers, some provide paper towels, and some provide both. The automatic hands-free hand dryer may be appealing, but it can be slow so some customers would prefer to use a paper towel instead.
This may be news to you, though. A research team recently discovered that there are 18 to 60 different bacterial colonies, not to mention fecal matter, are located on the surface under hand dryers (the part that catches water), in a study of 36 washrooms. Icky, right?
Paper towels, on the other hand, can dry hands and remove bacteria more effectively without any risk of airborne contamination. People can wipe their hands down, and all the bacteria and dirt go to the waste bin, where they belong.
If you want to provide paper towels instead of hand dryers, it’s also important to present them in a manner that can contribute to the clean atmosphere of the washroom. Look for well-designed and durable dispensers that can last for a long time.
Fresh & Clean’s hand care programs can be customised for your business’s specific needs. It’s a worthy investment, because Fresh & Clean would supply and refill your soaps, paper towels, and sanitisers!
Invest in new clog-reducing tech
People also have negative impressions on clogged toilets, and that eventually reduces the credibility of any food-related establishment.
Try to keep customers from spreading bad word about your restaurant’s washroom and your restaurant itself – simply by purchasing paper products that help reduce clogs.
Advanced biodegradable toilet paper, thanks to modern technology, now have the ability to eat away dirt inside pipes. It’s no rocket science, but the toilet paper releases dirt-cleaning enzymes that reproduce to multiply their cleaning effect. When they finish their job, they biodegrade and are flushed away without any residue or odour.
There are also paper towels that dissolve in water to effectively reduce clogging.
You can avoid expensive plumbing repairs and prevent your customers from being hassled by an out of order sign when they really have to use the toilet.
However, these cases still happen one way or another. Luckily for you, Fresh & Clean offers a managed washroom service that maintains every little detail in your washrooms. Running out of liquid soap? We got you. Overflowing sanitary bins? We have your back.
We can design a program that is tailored to your company’s specific needs.
Maintain a clean and reliable brand
If one part of your restaurant is dirty, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine that even the kitchen is also dirty. If they see a dirty washroom, they immediately lose trust in your brand, and that is a no-no. You do not want your restaurant’s reputation to be tarnished, do you?
We wouldn’t want that for you either, so here are some maintenance tips that you can use on your washrooms.
Stick to a regular cleaning schedule – Ensure consistent cleanliness by having your employees follow a regular routine. Specify what tasks need to be done on a daily basis, such as wiping surfaces and mopping floors, and conducting checks at the end of every business day.
Keep a record – log the time spent on important tasks like cleaning the toilets, the floor, etc. Let the employees sign off on the log when they finish their assigned tasks, including the time and date.
Implement a training program – through training can be provided by your managers so that what is expected of everyone is clear to all employees. Focus on the best practices and the way to use the equipment properly, ensuring that no detail is missed.
Restock cleaning supplies before running out – Fresh & Clean has you covered here because if you partner up with us, we’ll take care of your supplies regularly. Your washrooms will be fresh & clean every day. No pun intended
Cleanliness is next to godliness, so they say
We will keep beating on this because it is of utmost importance – a clean washroom is a must for any restaurant or establishment.
Keeping a high standard of cleanliness across your entire restaurant, and the epicentre of all the difficulty is the washroom. All the dirt, all the bacteria, all the icky stuff are there.
For a restaurant, it is a hassle to handle all of that, especially during the rush hours.
Worry not, however – The Fresh & Clean range of services ensures that your washrooms are clean, pleasant and safe places that provide peace of mind for you and your customers alike. It’s an awesome investment because we can take care of everything for you, including the nitty-gritties, leaving everything spick and span.
Call us up today and we’ll set up the perfect program for your restaurant – and give you a free month to start! Alternatively, you can click on the link below to learn more about Fresh & Clean’s services.
The average person spends 92,120 hours at work over their lifetime. That’s a massive figure. So, its a no-brainer that workplace safety needs to be improved constantly. And this can be achieved by raising awareness on the importance of hygiene in the workplace. The spread of illness will then be controlled, creating a healthier, happier workplace.
Get ready to learn the dirty truth about workplace hygiene.
