Office meetings often cover lots of ground, but sometimes the most important things get overlooked in the face of more immediate concerns. Commercial cleaning is one of those critical business decisions that can prevent serious problems in the workplace.
Here are 19 Reasons you should be talking about cleaning:
Though it may be easy to forget how big an impact each individual has on the world at large, the cleanliness of your office could actually impact world health. Infectious diseases like swine flu and avian flu can quickly spread from person-to-person in your office. Each person who gets exposed will take those diseases home to their families and potentially spread them around the community.
Ebola provided the world a good example of how diseases can quickly spread across continents. In light of that, imagine how long it would take for an entire office to catch an infectious disease if even one employee were infected. Perhaps it would take several days, but it could take just one. Commercial cleaning services can actually save lives.
Infectious diseases can appear unexpectedly. Think about all the people who come in contact with surfaces that have been contaminated by an office worker who is infectious but doesn’t know it. Having high standards about cleanliness can prevent contamination.
What are infectious diseases?
Infectious illnesses are illnesses you are able to “catch” from the person, a pet, a bug, the atmosphere or contaminated water and food. Most infectious illnesses are dispersed with a single, well-defined route. Focusing on how they spread helps determine the very best prevention techniques.
Modes of Transmission – the most popular ways illnesses spread are:
- Contact transmission – when one is uncovered for an infectious agent from direct connection with infectious bloodstream or body substances e.g. bloodstream, urine, faeces, saliva, nasal secretions, or from indirect connection with contaminated products for example surfaces and equipment e.g. door handles. Infectious agents may then go into the person’s body via damaged skin e.g. cuts, the mucous membranes from the person’s eyes, nose or mouth, by ingestion e.g. the ‘faecal-dental route’ or with a sharps e.g. needle stick injuries.
- Droplet transmission – when infectious agents found in large tiny droplets e.g. splash, spray, spatter of bloodstream or body substances are deposited around the mucous membranes from the eyes, nose, mouth etc.
- Airborne transmission – when infectious agents found in aerosols and dirt are breathed in.
- Food-borne transmission – when infectious agents are dispersed through use of contaminated food.
- Water-borne transmission – when infectious agents are dispersed through consumption or connection with contaminated water.
- Vector-borne transmission – when insect vectors for example mosquitos and ticks transmit infection to an individual via bites e.g. Dengue Fever.
When you think about how many people each person in the office comes into contact with daily, the numbers of people affected by your office hygiene suddenly look a lot bigger.
- A pandemic is an epidemic of infectious disease that has spread through human populations across a large region; for instance multiple continents, or even worldwide.
- You see that word “WORLDWIDE”, just imagine for a moment how you would feel if it was your office environment that started or contributed to a pandemic. Thankfully they don’t happen very often only 4 since 1918 but one of them the 1918 Spanish Flu swept across the world in three waves between 1918 and 1919.
- In terms of the loss of human lives, the Spanish flu was unprecedented in modern times. More people died during the pandemic than were killed in the First World War.
Worldwide, at least 50 million people are thought to have died, it has been estimated that about 25 per cent of the world’s population was infected.
Be aware that commercial cleaners can help make sure OSHA codes relating to cleanliness are followed down to the last detail. OSHA requires soap, toilet paper, and towels or a hand-drying station to be available at all times. It also requires that the proper chemicals be used for cleaning and that they be labelled properly. Professional cleaners know exactly what is required.
As you know, hazards for which OSHA does not have a specific standard are governed by Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (the Act; General Duty Clause) which requires that employers provide employment and a place of employment that are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.
