Flu season is fast approaching! Summer is over, meaning that everyone is indoors much more now. It can be challenging to stay healthy this time of year when exposure to the flu is on the rise. Nothing drives us to the other side of the office faster than a coughing and sneezing coworker! While we wish them a speedy recovery, we definitely do not want what they have. The flu and other common yet costly illnesses can cost big money to businesses over time, affecting attendance, productivity and even employee morale.

While you may assume that getting hit with the bug a few times during cold and flu season is unavoidable, that is not necessarily the case. Good sanitary practices by your employees and your professional commercial cleaning service can greatly reduce your exposure during the dreaded flu season and save your company money. You want to make sure that your employees and your commercial cleaning company alike are using best practices to safeguard fellow employees, customers and other visitors.

If you take basic steps to prevent the transmission of the flu, your office can come out of this season healthy and strong. With a little extra attention from your commercial cleaning service, you can effectively limit the spread of cold and flu germs. If your cleaning company doesn’t know how to clean to reduce bacterial, viral and other common infectious diseases, you may only be getting a surface clean rather than a thorough, sanitary clean.

What Your Cleaning Service Should Be Doing:

1. Pay Close Attention to “Touch Points”

Germs can easily be spread in a work environment if common areas are not thoroughly cleaned regularly. Public touch points such as light switches, door knobs, telephones, copy machines, coffee pot, stair rails, elevator buttons and other frequently used surfaces provide a nice little breeding spot for bacteria and viruses. Regular cleaning of these surfaces is so important to kill germs on contact, especially during the fall and winter months when cold and flu infections are at an all-time high.

2. Regularly Disinfect Kitchen

Communal Areas Viruses and respiratory bugs can thrive in a communal kitchen. Refrigerators, microwaves, faucet handles, water fountains, dishwashers and vending machine buttons need to be disinfected frequently to limit cold and flu germs.

3. Have Carpets Cleaned Regularly

A dirty office leads to sick employees. Carpets can be a safe hiding place for germs and contaminants. Regular professional carpet cleaning kills bacteria, removes hidden pollutants, improves indoor air quality and makes your office more attractive.

What Your Employees Should Be Doing:

1. Wash Hands Frequently

Frequent hand-washing cuts down on the spreading of disease causing contagions. A mere thirty seconds of simple hand washing with soap and water can reduce the bacterial count on your hands significantly. Make sure that sink areas are adequately stocked with hand washing supplies so employees have no excused not to regularly wash their hands. Be sure that all employees are washing their hands after using the bathroom, after touching high contact surfaces, after blowing their nose, and before eating and drinking. Reminding your employees to wash their hands frequently will reduce touch point transmission in between professional office cleanings.

2. Keep Your Desk Clean

Cleaning and disinfecting your desk regularly can make a huge difference. Keep disinfecting wipes handy for employees to use often. These wipes can keep desks relatively germ-free if used regularly on the phone, desktop and computer keyboard.

3. Don’t Eat at your Desk

The vast majority of office workers eat lunch or at least snacks at their desks. Eating at your desk can lead to higher levels of bacterial contamination on computer keyboards. If the habit of eating at the desk is unlikely to disappear anytime soon, make sure that keyboards are cleaned every few days to reduce the amount of harmful bacteria.

4. Get the Flu Shot

No matter how much you educate your employees about proper “sick etiquette” during flu season, germs will still spread quite freely through inadvertent contact. The flu shot is designed to assist your body in building the antibodies needed to protect you from the flu. When used on healthy adults and children, the flu shot can prevent the flu nearly 90% of the time. Encourage employees to get the flu shot every year.

5. Keep Sick Employees

Home In an effort to keep your workplace healthy, you will need to institute a safe environment for calling in sick. Many employees feel that sucking it up is the admirable thing to do, but staying home when you are sick is actually the better decision if you are contagious. Taking these preventative measures to protect your employees, customers and other visitors can help your business survive another flu season. Reasonable protective measures are both simple and will help you maintain a healthy work environment.

To help make sure that your office provides the healthiest and cleanest environment possible, make sure you call the cleaning experts at OctoClean. Contact our office today at 1-888-540-0828 for more information on our commercial cleaning services.