How dirty is your office?
Are your staff bothered about germs in the office? Do they consider bacteria on keyboards, phones, toilets and door handles?
There is no doubt that the general public are now much more aware about the spread of infection. Everyone expects high hygiene standards wherever they go. If they work in an office environment they will certainly be aware of how quickly bacteria can multiply and effect personal health.
Additionally of course there is the issue of staff absence. Contagious infections result in many lost man days reducing productivity and effecting customer service levels. Managers have a ‘duty of care’ to their employees and that very much includes maintaining a clean and safe environment for them to work in.
International Cleaning Study
The Hygiene Council conducted an international cleaning study recently across eight countries, the results were alarming.
The survey showed that 52 percent of taps had high bacteria results compared to only 15% of toilet flush mechanisms. The office kitchen was found to be far dirtier and therefore more likely to provide a breeding place for dangerous bacteria levels such as E. Coli.
High risk areas such as toilet flush mechanisms tend to receive a better standard of clean. The office kitchen looks clean so it is surely? The most dangerous item in the kitchen from a bacteria perspective is actually the dish cloth. Germs love a warm, wet environment; office staff will not pay the same attention to the sink in the office as they do at home.
Tests completed on desks have also found high levels of bacteria largely as a result of people eating at their desks.
Micro-organisms will multiple rapidly, under test conditions, tests have shown they can double in number every 15 to 20 minutes. A real health risk for us all.
Good office practices should include antiseptic wiping of phones, screens and keyboards. Staff should be discouraged from eating at their desks and upholstery should be regularly vacuumed and periodically shampooed.
Hard floors will harbor less dust mites and other microbes that may cause ill effects in allergy and asthma sufferers. Attention should also be paid to airborne air fresheners that may cause problems for sensitive individuals.
Overall attention should be paid to all elements of office cleaning. The end game has to be a clean, safe environment that is attractive for employees to work in. Professional cleaning contractors provide services against detailed key performance indicators. Cleaning standards for all areas will be agreed and measured on a regular basis. Such providers take the headache out of cleaning, allowing you to focus on your core business.
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Office Cleaning was written by Karen James, prolific writer for Business and Marketing sectors