Viruses are responsible for colds and flus and other illnesses. Prevent the entire office from getting sick with professional building cleaning services. In an office environment, viruses can spread quickly. Making sure your keep away from one of your sick co-workers might not be enough. A new study shows that some viruses quickly spread through offices and other buildings, contaminating many surfaces in just hours. The researchers placed virus samples on one or two surfaces — such as a doorknob or a tabletop — in an office building Throughout the day, the researchers sampled 60 to 100 surfaces in the buildings, including light switches, tabletops, coffee-pot handles, sink tap handles, doorknobs, and phone and computer equipment. Within 2 to 4 hours, 40 to 60 percent of sampled surfaces in the buildings were contaminated with the virus, said study researcher Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona. In the office, “the first area contaminated was the coffee break room,” Gerba said. In a second part of the study, cleaning staff and employees were given disinfecting wipes containing quaternary ammonium compounds (QUAT), which were used to disinfect commonly touched surfaces about once a day.
These disinfectants, along with proper hand hygiene, reduced the spread of the virus by 80 to 99 percent, Gerba said.
Bacteria is another culprit for illnesses that arise in the office. Foods that aren’t properly stored or that are old can be a source of bacteria. The office refrigerator and sink can be another place where this life form thrives. These need to be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent rotting food particles. It’s also important to keep microwaves clean and to remove trash, especially food waste, on a daily basis. Most of the bacteria they found came from human skin or the nasal, oral or intestinal cavities, the researchers said. Bacteria from soils were also common, Kelley said.
Although you might expect the computer to be a germ magnet, more bacteria were found on office chairs and phones than on keyboards and computer mice, the researchers said.
Men had about 10 to 20 percent more bacteria in their offices, on average, compared with women.
In the event that an employee catches an infectious disease, it’s crucial to everyone’s safety that cleanliness is top-notch. Infection control depends on it. While the people in your office are experts at what they do, their expertise is probably not in cleaning to the standards required for infection control.
Some staff members may have allergies. Dust and mold can trigger allergy attacks. They can even produce mycotoxins. Using building cleaning services can help address these types of issues and prevent them from occurring. Mold spores are airborne, so the entire office can be exposed to these toxic substances when they’re allowed to grow.
Workers suffering building-related illnesses cost business billions each year in lost productivity, sending many companies on a desperate search for answers.
The result: headaches, nausea, dizziness, irritability, itchy eyes, and respiratory illnesses, among other problems.
Building-related asthma, for example, can cause permanent damage to your health — and lost productivity and increased health costs for your employer.
Mysterious itching may be caused by exposure to fibrous glass from an air-duct lining. A sick building usually implies a constellation of symptoms that usually includes fatigue, headache, dry, itchy skin, and irritation of mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, and throat.
Pieces of printer paper or pieces of toilet paper on the floor can cause people to slip. Protect workers and office visitors by picking up any papers that fall. Hire professionals to detail on a regular basis. Accidents that result in slipping and falling can cause serious back injuries.
Slips, trips and falls make up themajority of general industry accidents. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), slips, trips and falls account for 15 percent of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities. See more at: http://www.cleanlink.com/hs/article/Preventing-Slips-Trips-And-Falls–8249#sthash.sMw7tnCd.dpuf
According to the 2006 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the annual direct cost of disabling occupational injuries due to slips, trips and falls is estimated to exceed $11 billion. See more at: http://www.cleanlink.com/hs/article/Preventing-Slips-Trips-And-Falls–8249#sthash.sMw7tnCd.dpuf
Office clutter can also be responsible for creating tripping hazards. Never store piles of office materials on the floor, and be sure there is nothing that could cause people to trip and fall. Tripping can cause sprains, strains, back injuries, and even broken bones.
65% of all lost workdays are due to Slip and Fall accidents. This results in 95 million lost workdays a year. With all those slip and falls, about 90% happen when the person encounters a wet surface.
That’s a huge number of accidents that could be prevented. In workplaces it costs US$ 4 billion in lost productivity and compensations every year. They occur in almost all workplaces with 95% of major slips resulting in broken bones 20% of over-3-day injuries.
