Just when it seemed like the auto-ship of hand sanitizer for your office could be discontinued, the flu (strain B, this time) decides to make one final round through the Grand Strand. At least, everyone hopes this is the final round. Here is a quick refresher with 6 tips to decontaminating germs in your office and avoid the sharing of the gift of flu B between your employees.
1. Identify the “germ hot spots” in your office. In general, any common area is a potential germ hot spot in your workplace. Bathrooms, the break room and the water cooler are the biggest risk for germ spread.
2. In each germ hot spot, make note of every surface people touch, every handle they grab, every button they push and every knob they pull. Anything hands touch deserves a good thorough decontamination with disinfecting wipes. And we mean anything – microwave handles and buttons, fridge handles, backs of chairs, sink faucets, copier buttons, water cooler levers, light switches and don’t forget counter tops and table tops. Quick tip: empower the natural germ-a-phobes in your office by having plenty of handy disinfecting wipes visible and available in all hot spot areas.
3. Communicate with employees about helping prevent the spread of illness by having everyone participate in frequently wiping down office hot spots, but also disinfecting their own workspaces. They should regularly use disinfecting wipes to clean down desks, phones, keypads, keyboards, computer mice, drawer handles and headsets (if used). Again, anything hands touch. As employees touch door handles, shake hands with clients or touch various surfaces in common areas, their hands pick up germs that they take right back to their workspace with them.
4. Our hands are the biggest culprit in the spread of germs in the workplace. Encourage regular handwashing but also provide plenty of hand sanitizer. A good rule of thumb is to provide hand sanitizer for every individual workspace and a few bottles of hand sanitizer in every common area – including bathrooms. Quick tip: be sure to provide boxes of tissues in all of the same places hand sanitizer goes to prevent airborne germs as much as possible. By keeping tissue and sanitizer together, it reminds employees to use both items more frequently.
5. Make sure to notify your commercial cleaning provider when illness strikes your office. A good commercial cleaning company will have infection management protocols to use when cleaning your office or business to disinfect surfaces that are often overlooked and help you keep employees healthy.
6. Most importantly, foster a company culture that empowers employees to stay home when they are sick without guilt or negativity. One sick employee who stays home is less disruptive to business than one who comes to work despite being sick and spreads the illness to multiple other co-workers, leading to multiple absences at once that are much more difficult to manage. Also, showing employees that their health and wellness is important makes them feel valued and appreciated. Healthy and happy employees are always great for business.
Has your office already been side-swiped by flu B or another illness? Call Clean Up Club for a disinfecting scrub down that shuts down flu, colds and other germs.