So, let’s dig deeper and find out exactly what these dirty truths are. And once we’re done, why not share them with your team?
1. Germs Are Big Commuters
An involuntary respiratory convulsion, commonly referred to as a sneeze, can travel a distance of up to 10 metres from the source, averaging a speed of 40 kilometres per hour, which is about as fast as Usain Bolt!
Unfortunately, this split-second event poses a big threat to the overall hygiene and health of those in close proximity. Consequently, this calls for good hygiene measures. And you know what? Cleaning your hands with soap and warm water or a hand sanitiser is one easy way to help stop the spread of these “big commuters”.
Principally, hand cleaning should be done right after any contamination, be it a sneeze, a cough, or any other scenario where your hands come into contact with potential nasties.
2. Germs Love Moisture
Washing your hands alone isn’t sufficient to stop the spread of germs. Believe it or not, these little disease-causing microorganisms thrive best in warm and damp environments – like your clean but wet hands. But one thing’s for sure: drying your washed hands thoroughly will almost certainly prevent the spread of these germs. Only then will you have completed the hand hygiene process.
A Fresh & Clean hand dryer completely dries your hands in ten seconds. There are ‘no touch’ options, ensuring that germs are not passed on from touching contaminated surfaces.
3. Hand-to-Hand Contact Spreads Germs
How many hands have you held today? The fact of the matter is that many communicable diseases are spread through touch. Be it a simple greeting or holding hands with a loved one, germs can be transmitted.
We can’t be sure how many people stick to the routine of cleaning their hands in scenarios such as:
In the workplace, common touch points, including door handles, can harbour a lot of harmful germs and bacteria. The simple truth is hundreds have probably grabbed those handles since they were last cleaned. Here’s something else to keep in mind: bathroom surfaces can harbour up to one million bacteria per square centimetre. No joke.
The good news is that you can opt for a smart and hassle-free approach to your workplace health and hygiene. How? Just get Fresh & Clean to help you keep these workplace areas sanitary.
5. You can Sanitise Hands in Just 30 Seconds
You only need 30 seconds to eliminate the cycle of infection. That’s right, just half a minute will do the trick. A good quality antibacterial hand sanitiser will kill 99.9% germs in that time. And along with killing all germs, a hand sanitiser also leaves your hands cleaner and softer.
Be warned that infectious bacteria can live on a surface for up to 48 hours. Luckily, eliminating these bacteria takes just seconds. So, encourage everyone in the office to practise hand hygiene.
6. A Single Sneeze can Launch Bacteria and Viruses
Remember how your parents always insisted that you should cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze? And wash your hands right after? And that by doing so, you’d prevent the spread of illness-causing germs? Well, it turns out they were right all along.
All you have to do each time you sneeze, whether into your hands or a tissue, is to remember to wash your hands right afterwards with warm water and soap. By washing these germs away, you’ll stop them in their tracks.
Here’s something you probably don’t know: “The longest sneezing fit ever recorded is that of Donna Griffiths (UK, b. 1969) who started sneezing on 13 January 1981 and surpassed the previous duration record of 194 days on 26 July 1981. She sneezed an estimated one million times in the first 365 days and achieved her first sneeze-free day on 16 September 1983 – the 977th day.”- Guinness World Records
7. Airborne Germs are the Most Resilient
Did you know that airborne germs and molecules are the most resilient? You can reduce their flight by always binning your trash. Stop the spread of airborne germs and odours by properly binning nappies, sanitary towels, tissues and other disposables.
A suitable sanitary bin should have a lift-flap mechanism that requires minimal contact. This ensures optimal hygiene. Better yet, it should have an anti-bacterial liner which kills 99.99 % of the germs. Which is precisely why Fresh & Clean sanitary bins have just that.
So there you have it, the seven dirty truths about workplace hygiene. Now that we’ve got that straight, why not go ahead and share these truths?
For a delightfully fresh and sparkling clean workplace, contact Alsco’s Fresh & Clean service. It’s convenient, hygienic and affordable. Get in touch today.
Yet, you might be wondering: How do I find my hobby or passion?
