How To Keep Your Office Health This Flu Season

How To Keep Your Office Health This Flu Season

Flu Season & You: How To Keep Your Office Health This Flu Season

 

In 2018 alone, experts estimated that the flu cost employers $9 billion in paid sick time. That’s A LOT of money, not to mention the lack of productivity that the company experiences when someone is out sick. Sure, it’s great to get a day off, but wouldn’t you rather be off enjoying your day than taking a paid day off to fight the flu? 

 

As we approach the heavy flu season in the winter, it’s more important than ever before to keep your office clean. Think about it: we spend nearly half our day at our place of employment, and if just ONE person is sick it could affect everyone in the space. But, what if there was a better way? We just happen to know that better way and it starts with quality commercial cleaning.

 

Wait a second!  “You’re telling me that a commercial cleaning company can help my team stay healthy, productive, and helping the company out all flu season long?” 

 

That’s exactly what we’re telling you!

 

5 Ways You Can Keep Your Office Healthy This Flu Season

 

  1. Clean AND Sanitize. You can hire a cleaning company to come vacuum and empty trash and all of the basics, but when it comes to the flu virus and other illnesses, sanitizing is crucial. You need a commercial cleaning company who is focused on both and knows a thing or two about it. We’re certified to clean medical facilities, as well as Hazcom Certified and ProBloodBorne Certified. While you may not need these certifications for your own space, the fact that our teams know that level of clean and high standards tells you that we know how to get a space not just looking clean, but sanitized as well!
  2. Consistency. New people come in and out of your office each day, and so do the germs. Consistency is key when it comes to keeping your space healthy all flu season long. The best way to prevent an office-wide outbreak of the flu or other major illness is to have a regular pattern of cleaning focused on killing these germs. One and done is not going to cut it here! You’ve got to stay on it. 
  3. Encourage Healthy Work Habits. If someone is sick or worried they are sick, do you have the right remote working options in place to help keep the rest of your team healthy? Could you encourage that staff member to work remote or take the day off when they need to? Team cultures that encourage staff to come to work sick, will ultimately make the rest of the team sick. A more flexible approach during flu season could be the one policy that helps prevent a major outbreak.
  4. Make it Simple to Stay Clean. Keep hand sanitizer and soap easy to use. Encourage staff to wash their hands regularly. Simple reminders can help staff keep healthy habits and prevent the spreading of germs. 
  5. Focus on the Positive. So much about the flu season is centered around the fear of getting sick, but what if you also promote overall wellness? Encourage healthy eating habits and exercise. Encourage activities that foster a healthy immune system. Then, when a virus does make its way into your space, your team is healthier and can fight it faster. 

You can’t fully prevent the flu from making its way into your office space, but you can do a few smart things to prevent your entire office from getting infected. We’re here to help and can be a wonderful resource for your team as you enter flu season!

Psychology of Clean

Psychology of Cleanliness: What does it do for your company?

Wondering how cleanliness affects your bottom line? Sure, having a clean space can be a nice luxury for some, or feel like a basic standard service you might do for your business, but an asset? Many businesses don’t necessarily attribute cleaning to their success…but they should!  

Here are a few ways cleanliness sends psychological signals:

Sell Yourself in an Instant

Research showed that the first “taste” of a food is actually done with the eyes; the appearance of the food is one of the first purchase considerations. If so much happens with just a quick glance, consider what people are seeing when they come into your space. Are you selling yourself short with a subpar space? Or, are you wowing your customers and clients in an instant with a clean space that helps you look polished, put-together, and confident?

Devil in the Details

Some people may notice that you haven’t done a deep clean of your office in a while, but trust us, many people will. They DO notice when something is off and when they can see that a spot on your front desk has been building up dust for months. You may forget that tiny spot, but one quick glance tells your customers that you don’t pay attention to details. So, who cares? Does that subconscious signal mean that much? Well, if you’re a doctor, for example, and precision counts because someone’s life is on the line, it should matter. If you are being trusted with any level of care for your customer, patient, or client, you should care about the details. 

Productive

It’s no secret that a tidy space is a productive space. Think about the last time you misplaced your keys. (For some of us, this happens daily!) But seriously…how much time did you waste searching around your house looking for that item. Now, let’s multiply that by how many employees you have in your office. If your space is cluttered, dirty, and distracting, you probably are wasting valuable resources and money on an unproductive team. Might as well throw those dollar bills out into the wind!

Confidence

Clean spaces not only showcase your company as one that has your s$@% together, but they also help you personally walk with confidence too. When your space is clean, fresh, and organized, it’s easy to do what you need to do each day. You can focus on YOUR expertise, and not stress about the state of your physical space. You can interact and touch the surfaces in your space with confidence that they are clean and sanitary and that you aren’t breathing in the fumes from toxic cleaners. It’s simply one less stressor to knock your confidence in the day. So, now you can go roll with the punches your day brings! 

Ultimately a clean space helps you focus on what you do best…whatever that may be. You can walk in each day, knowing that your company can rock it. And, your customers and clients can walk in each day, knowing that your company can take care of their needs. No questions asked. So, is cleaning JUST a service that helps you maintain your space? Sure. Commercial cleaning can be just that, BUT it can also be a huge asset to your business that you never even considered before!

