Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It's Flu Season: How To Keep Your Office Clean

Cold and flu season is that time of year where you become increasingly fearful of close-talkers and those who refuse to cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze. It is especially a fearful time for those that work in close proximity to large amounts of other people.

Keeping your office clean is one of the best ways to deter the cold or flu from taking over your staff. Here are some of the best tips for cleaning and providing for your employees so that they can avoid getting sick:

Hand Washing
Washing your hands is an obvious way to avoid germs. Encouraging your employees to do so is another story. 

While you can’t force your employees to wash their hands, unless you work in a business where they would be handling food, you can set up ways to encourage them to do so. Simple reminders in the bathroom with some fun stats about the correlation between germs exchanging hands is one way to do it.

During the cold and flu season it is imperative that you keep the soap dispenser stocked. Top it off every day if you need.

Hand Sanitizers
Another way to help keep your office clean from the onslaught of cold and flu germs is to provide hand sanitizers to each individual employee, as well as in high traffic, high contact areas. 

Providing each employee with a hand sanitizer at their desk makes it easy for them to cleanse their hands every so often. With it so conveniently located, they will be more willing to take part in disinfecting their hands routinely.

Areas such as the kitchens, conference rooms, and building entrances should all have hand sanitizing stations. These shared areas are the most likely places to spread germs and bacteria. Offering employees a chance to disinfect will help to create a much more sanitized work environment.

Another item to provide each employee is tissues. This allows your employees to cough and sneeze into something other than their hands or shirt. You will be less hesitant to shake someone’s hand if you know they are armed with hand sanitizer and tissues.

Go Disposable
Another easy way to keep your office clean of germs is to substitute your kitchen area’s eatery with disposables. If your office uses shared coffee mugs, plates, bowls, silverware, and glasses, you run a higher risk of spreading germs. Even if you intend on cleaning all of the silverware and coffee mugs, there is still a chance that one slips by and spreads germs to the rest of the office.

Providing disposable plates, cups, utensils, and coffee cups will help ensure that only one employee is using the item. At first glance this may not seem like the most economical decision for your business. After all, you are purchasing items that are going to be disposed after one use. However, having healthy working employees, is actually a better use of your money than a large percentage of employees taking sick days.

Spray/Disinfect Germ Areas
One of the most important things you can do for you office, is have it cleaned and disinfected. This means wiping down and disinfecting every working area including employee desks, conference rooms, kitchen tables, and more.

By disinfecting workspaces, you are providing each employee with a fresh working area after every cleaning. It is not ideal to have employees working at workspaces that have not been disinfected, especially during this season.

Shared spaces are equally, if not more important, to disinfect. This is where most of the hand-to-hand contact will occur. Make sure that the conference room, kitchen tables, and lounge areas are all disinfected properly.

Clean Objects
Finally, you should also have objects cleaned and disinfected. Employees’ hands are the main cause for the spread of germs. Unfortunately, they literally touch everything in their workspace. 

Keyboards, mice, phones, pens, headsets, and more all contribute to the spread of germs. You or your cleaning company should take the extra effort to disinfect each of these items during the cleaning process.

Common areas such as the conference room have objects such as remotes and phones that should also be cleaned off. In the kitchen, the microwave buttons, fridge handles, toaster, and coffee pot should all be disinfected regularly.

Andrew Fujii is a marketing professional with expertise in digital/web and content marketing. He is also a copywriter for multiple agencies producing copy for blogs, articles, websites, product packaging, mobile apps, and more.

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