It’s not an easy pursuit, we’ll give you that. But it’s worth giving it a shot. It can give you a fresh perspective and fire you up for achievements you wouldn’t have dreamt of before.
Below are 6 straightforward steps that will help you get there.
1. Rummage Through Your Childhood Memories to Retrieve a Hobby You Love
You’ve given it a go, tried a few hobbies on and off but nothing seems to stick. By now, you’re sick and tired of ventures going wrong or those that ended before they started.
Finally, you’ve officially diagnosed yourself as one of those ‘struggling to find a hobby’ people. And that’s about where your pursuit concluded.
Think about the hobbies that made you tick before adulthood.
When you were a child, what were your absolute favourite activities? Do a little ‘time-machine travel’ and hopefully, you’ll be able to rekindle the joy you once felt when engaging in these activities.
If you were constantly mistaking a deodorant or any tube-shaped object for a microphone, then you might want to try joining a choir or taking up singing lessons.
If you were systematically pestering your parents to watch every single one of your ‘evening shows’, you should think about checking out a local acting troupe.
If your parents were desperate about having to paint the walls every single year because you used them for your creative outlet, joining an art class might be your thing.
Just browse through your memories, and you’ll most likely find some inspiration.
2. Transform Your Everyday Passions Into a Hobby
Now, if you’re still in the dark and have no idea which hobby to pursue, here’s another idea. Think about the regular activities that take up your usual leisure time.
Shortlist them on a piece of paper and decide on a priority order. It can be your favourite pastime or just something you do to unwind after a long day at work.
Leverage the potential of these activities to make you a happy and fulfilled individual. Identify them and turn them into a full-fledged hobby.
Analyse how you love to spend your time and then tweak the activity a little bit to make it fit into a hobby category.
Nothing relaxes you more than prepping dinner for your friends? Why not sign up for a Japanese cooking class, for instance.
Do you grab each and every opportunity to go hiking? Join a local mountaineering club.
Are you a film freak reciting one-liners right off the top of your head? Sign up for a local creative writing group.
Is your most favourite activity caring for your pet? Think about volunteering for an animal rescue team.
You relish watching dance shows and keep raving about their performance for days? Signing up for dance classes might be a great fit for you.
See how simple it is? Before you know it, you’ll have a well-thought-out strategy to help you find that hobby that will blow your mind.
3. Put Yourself To the Test – Find a Hobby That Suits You
So far we’ve been focusing on hobby ideas that are sort of already available to you. Either ideas from your childhood or those you filter out from more mundane activities.
Another great tool that can help you wrap your head around what your future hobbymight be is to complete a personality assessment.
So, if you’ve been asking yourself “How do I pick up new hobbies?”, this method will hopefully get you a straightforward answer.
A personality assessment can help you figure out a hobby that resonates with your personality.
Yes, you can come up with something that wasn’t on your radar at all. That’s exactly what you’ve been hoping for? Great! Now, let’s dive right in and look at the personality tests you can take:
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This test will help you figure out your personality type. To illustrate, a passionate, social and altruistic ENFJ type can size up volunteering for a cause. And a more logic INTP type can take up learning to programme on their off-hour.
‘Who Am I?’ This personality assessment abandons the traditional question-answer form. To complete the test you are required to pick between a set of pictures that will ultimately say a lot about you. Use these insights to figure out a hobby that suits you.
These targeted hobby tests can also fast-track your quest of finding a hobby that will be a perfect fit.
Running this simple test can get you on track to your true passion. Just answer the questions honestly:
“What would I preferably be doing if I never ever had to think about money again?”
“What topic could I read hundreds of books about without getting jaded?”
“Which non-monetised activity could I do for five years with no track of time?”
4. Conduct Field Research to Narrow Down Your Possibilities
Similarly, you can do a little field research that will get you closer to a hobby that you’ll relish every minute of.
A simple walk around a book or crafts store can get you on the right track.
Too many ideas popping up in your head? This ‘visual research’ can help you narrow down the possibilities. Take a writing pad with you and take notes.
How you act in a department store is a tell-tale sign of your unrecognised passions. It’s easy to crack the code.
