Maintaining a clean and healthy office is critical for the well-being of your employees and your business.
Not only will it boost productivity in the office leading to higher quality work, but it will also help prevent the spread of harmful germs, which is especially important as we return to in-office work. In this article, we will explain what germs are, how they are spread and how to ensure that your office remains clean and healthy.
What Are Germs and How Are They Spread in Offices?
In order to develop a plan to prevent the spread of germs in your office, it’s helpful to first understand what germs are and how they spread.
“Germ” is a broad term that includes bacteria, viruses and other organisms that can cause illness in humans. Bacteria are small single-celled organisms. Some bacteria cause disease (these are called “pathogenic”), while others are helpful, such as the bacteria in yogurt that helps with digestion. Most bacteria don’t cause harm to people, but some do cause infections, such as strep throat. Viruses are tiny organisms (the largest virus is smaller than the smallest bacteria) that can only reproduce inside of cells, and, unlike bacteria, they cannot survive without a host. Viruses cause a variety of diseases, including the common cold and flu.
Germs are spread through contact with an infected person or object. This contact can be direct, such as when you shake hands with someone who is sick, or indirect, such as when you touch a doorknob that someone who was sick just touched. Germs can also be spread through the air in droplets created when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Have you ever wondered how long germs can last on surfaces? Unfortunately, there is no one answer, as it really depends on the type of germ and the surface. Some germs, such as bacteria, can survive for weeks or even months under the right conditions. Cold, flu and other viruses may stay infectious for several hours to days, depending on the surface they land on.
Viruses generally stay active for longer on stainless steel and plastic surfaces than on paper or cardboard. The amount of virus (called the “viral load”) that lands on a surface, as well as the temperature and humidity of the environment, influences how long cold, flu and other viruses remain viable outside the body.
In offices, germs are most prevalent in common higher-touch and higher-traffic areas, such as break rooms, kitchens and restrooms, so it’s critical to take preventative measures to keep these areas clean and sanitized.
What Can Employees Do to Prevent the Spread of Germs?
The following are some steps you and your colleagues can follow to help prevent the spread of germs in the office:
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water, especially before you eat or handle food
- Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth
- Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, and try to do it into your elbow or a tissue
- Keep office supplies like pens, pencils and note pads in a clean and sanitary place
- Stay home if you’re feeling sick
- Avoid congregating in close quarters
By following these simple tips, office workers can help keep themselves and their colleagues healthy and productive. However, in addition to following these simple steps, additional measures should be taken to ensure your office is as clean and healthy as possible.
Cleaning Procedures That Prevent the Spread of Germs in Offices
One of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs in your office is by cleaning your entire office on a regular basis. Here are some of the cleaning procedures that should be followed to prevent the spread of germs in your office:
- Disinfect all surfaces, including desks, chairs and countertops
- Disinfect high-touch common areas, such as breakrooms, kitchens and bathrooms, on a regular basis
- Empty your trash cans and recycling bins regularly
- Sweep, mop and vacuum your floors regularly
- Clean and sanitize door handles, light switches, elevator buttons, office equipment and other high-touch objects
- Consider using electrostatic disinfection spray technology or fogging to ensure the most complete disinfecting coverage possible
In addition, use specialized disinfectant chemicals and commercial grade equipment to ensure the best result. For disinfectant chemicals, the CDC recommends using alcohol wipes or sanitizers, a bleach solution (at least 1000 ppm), or EPA-registered disinfectants that specifically state they are effective against coronavirus. For equipment, electrostatic disinfection sprayers, fogging machines, HEPA filtered vacuums and microfiber cloths are recommended for cleaning office environments. To learn more about spray disinfection methods, visit our Electrostatic Disinfection Spray vs. Fogging blog.
Does all of this sound overwhelming? Trying to implement a complete and regular office cleaning program can be very time consuming and distracting. That’s why it’s best to focus on running your business and hiring a commercial cleaning company to clean your office. Ultimately, the best way to prevent the spread of germs in an office is to have a regular cleaning schedule that is implemented by a professional janitorial services company. Commercial cleaning companies have the experience and expertise to properly clean your office, which will reduce the spread of germs and ensure a clean, healthy and safe environment for your employees.
What is the Ideal Cleaning Plan to Keep Your Office Healthy and Safe?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the ideal office cleaning program varies depending on the specific needs of your business. For example, the number of employees working in your office, whether you work in a single- or multi-tenant building and your work space setup will all play a role. For some rough guidance, the CDC has indicated that cleaning a space once a day is enough if no one with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 has been in the space. However, depending on your office environment and the type of work being conducted, you may need to have it cleaned more or less often.
If you’re looking to keep your office clean, healthy and safe, be sure to contact a professional commercial cleaning company, like CleanRight. We offer a wide range of office cleaning services, including janitorial services, porter services, disinfection services and deep cleaning services, and our team of technicians will help you create a custom cleaning plan that fits your needs and budget. For more information, please contact CleanRight today! Thanks for reading!