As the world returns to normal and workers return to in-person office work in greater numbers, it’s important to remember that Covid-19 isn’t the only end-of-year hazard we’ll all be dealing with this winter season. Colds, the seasonal flu, and other viral and bacterial dangers are lurking where we least expect them, and battling these hidden hazards is a critical part of keeping your workforce healthy and productive.
Most offices are able to make sure that trash and recycling are regularly emptied, the floors are regularly vacuumed or swept, and desks are free of clutter and dusted. However, these regular cleaning practices are not enough to ensure that your office stays free of germs and communicable illnesses. To do that, you’ll need to know common places germs like to hide in your office environment, and how to keep them at bay.
1. Office Phones
Phones, especially phones used by multiple employees, are a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. In fact, behind your used coffee mugs, your office phone is the most germ-laden item on your desk. Wiping down the phone after having a phone conversation can be a great way to prevent the spread of communicable disease and bacteria.
2. Shared Office Items Like Presentation Computers, Remote Controls, And Keyboards
Many of us regularly wipe down our own laptop or desktop computer to eliminate germs, crumbs, and oils, but we don’t think as frequently about the shared surfaces in conference rooms. The materials different groups might use for meetings, such as the conference room computer keyboard, mouse, and remote control can all harbor germs, and can be a source of transmission between employees. Ensuring that these surfaces are cleaned and sanitized before they are put away for the next group can help to prevent the spread of seasonal illnesses and Covid-19 in the office.
3. Elevator Buttons, Stair Or Escalator Rails, And Door Handles
The surfaces we all touch as we enter and exit our offices are also likely to be breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses. Doorknobs, stair rails, even the keypad in the elevator can all harbor harmful germs. Keeping these surfaces wiped down with a disinfecting solution can help prevent colds and other viruses from running around the office — or even the building.
4. The Water Cooler And Coffee Machine
Let’s face it — we rarely give shared items like the water cooler and coffee maker (or coffee pots) the thorough cleaning they really need. As a result, these warm, damp environments make perfect breeding grounds not only for communicable illnesses, but also for harmful bacteria or even mildew and mold. Knowing how — and how often — to clean and thoroughly sanitize these pieces of equipment is a critical part of ensuring your employees stay healthy.
5. The Kitchen – Shared Coffee Mugs, Sponges, And Sinks
The office kitchen — not the bathroom — is the most potentially germy place in the office. Shared coffee mugs rank first in terms of bacteria-rich environments in the office, even if they’ve been cleaned. How? Because these shared items are being cleaned with sponges that aren’t being changed enough, in sinks that have not been properly sanitized on a regular basis. Most new sponges will harbor bacteria like E. coli and salmonella within 3 weeks of use. Using that sponge to clean shared dishes and glassware means that those bacteria are transferred to those areas as well. The sponge should be microwaved for two minutes at least once per day to mitigate the growth of illness-causing bacteria, and replaced on a regular basis.
6. Printers, Copiers And Shared Office Equipment
Chances are, almost everyone in the office is printing to shared printers and handling their copying and scanning jobs on large, centralized copy machines. As a result, these pieces of equipment tend to accumulate germs from everyone who has touched them or coughed near them. As a result, they can be major vectors for viral transmission. Using sanitizing wipes to clean off keypads and frequently-touched surfaces can help, as can leaving hand sanitizing stations around the office.
7. The Air
Unfortunately, as we have all learned throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic, the most ubiquitous vector for disease transmission is the very air we breathe. In office environments, we often rely on circulated air, with little to no way of bringing fresh air into the environment from the outside. As a result, the very air we breathe in the office can make us sick. High-quality HEPA filtration systems can make a huge difference in reducing the spread of airborne viruses, allergens, and bacteria that can make us sick and bring an entire office to its knees. In addition, keeping surfaces clean, using partitions to reduce the flow of airborne viruses, and practicing good mitigation measures like social distancing and working remotely when sick, can all help to make the air we breathe a little cleaner.
Questions About Office Cleanings? Sweeping Dimensions Has Answers!
Curious about how you can stock your office with the right cleaning supplies and products? Interested in talking about safe and eco-friendly cleaning methods with pros who have been there? Let the experienced cleaning teams at Sweeping Dimensions help you find the answers you’ve been looking for!
We know that keeping your office clean and safe can feel like a full-time job — on top of your job!
Here at SDCS, we always make a sweeping effort to make life less stressful. Whether you’re looking for a deep, sanitizing cleaning for your office, routine housekeeping services, or service for a special event, we can help! With a professionally trained and uniformed staff, all of our cleanings are fully customizable to meet your unique needs. We bring all of the cleaning supplies and equipment needed to clean your office, with a focus on green, environmentally sound cleaning products.
We’re so confident that you’ll love our service, that we offer the Sweeping Dimensions guarantee! If our cleaning services should ever fail to meet your expectations, you can call us within 24 hours of your cleaning and we will send out a supervised crew to correct anything that needs attention.
Ready to check some major cleaning chores off your list? We’re here for you. Get in touch today for your free service estimate!