Flu season is inevitable at the office during the colder months due to overworking, travel, events, financial stress, and long hours. Because the virus changes from year-to-year, the flu vaccine is not always effective. Lack of healthcare coverage and paid time off can cause employees to work, even when sick. This can wipe out the entire office, causing a decrease in productivity and income. Keep cold and flu season at bay by considering the following preventative measures.
1. Place Hand Sanitizer at Major Touch Points
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is highly effective for reducing the risk or spread of infection by microorganisms. Major touchpoints such as handrails, elevator buttons, door handles, light switches, printers and photocopiers, and other high-touch surfaces require thorough cleaning since they are located in high-traffic areas. Prevent bacteria and viruses from spreading to other surfaces by placing hand sanitizer at major touchpoints, and enforce sanitizing before use.
2. Enforce Sanitizing of Personal Desk Space
Desks carry a lot of germs. Keyboards, telephones, mice, and office supplies are some of the most germ-infested items on a persons’ desk. The number of germs are multiplied when desk spaces are shared. A good hygiene practice includes sanitizing personal desk space at the end of each day to reduce illness.
3. Sanitize Often
You may think sanitizing once a day is enough in an office; however, it is simply not the case. Sanitizing should occur throughout the day, especially in high-traffic areas. The addition of Electrostatic Disinfection or ULV Fogging allows for a more thorough sanitization. It not only covers large surface areas but also covers areas that may have been missed when sanitized by hand.
5. Create a Bring-Your-Own-Mug/Utensils-to-Work Policy
Shared items should be reduced during the fall and winter. Items that are used for drinking and eating such as mugs, glasses, and utensils should be eliminated unless washed by a dishwasher. To further minimize the risk of illness, have employees bring their own mug and utensils to work.
5. Encourage Employees to Go Home as Soon as Symptoms Begin
This tip may be the most useful. Flu viruses can live up to 24 hours outside the human body. This means that within 24 hours of catching the virus, transmission is high. The moment symptoms arise; it is crucial to send employees home to prevent viruses from spreading quickly.
6. Get a Humidifier
Humidifiers add moisture to the air to prevent dryness. They help reduce dry throats, dry coughs, sinus congestion, nose irritation, and other discomforts due to cold, dry air. Humidifiers also stop the spread of airborne illnesses by trapping the movement of germs in its moisture.
7. Encourage Working Remotely
When someone is sick at the office, encourage others to work remotely. This will reduce the number of bodies at the office, keep productivity up, and decrease the chances of illness taking over your office.
8. Hire a Professional Office Cleaning Company
Hiring a professional office cleaning company is especially important during the fall and winter. Professional office cleaners have a better understanding of high-touch surfaces, use of cleaning products, and have quality equipment to get the job done. Put your office’s health and wellbeing first. Contact Clean Green Solutions for all your Vancouver office cleaning needs.