Office Cleanliness: The Nasty Truth

Commercial Cleaning For Offices

Germs are often out of sight, out of mind! If you don’t see them, then they don’t exist, right? Wrong! You may only start thinking about them when you learn that someone else is sick or you have a good reason to avoid sickness. The reality is that germs surround us daily, but you might be surprised at just where those germs are lurking – especially around the office.

Your place of employment is where you spend a large chunk of your life. However, many times we don’t have a say in the type of cleaning standards in our offices or public spaces, and these are the locations where more germs can spread than any other place. Over time, as we become more comfortable with our daily surroundings, we can get comfortable with the standard of “clean” we experience and may not even realize that we are actually dealing with a downright dirty situation. 

So, where ARE the germs hiding? 

What’s the dirty truth on how clean your space is? 

Here are the top hot spots to watch out for:

  1. Cell Phone:   A US study has found that on average phones are the most contaminated item in the office. Dr Charles P Gerba from the University of Arizona, found over 25,000 organisms per surface.[1] Your phone typically goes with you everywhere these days, so take care to wipe it down from time to time!
  2. Desktop Items:  Similar studies to the University of Arizona study found that most items on a desk are seven times more contaminated than other items like a toilet seat. Consider the last time you cleaned your desktop items compared to how often a toilet gets cleaned.
  3. Communal Refrigerators:  These are another huge culprit! Not only are these a hotbed of germs because of the food that could go bad, but you have so many different food containers coming together in one space. Watch the temperatures in your fridge to make sure they’re keeping food cold enough and at safe levels. Don’t forget, too, that the handles of the fridge and freezer are handled multiple times a day by most people in the office!
  4. Keyboard & Mouse:  One study by Gerber found more than 3,000 micro-organisms per square inch on keyboards and over 1,600 bacteria per square inch on a computer mouse.  If you share a workspace, it’s especially important to know this stat and to keep these surfaces on the cleaning checklist!  
  5. Door Handles: Think about all of the employees, customers, and other guests who come in and out of your office space. There are thousands of opportunities for germs to come in contact with a surface daily! Often we’re moving too fast to even think about it!
  6. Phones: If you use any desk phones, keep in mind that mouths come in close contact with the phone surface at every use. When it’s a public or shared phone in an office space, it’s an even bigger risk for germ spreading!
  7. Photocopier: The photocopier and other shared pieces of equipment (fax machines, printers, etc.) are popular places for germs to congregate as well! So many buttons to press, so little time, and so many germs to collect! The fact is that we’re often coming to these devices so fast that we forget that so many others have touched the buttons and surfaces in a rush just like we’re doing. It’s an easy place to spread germs.

The Dirty Truth:  Your Space is Dirtier Than You Think!

There’s no need to jump into a bubble suit everyday for work, but a few smart cleaning strategies can help make your office environment a safer, cleaner, and healthier one for all! Commercial cleaning services like ours at AK Building Services are able to come in and not just take care of the obvious things like trash cans and vacuuming, but go beyond just looks to get at the true problem spots. We take a meticulous approach to commercial cleaning services, making spaces look great, but also with less germs too! 

You want the dirty truth? If your commercial cleaning service isn’t paying attention to these problem zones we just mentioned, they really aren’t cleaning your space!

The Benefits of Contracting Medical Facility Cleaning Services

There are unique challenges associated with cleaning a medical facility. It’s unlike any other type of business for many different reasons. The primary reason is that people that enter medical facilities for healthcare services are usually sick, which makes it much more important to keep the facility clean. Another key reason is that not cleaning a medical facility could create a public health issue. Medical cleaning services are tremendously beneficial for all of the reasons listed below.

Satisfy Safety Regulations

The medical community must abide by many different safety regulations in order to maintain licensure and avoid fines. Many of those regulations involve compliance with cleaning procedures that vary from one type of facility to another. This means administrators must understand relevant laws and incorporate strict cleaning practices to accommodate those laws. A cleaning service with knowledge of the medical community will understand these requirements and ensure compliance. You can visit https://www.akbuildingservices.com/ to learn more about how they can support your team.

Maintain a Clean Appearance

Walking into a facility that isn’t clean when you require medical care is an uncomfortable situation. There have been reports of medical facilities that were in clear violation of the law, which was visible as soon as you enter the building. Not only can it result in violations and fines, but serious issues can also lead to the closure of a facility if the problems are not resolved promptly. The reason why maintaining a clean appearance can be tricky is because a lot of medical facilities are open around the clock, which means there needs to be a cleaning staff available at all times.

A cleaning service that understands the unique attributes of a medical facility will be familiar with required protocols for cleaning waiting areas, exam rooms, bathrooms, and other spaces. One of the most important reasons why a cleaning service with experience in the medical industry is important is because they will be familiar with the requirements for handling hazardous materials. This isn’t just important for the safety of patients, but also for the protection of healthcare professionals. In fact, there have been incidents where hospital employees were exposed to hazardous materials which created serious issues for everyone involved.

