How clean is your office? When you look around you probably see garbage cans are emptied, desktops are free of dust, carpets have been vacuumed and entryways sparkling clean. But what about the things you can’t see?
While cleanliness and a tidy appearance are absolutely critical for positive first impressions and general employee morale, there are some hidden health dangers lurking in employees’ personal workspaces that are often overlooked—dangers that could be costing you in terms of lost productivity.
Germs can’t be seen, but they certainly can be felt. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), illnesses like the flu spread from person to person when droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air and get into the mouths or noses of people nearby. The germs in these droplets also live on surfaces, such as desks or doorknobs, for two hours or longer and can spread when people touch these surfaces and then touch their eyes, mouth and nose. This happens so suddenly that one sick employee turns into four or five or more sick employees!
Here are just a few of the spaces your employees should be aware of and clean regularly with a disinfecting wipe in order to avoid illness and absenteeism:
Phones are teeming with germs and bacteria and, because they’re held so close to one’s mouth, are quickly transferred onto the surface where they can infect another user. The entire handset should be cleaned, not just the mouthpiece.
Keyboards are notorious not only for a repository for food debris but for germs. The best way to rid a keyboard of its power to get someone sick is to unplug it, tap it gently to remove any food particles, then wipe gently with an appropriate cleaner, making sure not to dry thoroughly.
Desktops are a breeding ground for bacteria and germs from hands and food, as well as from documents that have been circulating around the office. A quick cleaning once a week will keep the risk of illness at bay.
- Chair Arms
Most people don’t consider the arms of their chairs, but think about how often your hands touch these surfaces. When wiping their desktops, employees should get the arms of their chairs, too.
The cost of illness is significant in today’s workplace. The Harvard Business Review estimates that worker illness costs employers between $150 billion and $250 billion every year! If your business is suffering a loss of productivity due to illness, take a few minutes to remind your people to disinfect their workspaces, especially during cold and flu season, and make the appropriate cleaning products readily available so they can do so. It’s also a good idea to post reminders to wash hands frequently during the day as an added preventive measure.
Want to learn more about the ways we help customers avoid lost productivity due to illness? We’d be happy to walk through your facility and point out the areas that might be getting missed by your current maintenance team.