Flu season is in full swing, and this year’s virus is spreading rapidly. The CDC reports that this is the worst flu season since the 2009 swine flu pandemic.
But the flu isn’t limited to schools and now is the time to make sure you are doing all you can at the office to make sure to keep your staff safe and your workspace clean.
The flu is easily spread. When people sneeze, cough and talk, droplets are produced and land on surfaces that others touch. Once a person touches an object with a flu germ, they can become infected if they touch their eyes, nose or mouth.
Office managers can share the responsibility of keeping employees protected by partnering with commercial cleaners to take precautions to help prevent the spread of the flu.
To start, office managers can take initiative by reminding staff to take basic precautions during flu season. These tips should be communicated regularly at staff meetings, through emails and on signs throughout the office.
Wash your hands.
Use soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Always wash before preparing food and after using the restroom.
Use hand sanitizer.
Sanitizers with 60% alcohol are best. Rub hands until they are dry.
Cover your nose and mouth.
Sneeze into a tissue and dispose of it immediately, or use the crook of your elbow.
Use no-touch wastebaskets.
Properly dispose of used tissues, wipes, food, paper towels and sanitation materials in strategically placed wastebaskets in prominent areas like lobbies, kitchens, restrooms and halls.
Stay home when you are sick.
Protect yourself and your colleagues. You need the rest — work will be there when you return. And remember, there may be people in the office, like the elderly or someone with a long-term health problem, that would be at a higher risk of contracting a contagious illness.
But, you need more than your staff following good personal hygiene procedures and clear office policies. You need facility-wide cleaning strategies to protect your employees and your business.
Commercial cleaning companies, like Office Pride, can provide assistance to help keep you and your workplace clean and healthy during flu season and throughout the year. Are you wondering what experts can do to help reduce the risk of spreading germs? Professional cleaners can use best practices and intensive cleaning programs to help eliminate germs before the flu infects your employees.
Maintain a cleaning and disinfecting routine.
Daily cleaning is important during flu season. Flu viruses can live between 2-8 hours after landing on a surface. A professional cleaning service will clean each evening and disinfect the office.
Pay special attention to shared contact points.
There germs are there, but where are they hiding? The CDC recommends daily sanitizing of surfaces and objects that are touched often. Your commercial cleaner will spend time disinfecting the commonly touched areas, including:
- Restroom stall locks
- Light switches
- Stair rails
- Elevator buttons
- Microwave touchpads
- Handles (refrigerator, microwave, faucets, etc.)
A color-coded cleaning system, like the one Office Pride uses, keeps safety at the core of cleaning and eliminates cross-contamination. Professional cleaners are trained to use specific colors in certain locations so that the same rags and equipment aren’t shared between break rooms, waiting rooms and bathrooms.
Use products safely.
Leave handling cleaning products to the professionals. Our commercial cleaners are thoroughly trained, so you don’t have to worry about employees touching chemicals that could be hazardous, especially if cleaners or disinfectants are dangerously combined. For your protection and safety, Office Pride uses Green Seal™ certified commercial cleaning products, which are far more effective than retail cleaning products. We use them at no extra cost to the customer, and we keep Safety Data Sheets in your janitorial closet in case OSHA drops by for an inspection.
Of course, it’s impossible to completely stop the flu. But if a you can reduce risk and incidences of illness among workers, then your company may see improvements in the well-being of your staff and the productivity in your office.