5. You’re a Desperate Workaholic? A Productive Hobby Might Be Your Thing
Do you happen to be one of those people that are always on the go? The ones that find it hard to focus on anything that goes beyond their list of daily to-do tasks?
If an activity has no purpose, then why pursue it, right? Well, not exactly.
If you keep yourself constantly on high alert, you’re running the risk of finding your energy downright depleted when push comes to shove. And the last thing you want is your energy abandoning you when you need it most, don’t you agree?
People from all walks of life need at least some sort of downtime occasionally. You need something to help you manage your daily cognitive load so you spare yourself an eventual burnout.
Starting a productive hobby will make you better at your work. To give you an idea, taking improvisation classes can enhance your managerial and interpersonal skills.
It can make you better at coming up with ideas on the go. And make you the most suitable candidate for making in-house presentations at your company.
To top it off, exploring and diving into productive hobbies can help you come up with ideas for potential future businesses.
6. Try Random Hobbies Until It Feels Right
Finally, if you’re still clueless about what hobby could be a good fit, it’s perfectly legit to get random with your search. Go test the waters, try out any random idea that sounds like it could be up your alley.
It might be the best way to see what works for you. Take the plunge and see how it feels. If it feels wrong, forget about it and forge ahead.
To begin, create your personal list by writing down ideas off the top of your head. Think of anything that gets you going — whether it’s scuba diving, decoupage or garage sale-ing. Then go for it.
Then again, it doesn’t have to be a hobby in a conventional sense at all. Probe into real life experience and find whatever suits you. If it’s becoming an Airbnb host then so be it.
Below are some more ideas for experiential ways to find a hobby you love:
Join clubs, organisations or groups
Sign up to Meetup.com to explore new interests and join local groups in interesting initiatives.
Join discussions and explore possibilities within a group of like-minded people online.
Over to You
In a nutshell, taking up a hobby is not only an ideal way for busy professionals to relax. It’s also a useful tool to gain a diverse set of skillsand knowledge that will step-up both your personal and professional life.
At this point, Millennials make up almost 50% of the workforce. By 2025, Millennials will make up to 75% of all employees. If you still plan on running a successful business then, you need to find a way to make your Millennial workforce happy.
There is a common misconception among employers of the earlier generations that Millennials can be hard to please and that they are unmotivated. However, the truth is a little different.
The generation gap is a common issue and it has been for a long time. So, what is the problem today? It seems that the generation gap is larger due to the increased tempo of our lives.
When everyday life for the younger generation is so drastically different than it is for the older generation, misunderstandings are inevitable. Their values, desires, motivation and life goals are different, so some friction between them is bound to occur.
To make things more complicated, it seems that the parents of the Millennial generation have much more in common with their parents than with their children. To some degree, it can be said that Millennials are misunderstood.
If you want a happy and productive workplace, you should definitely make an effort to understand your growing workforce. For starters, you will need to provide a healthy, green and hygienic workplace. Here are some ways to keep your Millennial workforce happy.
Nurture A Positive Work Environment
This doesn’t mean that you need to have video games and beanbags all around your workplace. However, it does mean that you need to consider the relationships within your workplace and the way your employees feel.
A positive working environment involves respectful and timely communication, acknowledging your employees strengths and where there is room for improvement. It also involves healthy leadership and humane working conditions. Avoid putting unnecessary pressure and stress on your employees as much as possible.
Provide Frequent and Regular Feedback
Providing regular feedback on the work your Millennial employees are doing is, for them, a natural part of a positive work environment. They expect it. Generic, quarterly reviews just won’t do anymore.
This doesn’t imply micro-management. Just a simple little question about their project and a helpful word or two of feedback will be much appreciated. Your employees will understand that you care about what they do and they will reciprocate by being more involved with your company. It’s a win-win situation.
Make a Real Difference
If there is something the younger generations are eager about, it’s making a difference. Get involved in both local and global charities and movements. For example, you can make a real impact by going green. There are so many opportunities to do this type of work. Here are some examples:
Use every opportunity to recycle.
Replace electronic devices with energy-saving alternatives.
Offer incentives for your employees to organise carpooling.
Use environmentally friendly ways to clean your car parts if you run an automotive shop.
Buy your supplies in bulk.
