Every Fall, the temperatures drop, the leaves start to turn, and, before you know it, the flu makes its inevitable appearance in offices across the country— is your office equipped to fight the flu this year?
Follow these guidelines and you’ll be well armed when the time comes for your office to fight the flu.
Fight the Flu with Prevention
You might not think that sickness has a significant impact on your business’s bottom line, but the facts state otherwise. An estimated $16.3 billion is lost per year thanks to absent employees. Taking steps to prevent sickness will not only keep your employees safe from the specter of hospitalization (or even death) but also save your business from lost productivity and earnings.
Here are a few ways your office can fight the flu before it gets a foothold:
- Hand washing— While it might sound like a no-brainer, most adults don’t wash their hands for the recommended 20-30 seconds after each visit to the restroom. Post signs with detailed washing instructions in the office’s restrooms, encouraging them to use warm water and soap to dislodge organisms from their skin’s surface.
- Sanitize surfaces— Provide sanitizing wipes for the staff to routinely wipe down their workspaces prior to starting their day. The average desk is covered with germs, with close to 21,000 per square inch. It’s the germiest part of the office—the average office toilet seat has just 49 germs per square inch. Encourage workers to wipe down their phone, keyboard, mouse, and any other frequently touched “hotspots.”
- Educate about influenza— Be sure that all the employees in your office can identify the signs of influenza, the myths that surround the flu, and what your employees should do to help themselves stay actively healthy.
- Stay home— If a worker is sick, encourage them to stay at home. It’s tough to fight the flu when there’s a germ factory in your midst. That said, staying home is not always an option, particularly if your employees don’t have sick time to use. If the worker must be there, encourage them to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue whenever they sneeze or cough. Frequent sanitization of the space they occupy as well as increased hand washing will help reduce the spread of sickness, too.
How Can Your Janitorial Service Help You Fight the Flu?
Your janitorial service should be concerned about cleaning with an eye toward health all year long, but when the fall approaches, it’s time to ramp up their efforts. As flu season approaches, consider implementing a routinely scheduled deep cleaning to eliminate the possibility of germs finding purchase. Request that they focus particularly on common areas, such as the break room or kitchen.
It’s up to the facilities manager to ensure that the janitorial service is properly prepared to clean in a manner that will fight the flu. Work with your janitorial service to create a hygiene plan that will specifically reduce the transfer of germs within your workplace.
Your janitorial service should have the knowledge required to know when it’s more appropriate to disinfect or sanitize. Additionally, their experience should extend to cleaning proactively— disinfecting hot spots throughout the office on every visit, avoiding cross-contamination that would spread sickness, and changing the trash can liners frequently to avoid spreading germs through soiled tissues.
American Maintenance has decades of experience helping offices fight the flu through thorough cleaning. If you want a team of professionals on your side this flu season, contact us today.