Statistically speaking and regardless of outward appearance, your workplace is likely teaming with germs and bacteria that are making you sick, slow, and struggle with everyday tasks.
Why Your Office Needs Professional Cleaning Services
Workplace cleanliness is a literal conundrum.
You've hired professional cleaners and they attend to the common areas diligently and on a regular basis, but something doesn't sit quite right.
People are still getting sick and commonly struggle with workplace irritability, creativity, and productivity-- widely observed as a lack of engagement.
The issue may well be rooted in the actual cleanliness of your office, in spite of its clean appearance, and it's likely worse than you think, and originating from areas you may have never guessed.
Where Germs Hide in Plain Sight
While areas such as your mouse, keyboard, desk, and phone have been thoroughly documented to contain more germs (10 million per square inch) than the average office toilet seat (400% more), similarly contaminated areas that typically receive little attention when it comes to cleaning may surprise you, including:
- Water faucet spigots - Contain an estimated 2.7 million germs per square inch.
- Office refrigerators - Are you ready? The typical office refrigerator contains approximately 7,850 bacteria Colony Forming Units (CFUs) per square centimeter. Typically, you want that down below 100 CFUs.
- Soap dispensers - That's right, your soap is probably covered with germs and other bacteria. The FDA has banned antibacterial soap for consumer and commercial use outside of a healthcare environment, and top-loading soap dispensers have been shown in several studies to leave occupant hands more contaminated than before washing.
- Printers & photocopiers - In busy offices, the copy button is pressed an estimated 300 times per day, resulting in a measured 1.2 billion CFU's per square inch, and;
- Headsets & headphones - While you're focused heavily on work, germs and bacteria are focused on growth and expansion, to the tune of approximately 700% per hour--an issue exponentially increased by 'hotdesking' in open or shared office environments.
What Kind of Germs are we Looking At?
When publishing studies regarding workplace cleanliness, researchers are quick to point out that not all bacteria are harmful to humans.
So, what kind of germs have been discovered that we should worry about?
- Gram-negative rods - An antibiotic-resistant bacteria commonly found on coffee pot handles, one of the first and most widely contaminated areas in an office.
- Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, enterococcus & pseudomonas - All potentially life-threatening bacteria commonly found on elevator buttons and numerous other germ hot spots throughout your office, and;
- Coliform bacteria & E.coli (fecal matter) - Commonly found on office pens, but more commonly on office coffee mugs, to the tune of 100% if 'cleaned' with a communal wash towel.
Additional germs and bacteria commonly detected on germ hot spots in classrooms and workplaces include:
- The common cold.
- Hepatitis A & B.
- Norovirus, and;
- C. Diff.
All of these can remain active and contagious, between 50 hours to 500 days.
General Office Cleaning Tips
Living with germs and bacteria is just a daily part of life.
The trick, in regards to high-performance workplace sanitation and cleanliness, is to reduce and maintain their level at a manageable level that does not threaten the health, safety, or productivity of facility occupants.
To achieve this, we recommend:
- Implementing and enforcing a handwashing and clean desk policy that cautions workers from eating at their desk or outside of designated areas.
- Identifying and disinfecting germ hot spots on a daily basis.
- Vacuuming no less than once per week.
- Servicing restrooms at least once per day.
- Changing out your soap dispenser to a packet-filled, as opposed to top-filled model.
- Making hand sanitizer readily available for all occupants.
- Cleaning out your office refrigerator at least once per week.
- Replacing all sponges and cotton or cloth towels and mops with microfiber, and then laundering them according to manufacturer specifications, and;
- Sanitizing your coffee pot(s) and mugs daily.
References & Resources
- How dirty is your workplace?
- Elevator buttons a hidden source of bacteria: study
- The 8 dirtiest places in the office (they’re not the ones you’d expect!)
- The dirty truth about your office desk [Infographic]
Obtaining and maintaining the cleanliness of an office or classroom at a high-performance level is a dirty and difficult job that should not be taken lightly, or assigned to undertrained or unwilling staff as an additional duty.
Doing so is a proven method for reducing employee retention and job satisfaction, as well as placing the lives, health, and wellbeing of all facility occupants at risk.
Outsourcing is a proven method for cost-effectively ensuring your facility is serviced with a clean for health first approach that has been shown to decrease student and worker absences, while increasing cognitive function and performance.
Contact us today and discover why Vanguard Cleaning Systems® is the Standard of Clean® for businesses throughout Northwest Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
In Oklahoma, dial 918-960-4450
In Arkansas, dial 479-717-2410
In Missouri, dial 417-812-9777