Partner up with sustainable and socially responsible companies, like Alsco Australia.
Another way to make a difference is to get involved in global and local charities. You can organise events and fundraisers yourself. Even raising enough funds to buy equipment for the local children’s playground can be enough, as long as it’s making a positive impact on society.
Millennials are digital natives. This means that they don’t understand a world without the internet and mobile devices. A big part of their lives is online, so don’t underestimate new technologies and the importance of these in your employees’ lives.
It is quite easy to judge and to tell nostalgic stories about the old days when people only talked face to face and all business had to be conducted in person. The times have changed and those days are gone. That’s the truth. The world of digital natives is here and learning what’s involved is a matter of business survival.
This doesn’t mean that all your meetings should now be over Skype. It only means that you should not dismiss the input of your Millennial employees when it comes to technology. Take the time to listen to them and implement some of the advice they give you. If anything, it will give you a head start over other companies.
Offer Training and Professional Development Opportunities
There are some big companies that can afford to put some of their employees through their MA studies. You don’t have to go that far. It is enough to offer training and professional development opportunities that can help your employees advance in their careers and even enrich their lives.
Why not conduct a survey among your employees and see what sort of training opportunities they are interested in. Here are some suggestions that you may want to offer:
Nobody wants to be stuck on an entry position job. People want to advance, and that usually involves being in some sort of management position. Your employees will rarely have experience in leading others and this training will be invaluable to them.
Everybody knows how to communicate, right? Well, not really. Communication skills improve the workplace environment and make businesses successful and more productive.
Learning a foreign language can be very fun. Almost everybody has a language that they would love to learn. If you offer this as training, it may become one of the favourite training programs among your employees.
First Aid Classes
When you ask your employees to pick training options they would like, not many of them will list Managed First Aid Training. However, if you offer this type of training in a list of possible options, a lot of people will opt for it.
People know that First Aid is something everybody should learn. It could mean the difference between life and death for somebody they know or love. Therefore, as a part of safety improvement in your workplace, this type of training should be included in your schedule.
Alsco Australia has years of experience in providing such training to different companies. We offer Managed First Aid Training which means we don’t just come over and teach your employees CPR. We will adjust our training to match the needs and disaster plan of your company.
We will remind you when your First Aid Certificates are about to expire and we will also train any new staff that you hire. There are many more advantages to using Alsco’s Managed Training.
Truth is, most of us are in the dark about who we really are.
Yet, for instance, our personality type will determine what hobby we’ll choose and whether we’re going to have a blast at an office holiday party or be counting down the minutes until it’s time to head home.
Personality tests are used to help you shed light on your personality traits, your values and work preferences. But are personality tests reliable?
Simine Vazire, a personality researcher at the University of California, Davis says we should be cautious here.
“Until we test the assessments scientifically we can’t tell the difference between that and pseudoscience like astrology.”
However, we have found some well-designed, standardised assessments that will actually help you understand yourself better.
They can aid you in your personal life, but can also help you weed out what job roles suit your personality type.
And as Aristotle once said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of wisdom.” So, learn what makes you tick, then head straight for a more successful and rewarding life.
We’ve trawled the internet to find these free personality tests.
Personality Tests To Help you Hack Your Personality Type
Choose general personality tests when you want to learn about every aspect of your personality in a single shot.
Ready to decipher your personality type? Let’s get to it.
Care to learn whether you have what it takes to make it as an Advertising Sales Person or a Market Research Analyst? Or any other job position for that matter?
The 16 Personalities test can help get you a straightforward answer to this question. Translated into 30 languages, this widely used personality test has been used by 50 million people globally.
Based on Carl Gustav Jung’s study of psychological traits and the famous Myers-Briggs test, it looks at your personality through the lens of the following 5 personality aspects: mind, energy, nature, tactics, and identity.
Whether you’re a natural “people person” or you relish the idea of a quiet home retreat, this test will show you how you deal with any interpersonal problems that plague you.
We’ve all been there. We all know how it can sometimes be hard to develop a good rapport with people around us. Turns out being successful with people is more about the heart than brains.
