Many people are unaware that our office spaces provide the perfect breeding grounds for germs, causing the rapid spread of common viruses such as influenza through the entire building. With people working in close proximity to each other, sharing common items such as pens, vending machines, computers and peripherals, it’s no wonder workers are so easily infected. Luckily there are a few simple steps you and your colleagues can take to minimize the spread of germs keeping you all healthy throughout the year.
Frequent Hand Washing
One of the more obvious ways to keep germs at bay is with frequent hand washing. Aim to wash after using the bathroom, before and after lunch and after coming into contact with other people and their belongings. Hand washing with an anti-bacterial soap kills up to 97% of germs if done correctly, which involves using a generous amount of soap which you then rub thoroughly into your hands before rinsing with clean water. The most effective way to dry your hand is with disposable paper towels.
Keep Hand Sanitiser Available
In between washing use a hand sanitizer, thousands of germs occupy our hands as well as pens, doors, and computers, just to name a few. To stop the spread of this bacteria aim to frequently use a sanitizer, especially after meetings when we tend to shake hands and borrow pens etc. Hand Sanitisers claim to kill up to 99.9% of germs, reducing the risk of infection and cross-contamination. Sanitiser dispensers can be fitted to the wall and maintained by a cleaning company or you can purchase travel size bottles for your desk, car and bag.
Commercial Cleaning Services
Every business can benefit from a commercial cleaning service. Not only will the work space end up visibly clean, there will also be a huge reduction of germs. Commercial cleaners do a thorough job of sanitizing all surfaces using hospital grade disinfectants. Some companies also offer extra hygiene services, such as the restocking of paper towels, soap and sanitizer dispensers, rubbish bags and liners just to name a few. Having dispensers reduces the need for direct hand contact which prevents further cross-contamination of germs. Look online to find a reputable commercial cleaner in your area.
Stay Home When You Are Sick
To avoid the spread of viruses through the whole office, stay home if you become ill. Be vigilant with hand washing and avoid work until the worst of the symptoms have passed. Ensure you return to work with anti-bacterial tissues, hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes. Always sneeze into a tissue and place it in a plastic bag and then into the bin. Use the had sanitizer and avoid contact with others as much as you can. Keep in mind that if everybody followed these procedures the spread of illness would be greatly reduced.
Keep The Lunch Room And Kitchen Clean
The sponges and dish cloths in your kitchen harbor billions of germs, the best way to clean a work place kitchen is by using a commercial cleaner, who can sanitize the area ensuring a thorough clean. You should then use disposable paper towels to wipe surfaces, dry dishes and mop up spills. Keep your own utensils and mug in your bag, desk or office as sharing utensils can easily cause the spread of harmful bacteria. Keep the fridge clear of old food and drinks and never place your food down on an uncovered surface.
The spread of germs through cross-contamination results in the average adult contracting between 2-5 cold or flu viruses every year and millions of lost work days. With the addition of a few basic hygiene measures you could reduce this number greatly, guarding yourself and others from illness.