At this time of year, common colds and viruses, such as Norovirus, start to become more prevalent. In an office environment, it is all too easy for these type of illnesses to spread amongst staff, leading to more days lost through sickness. According to one study, 71% of workers believe that dirty office spaces have made them ill in the past.
Although no one can claim to eradicate minor illnesses such as coughs and colds completely, there are measures that can be taken to prevent the spread amongst a population, such as within an office.
As professional cleaners, our staff are well trained in the best infection control measures. This usually takes the form of regular and thorough cleaning and sanitisation of common areas, and the replenishment of washroom and hand washing consumables. But we cannot be there to clean a door handle every time it is touched, so education and workplace culture are other key ways to help reduce instances of staff sickness.
Employers should encourage staff to stay at home when they are sick. Not only will a sick employee be unproductive if they come to work, they are likely to spread their illness to colleagues, leading to more sickness absence.
Since a virus can be transferred on someoneâ€™s hands up to six times, the most effective measure against the spread of germs is to promote thorough hand washing. Positioning posters in key areas and ensuring warm water, soap and hand towels; or antibacterial gel will help to reduce the transmission of germs.
Germ hotspots are places in our everyday environment where more germs tend to accumulate because of frequent use. In the office, these areas often include:
- At your desk: Phone receiver and number keypad, computer keyboard, mouse and other electronic on/off buttons or switches.
- In the kitchen: Kitchen taps, sponges, mugs, dish towels, microwave buttons and the on/off switch on the kettle.
- In the bathroom: Hand dryer button, toilet flush lever and soap dispensers.
- Throughout Office: Door and cupboard handles and knobs, lift buttons, light switches, the floor and other surfaces.
Germs can live up to 48 hours on these surfaces, including harmful bacteria, which is why it is so important that we regularly and thoroughly clean these areas using the appropriate techniques and products.
How we can help
Our specialist cleaning consultants can perform an audit of your office to identify germ hotspots and advise on measures that can be taken to prevent staff sickness. We have many yearsâ€™ experience in cleaning a range of office environments, and our cleaners are specially trained in the most effective infection control practices.
For more information on germ hotspots or infection control, please contact us on 0800 4488026.