Prevent the Possibility of Cross Contamination

There’s a reason why doctors wash their hands so frequently before performing surgery. It’s because they have to prevent cross-contamination. It’s also the reason why hospitals and other medical facilities have such strict rules for how things are cleaned. It’s not like cleaning any other facility because doing things in the wrong order can result in contaminating something that has already been cleaned. This is a scenario that ends up jeopardizing the health of everyone around. There are rules and best practices for preventing cross-contamination in healthcare and a cleaning service with expertise in the medical industry will understand the right procedures and follow the best practices. You can get specific information by using the “contact us” information on the service provider’s website.

Ensure Bloodborne Pathogens are Not Transferred

Contamination from bloodborne pathogens is a serious issue that requires specialized knowledge to prevent infection. There are guidelines and rules for cleaning rooms in a way that will prevent exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Specifically, you’ll need to be familiar with methods for decontamination and make sure proper procedures are not only followed but documented. Given the seriousness of bloodborne pathogens and the importance of keeping a medical facility clean, it makes business sense to secure the services of knowledgeable professionals.

Prevent the Illness of Personnel

Without a doubt, the overarching reason why it’s so important to have a knowledgeable and effective cleaning team is to prevent illness in a place where there may be many contagious diseases. This includes preventing personnel from getting sick. Many healthcare professionals discuss how sometimes it’s difficult to avoid getting sick during flu season because the number of patients with the flu rises. However, there are many illnesses that can be prevented by keeping the facility clean.

As detailed above, a professional cleaning service can help a medical facility in many different ways. In addition to what has already been detailed, they can also ensure the right chemicals are used for the purpose of controlling infections and preventing illness. There are many antibacterial cleaners, but not all of them are effective. A knowledgeable cleaning crew will take the guesswork out of what products should be used and the procedures that should be followed.

What is Included in Office Cleaning Services?

Having a clean office is not optional. In fact, it’s important for the protection of both employees and customers. It’s the reason why companies must have either a maintenance team or a contracted cleaning service. Just like it’s difficult to keep up with cleaning your home, it’s not easy to keep up with cleaning an office, especially when you have a large staff or a lot of in-person customers. The value of office cleaning services becomes evident after the first cleaning if you choose the right company. Below are examples of what you can expect from professional cleaners.

Daily Cleaning

There are many different ways to set up a cleaning contract. However, most businesses require daily cleaning, even if it’s just basic. If you choose daily cleaning, you can expect the crew to vacuum carpets, mop hard floors, disinfect countertops, clean glass and windows, and empty trash cans. The good thing about cleaning services is that you can decide what you want to be done. If you have unique needs that are unlike most offices, you can write that into the contract. For instance, a daycare center or a gym might require a more extensive amount of disinfecting.

Weekly Cleaning

The purpose of weekly cleaning is to have an office cleaned more thoroughly than it is on a daily basis. This might include buffing hard floors instead of just sweeping and mopping them. It might also include using glass cleaner to ensure all windows are free of streaks, instead of just cleaning them on a surface level. Weekly cleaning might also include the outside surface of windows. If you have wood surfaces in your office, weekly cleaning might involve polishing the wood instead of just removing dust. In the event that you need additional work, you can find the ‘contact us’ information for your service provider and place a special request or adjust your contract.

Sanitized Areas

There is a long list of reasons why certain areas of an office must be sanitized as part of standard practice. The bathroom is definitely included in that area and you might want to add the kitchen as well. Failure to sanitize your office can lead to a buildup of germs and bacteria, which can cause your employees to get sick more frequently. In other words, not sanitizing your office can cost you money in lost productivity from sick time. Another important consideration is that a dirty office can create a problem with morale because employees can start to feel undervalued and unappreciated. There’s an expectation that an office is thoroughly cleaned. It’s the reason why many building owners choose AK Building Services.

Other Responsibilities

As previously mentioned, the tasks a cleaning service might perform can be adjusted based on your needs. However, some of the more standard responsibilities that you can add include replacing hand soap and toilet tissue in the restroom as well as paper towels in the kitchen. You might also want them to wipe down walls in certain rooms, such as the restrooms, to make sure there are no splash marks. They can also dust tall cabinets to improve the air quality in your office. Other areas that might need to be cleaned are the elevators and stairs. If you have an executive office, a greater amount of cleaning might be required.

Some companies might be tempted to have their internal maintenance crew handle all cleaning responsibilities. However, that’s not always the best option. Sometimes it’s better to have the internal maintenance team handle basic functions while the contracted cleaning crew takes care of deeper cleaning that’s performed once a week or on a monthly basis. The best way to determine what you need is by taking a look at your office to pinpoint where things are not up to par and decide what can be added to the job description of the internal maintenance team and what should be handled by the contracted maintenance crew.

If you’re concerned about the maintenance crew interfering with your workday, you don’t have to be concerned. Contracted cleaning teams are usually invisible because they perform all of the work after normal business hours. This means you’ll only know they were there because your office is clean. It’s the best way to make sure your company maintains a professional image while also keeping employees healthy and happy. It might also encourage employees to keep their personal space clean.