Fire hazards can go unnoticed in an office environment. Paper can be a fire hazard in the office if it’s near heat or flame. It is also important to keep cleaning chemicals away from heat open flames, and to keep them in proper containers. Some chemicals can spontaneously combust.
Violations of safety codes can mean big trouble in the office. Professional cleaners can help make sure no fire exits are blocked by trash or debris. No office wants to be in violation of codes. When it happens, it can tarnish your business’s good name.
Some cleaning chemicals are terrible for the environment. Look at the ingredients on your office cleaning supplies. Do you know what each of those chemicals is? Do you know how much harm they do to the environment? Good commercial cleaners have those answers, and taking advantage of their services can make your office environmentally friendly.
- 100: the number of times higher that indoor air pollution levels can be above outdoor air pollution levels, according to US EPA estimates.
- 5 billion: the number of pounds of chemicals that the institutional cleaning industry uses each year.
- 23: the average gallons of chemicals (that’s 87 liters) that a janitor uses each year, 25 percent of which are hazardous.
- 63: the number of synthetic chemical products found in the average American home, translating to roughly 10 gallons of harmful chemicals.
A clean workplace improves air quality, and that keeps everyone cutting down on sick days and absenteeism. Your workers will have more energy and feel more creative. Just the simple task of cleaning can improve performance and boost business.
A clean workspace benefits your customer service as well, particularly if customers visit that environment. A well-maintained and clean work environment will make your customers feel confident working with you and entering your business. A bright, clean office area will make them feel welcome. They will also feel confident they can count on you to handle their issues.
Here are several factors that can lead to an unhealthy work environment:
- Employees are working longer hours, often in space that’s teeming with bacteria
- Reduced office space forces employees to work in closer proximity to colleagues – shorter distances for germs to travel
- An increasing number of workers eat in their work space
- People who sneeze, cough or yawn without covering their mouth
- Workers who leave the restroom without thoroughly washing their hands
In a national survey, workers reported that dirty bathrooms made them feel undervalued by their employers. Letting commercial cleaners take care of the routine deep cleaning can actually increase productivity by making employees feel valued. Facility Cleanliness ranked as number 10 on the top 10 employee complaints.
There really is a direct correlation between a clean work environment and improved employee health. Facility cleanliness: Employees want a clean, organized work environment in which they have the necessary equipment to perform well.
Commercial cleaning involves cleaning office bathrooms on a regular basis and also keeping them stocked with supplies. Bathrooms need to be stocked with hand soap, toilet paper, and equipment for drying hands at all times. Office workers come into contact with 10 million bacteria every day, with many spreading the norovirus around the office without knowing it
Employee retention depends on making workers feel good about the work environment. When professionals come in to take care of routine cleanliness needs, the office feels more welcoming. If the office usually feels dirty, people start looking for new jobs. A pleasant work environment can help maintain and improve employee morale and spirit. When surroundings seem dingy and dirty, it can be difficult to stay productive and positive. Even small business owners with limited budgets can improve the working environment for employees when the office may need cleaning. If you can’t afford to contract the cleaning work out to professionals, roll up your sleeves and get busy making a pleasant place for employees to work. There is a lot of competition for talent in Silicon Valley (and around the globe for that matter) and when you can retain your employees, it means less time and money spent recruiting.
Employees’ Psychological Health
When employees spend 40 or more hours per week in an unsanitary environment, it can impact their psychological well-being. Many people in your office probably spend a great deal of their free time cleaning their homes. Hiring commercial cleaners shows respect for employees who value order and cleanliness. One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide. Organisations that are able to successfully create and sustain an office environment that promotes good mental health are more likely to minimise the negative financial impact that can result from absenteeism, high staff turnover, workers compensation claims and low morale.
Commercial cleaning often cost less per visit than the rates you’re paying current employees. When what you’re paying employees on an hourly basis is more than it would cost to pay for building cleaning services, it just doesn’t make sense to use employees’ time that way. Doing so hurts your bottom line.