Flu Season Is Here: How Your Office Can Keep Those Germs At Bay

Flu season has arrived in full force and it looks as if 2018 may be a particularly bad one for influenza. If you haven’t already gotten your flu shot, you shouldn’t delay. But in an office environment crawling with germs, it’s still possible to get sick. That’s why it’s key for every business to follow these tips and prioritize the health of their staff this year.

    • Emphasize desk cleanliness
      The majority of office setups require employees to conduct at least some of their work at a desk or in a cubicle. But when was the last time your workers actually cleaned off and disinfected those spaces? Encourage your employees to clean their desks thoroughly by sending out memos and supplying disinfecting wipes and keyboard cleaners. You should also ensure trash cans are conveniently located and emptied frequently. You may also want to consider setting up designated eating areas for your employees and dissuade them from eating at their desks altogether. While it may seem convenient, it’s actually a hazard to everyone’s health. Although over half of American workers eat snacks and meals at their desk, the typical desk space has 100 times more germs than the average kitchen table does. By deterring this behavior and making it easy to clean their personal work spaces, the entire office will be a healthier place to be.
    • Focus on communal areas
      The shared areas that see a lot of traffic — like the kitchen and bathrooms — need extra attention when it comes to office cleaning. You’ll need to zero in on appliances like the office refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker, as well as things like door handles, counter tops, and vending machines. Although having a set of office dinnerware can help make your office greener, sharing items like these can also spread germs. In many cases, disposable cutlery may be a better option. You should also hang signs in shared areas that remind employees to wash their hands regularly and clean up messes promptly.
    • Don’t forget the carpets
      Dirty carpets detract from your office’s aesthetic appeal, but they can also make your employees sick. When allergens, dust mites, debris, and germs are trapped in carpet fibers, this can cause respiratory and immune system issues of all kinds. You should hire a professional cleaning service at least a couple of times a year to make sure no one falls ill due to flooring. Not only is this a good way to combat the common cold and the flu, but it’ll be beneficial for employees who suffer from allergies or asthma. Ultimately, that’s a great way to cut down on sick days and other costs to your company.
    • Tell sick employees to stay home
      At the same time, you should not discourage your employees from using their sick days if they’re truly sick! You may not like the idea of losing out on a day’s productivity from that one employee, but you need to consider the bigger picture. When employees come to work when they’re ill, they aren’t likely to work to full capacity as it is. In addition, they’ll probably spread those germs to others in your office, which will negatively impact overall productivity much more substantially. It’s better for everyone if you promote the use of sick days when necessary. Your employees will recover more quickly and the office will have far less germs that way.
  • Hire a professional cleaning service
    Some businesses are reluctant to hire commercial cleaners due to the added cost, but most find that it’s well worth it. If you expect your employees to double as janitors, their job performance will suffer and your office probably won’t be as clean in the end. Individual employees can make a concerted effort to keep areas clean, but that’s no substitute for what a professional cleaning service can do. Because they’re well-trained and have access to better equipment, there’s really no comparison in terms of result.

This season, you need to do everything you can to protect yourself and your employees from flu and other nasty illnesses. Start by hiring a professional cleaning service today.