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Workplace Hygiene: 3 Major Areas Where Flu Germs Hide

As a business owner, you aim to build a team of hard-working individuals to propel you to success.
Imagine their disappointment when they need to miss out on work because of the flu.

As Richard Branson once said:

‘’Your employees are your greatest asset. If you take care of them, they will take care of your clients.’’

This powerful quote rings true.
Studies show that employees admire clean workplaces and this makes them more productive.

Do your employees fall sick more than usual? If the answer is yes, you need to assess how clean your office is.

You don’t need to be a medical expert to do this and here’s why:

8 flu facts every business owner should know Source:

Researchers identify workplaces to be a key area where flu-causing germs hide. When you don’t clean your office environment well, your employees aren’t safe. Their well-being is at risk and this may cause them to be unproductive and unmotivated.

There’s good news! This article is a positive step in the right direction. This workplace hygiene guide informs you how to clean these areas and prevent the flu for good.

So, there’s no need to worry. With the best hygiene systems and products, you can sniff out these bacteria and put an end to them in no time.

What’s in it for you? Maintaining great office hygiene translates to:

  • Creation of a positive brand image
  • Reduction in employee absenteeism
  • Rise in employee welfare and morale
  • Improvement of client satisfaction

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get into it!

Why Is It Easy to Catch the Flu Anyway?

Imagine suffering from the flu and trying to gather the strength to go to work as well. It’s hard but this is what your employees go through sometimes.

If you’ve ever wondered how they catch the flu in the first place, here’s a breakdown:

  • When someone with the flu coughs or sneezes near another person, they inhale the germs. This enters their system and makes them sick.
  • Flu-laden droplets may also land on surfaces and remain infectious for 48 hours. Any person who touches these unclean areas and doesn’t wash their hands may fall sick too.

Going the distance; flu infographic Source: 

Since an office is a high-traffic area, this means that flu germs can hide anywhere. On the bright side, medical experts break it down to the following key areas to watch out for:

  • Workspaces and desks
  • Kitchens and break rooms
  • Office washrooms

Think of this as a cheat-sheet to workplace hygiene. You don’t need to go through a trial and error process to get to the real source of the germs. If you’re wondering how to get these areas germ-free, you’re in the right place. Here are incredible solutions that you probably didn’t think of.

  1. Workspaces

How clean is your work desk?

Scientists confirm that an average desk can house 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. This confirms that your employees can catch the flu from their desk alone.

In the workspace, germs hide on common touchpoints such as door handles and buttons. After touching infected surfaces, flu germs enter through the nose, mouth and eyes.

If you think about it, you can’t go a day without touching these things.

What do you notice here? The sense of touch plays a key role in germ transmission. This means that keeping your hands clean is the solution to preventing the flu.

Make antibacterial wipes available in your office. Your employees will find it liberating to be able to control their workspace hygiene. They can wipe down their desk items as often as they please. This creates a feeling of confidence and boosts their work performance.

Besides this, install hand sanitising stations at office entry and exit points.

Interesting fact: Alcohol-based sanitiser kills bacteria and prevents it from developing resistance. So, sanitisers don’t lose effectiveness with continued use.

Consider the following benefits of hand sanitiser in the workplace:

  • Reduces cross-contamination of germs. There’s no need to touch automatic sanitiser dispensers for them to operate.
  • Kills germs within seconds. It takes a short amount of time to disinfect your hands.
  • Convenient in the absence of sinks. This is the best option for your workers as they go about their daily tasks.

protect yourself and others from getting sick Source:

Encouraging exceptional hand hygiene is as simple as that!

Providing these products gives them the extra nudge they need to keep their hands clean.

Couple this up by informing them of flu season etiquette to reduce the spread of the illness. This includes teaching them the importance of staying at home when they’re sick.

On the upside, this will lower the rate of presenteeism and reduce the exposure of your staff to the flu.

Remember, that a healthy employee is a happy employee.

  1. Kitchens and Break Rooms

The kitchen is a hot-bed for the flu virus. Scientists state that flu germs can survive for 24 to 48 hours on hard surfaces. From the washing sponge to the coffee mug – everything in this area is a potential home for germs.

The best solution is to ensure your kitchen surfaces stay clean at all costs. The dirty little secret to achieving this is through surface sanitation. You should attack flu germs by using exceptional anti-bacterial cleaning products. Apply a small amount of the product onto a damp cloth and wipe down every surface to disinfect it.

It’s essential to also maintain a clean washing sponge to prevent cross-contamination. After washing the dishes, soak it in bleach for 10 minutes to kill any germs.

Pro tip: A sterilising cycle is the most effective way to dry dishes and keep them sanitary. Using a dishtowel is least effective.

When was the last time you cleaned the office refrigerator and microwave? You should know these two are the most germ-laden kitchen gadgets.

So, remember to throw out any old food containers and disinfect the interior surfaces. This involves cleaning out cupboards and washing coffee mugs often.

These sure-fire tips will keep you vigilant of your workplace hygiene.

  1. Office Washrooms

Without a doubt, this is one area that deserves your undivided attention. To begin with, our fingertips have 2 to 10 million bacteria. Surprising enough, this number doubles after you use the washroom. This increases your chances of contracting the flu.

What you need to do is focus on washing your hands with soap and water.

how to wash hands infographic Source:

Instead of going for the conventional soap bar, install automatic soap dispensers. Here’s why you need these tools:

  • Soap and water is the first line of defence in protecting yourself from the flu.
  • Handwashing plays a key role in boosting your immune system.
  • Your chances of getting the flu reduce by 21%.
  • Handwashing reduces your chances of catching 80% of communicable diseases.

“Thorough handwashing with soap and water remains the best way to reduce the spread of disease-causing microorganisms’’

-Michael P. McCann, Ph.D., Professor of biology

Hundreds have grabbed that handle Poster Message

As for the washroom surfaces, flu germs often hide in hard-to-reach areas. To get rid of them, hire your local deep cleaning experts to disinfect areas you may overlook.

This 4-step process leaves no stone unturned and creates a sanitary washroom environment.

To supplement your efforts to end the spread of the flu, you should use washroom posters.

These are subtle reminders that personal hygiene contributes to protection from the virus.

Master the Art of Flu Prevention in Your Workplace

Did you know that up to 20% of the New Zealand population contracts the flu each year? All these tips point to one fact: the flu ends with you. Encouraging your employees to take care of their well-being protects the society too.

You need to try out these tips and kill the flu virus before it attacks your workforce.

Maintaining workplace hygiene has never been so easy!

What’s more, Alsco New Zealand is always ready to take the burden off your shoulders. Through their professionally managed cleaning services, your workplace can enjoy 5-star treatment.

Give us a call today for a fast and free quote that fits your business needs.

Photo: Wikipedia

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