“Emotional quotient is more important for one’s success than the Intelligence quotient” ― Gunjan Bugde
The IHHP test is a list of short, on point questions on how you navigate your personal and professional relationships. As well as how EQ smart you are in certain real-life situations.
Intelligence Tests To Measure Your Intellectual Capacity
Some of you may have mustered the courage and already taken a traditional, standardised IQ test. Others may be dismissive of the concept altogether, sceptical about whether they are truly reliable.
Science has had its doubts, too. But finally, psychologists have reached a consensus that existing IQ tests measure only one aspect of intelligence. Namely, they “grossly oversimplify the abilities of the human brain.”
To illustrate, they fully exclude skills such as social understanding, creativity and other acquired skills.
Still, an IQ test can teach you about your general cognitive problem-solving skills. And that’s good to know.
Ready to dive into the workings of your mind? Let’s get straight to it.
Who wants to join Mensa? This oldest and most prestigious IQ society offers official culture-fair tests that are “designed to measure intelligence without the influence of cultural climate, level of education or verbal fluency… are non-verbal and require only that candidates be able to distinguish relationships in figures and shapes.”
So, if you’re up for some mental gymnastics to keep intellectually fit while keeping up with your professional development, then these tests may be just the ticket for you.
Things to note:
You have a half an hour limit to answer 30 questions.
After you’ve submitted your answers, you get access to answers and discussion.
However, the 30-minute time limit won’t affect your final score.
The brainchild of PhD researchers, this professional-grade IQ assessment is a careful collection of brain teasers that will help you ascertain your IQ score. And not only that. The test will give you an insight into your right and left brain abilities.
Importantly, the researchers leave a glimpse of hope even for those that score lower than they expected.
Namely, they’ve discovered that human fluid intelligence can be built, just like our bodily muscles can.
But it gets better. There’s an online brain game that can help you build up your fluid intelligence. And it’s backed up by scientific research! It’s worth a crack, right?
This free IQ Test is a premium psychometric exam that will give you a clear picture of how well you connect the dots. What you get in the end are instant PhD-certified results.
This 43-question test will look at your cognitive performance from several different angles. Anything starting from word analysis all the way up to spatial reasoning.
This test is a great way to reveal your intellectual potential. But not your motivation to succeed; it’s your call to determine where you’ll take your ambition.
Job Personality Tests To Help You Along the Right Career Path
Keen to explore your career options? Want to explore your inherent skills and find ways to level them up? Keep on reading.
There are plenty of career self-assessment tools online that can help you find a job that matches your personality type.
Additionally, recruitment managers are increasingly using pre-employment testing to screen job candidates. Want to be prepared? Take these online pre-employment tests.
According to a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Mercer, 67 per cent of HR professionals are using personality tests and pre-employment testing to vet candidates in the hiring process.
We’ve collated some of the best free job personality tests for you.
“Having a job that is at least an 80th percentile fit for who you are is crucial to people’s health and happiness – to what makes humans human.”
How good is your current match?
What sets this job personality test apart from others is that it gauges both your interest and skill level. And with this knowledge at hand, you can make a more in-depth assessment of how successful you’d be in a job.
The test walks you through a broad range of career situations and then presents you with several options for your ultimate career.
Finally, O*NET Interest Profiler can give you an idea of what careers you might want to explore. It’s administered by the United States Department of Labor and is based on John Holland’s RIASEC model, too.
The 60-question test analyses an individual’s vocational interests and how this relates to real-life careers.
Moreover, test results list clustered careers related to their respective interests. They are further broken down into five job zones that require different levels of preparation for a given job.
To top it off, the website offers extensive career information such as skill descriptions and salary information.
Grab the Reins of Your Personal and Professional Life
And we can help. Here at Alsco, our mission is to help businesses just like yours across the country to attain a better, healthier and more sustainable Australia. One where people are happy to go to work and feel productive, valued and healthy.
As individuals we all need to know why we’re doing what we’re doing.
But it’s far from easy to navigate a fulfilling, productive career. You need to stay on top of your industry trends, understand your needs and motivation and those around you.
Whatever your next move might be, it’s best to arm yourself with knowledge before you take the plunge.
There’s plenty of opportunity for this in the above tests. Take your pick and happy testing!