Winter is here! If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to prepare your building for ice, snow, rain and whatever else winter 2022 has in store. But managing the outdoor elements is only half the battle. It’s also time to look closely at what you’re doing to prevent the spread of Coivd-19 and the flu in your office.
Impacts of illness in the workplace
Winter is the traditional “flu season,” where we see a steady uptick in illness spreading around the workplace. And if that isn’t complicated enough, this year’s flu season is coinciding with a rapid acceleration in Covid-19 cases, due to the omicron variant.
We’re seeing the devastating effect that a highly contagious virus can have on businesses in real-time this winter. The news headlines are filled with stories about businesses and schools being forced to close due to staffing shortages caused by the rapid spread of Covid-19. But while Covid is driving the conversation right now, an outbreak of any illness can decrease productivity and negatively impact your business.
Here’s an eye-popping number: 1.5 million
That’s the average number of employees per month that called in sick during 2020. If that sounds like a lot, you’re right. It’s actually 45% more than the average per month over the past two decades.
2020 was exceptional for many reasons and we shouldn’t expect every year to be a record-breaker. But these numbers illustrate the destructive impact that a highly contagious disease can have on worker productivity.
While you can’t control what germs your employees encounter at home or in their communities, you can implement preventative strategies to stop the spread of influenza, Covid-19 and other contagious illnesses in your office. Developing a clear and highly visible plan for illness prevention builds trust between workers and management and improves the overall company culture.
How Cleansolution can help
We recommend a holistic, multi-faceted approach to prevent the spread of Coivd-19 and the flu in your office. The strategies we use to combat illnesses such as influenza, norovirus and Covid-19 also increase workplace productivity and improve employee morale.
Strategy #1 – Start by hiring a comprehensive commercial cleaning company
Many businesses ask their own employees to take on additional cleaning tasks, reasoning that this strategy will save them from having to hire outside help. There’s nothing wrong with your employees keeping their own workspaces clean. But the burden of daily cleaning and disinfection – especially at a level that meets the CDC’s high standards – may become a distraction. You need your employees to stay focused on meeting goals and taking care of customers. Hire a professional to help you with the cleaning.
We can help: our comprehensive cleaning services include deep cleans, daily janitorial, emergency/same day services and everything in between. Schedule a video chat to learn more!
Strategy #2 – Focus on hand hygiene and high-touch surfaces
We’ve all heard it a million times in the past two years, but it’s still worth repeating: wash your hands! Germs can easily pass from an infected person’s hands to a surface (like a door handle or computer keyboard) and then right onto the hands of someone else. While germs floating through the air are harder to control, you can minimize some exposure by setting up hand sanitizing stations throughout your building and asking your cleaning team to pay special attention to high-touch surfaces and common areas (kitchens, bathrooms, gyms etc).
We can help: ask about our 3D Sanitize System that includes electrostatic spray disinfection for a floor-to-ceiling clean you can count on. Learn more!
Strategy #3 – Prioritize non-toxic, earth-friendly cleaning products
Indoor air quality is a huge issue for human health and the products you use make a difference. Harsh chemicals aren’t necessary to eliminate germs on surfaces and using them can cause breathing issues and skin problems for some people.
Sometimes a potentially toxic product is the right tool for the job (stripping and refinishing a floor, for example). But for your daily routine, we recommend using EPA-approved disinfectants that are tough on germs, but safe for both humans and the planet.
We can help: Cleansolution is committed to using cleaning products and disinfectants that are EPA-approved and non-toxic. We’ve been developing cleaning plans that combat Covid-19 for almost two years now and our customers love our eco-friendly approach. Learn more!
Strategy #4 – Maximize ventilation & minimize crowding
Here’s another strategy that should sound familiar by now. Rethink how you arrange your office to maximize airflow and prevent the spread of Coivd-19 and the flu in your office. This is obviously much more difficult during winter months when opening the windows or meeting outdoors is less practical. But there are still some things you can do. The CDC recommends that HVAC fans be set to run continuously to circulate air throughout the building. In some settings, portable HEPA air cleaners may also be appropriate.
If teleworking options are available, consider allowing some employees to work from home to minimize occupancy at your office. This strategy may be especially helpful for employees who are at high risk of serious complications from an illness or live with a high-risk individual.
We can help: Cleansolution can source fans, HEPA air cleaners and other equipment for your office. We can also coordinate crews to help move and rearrange office furniture to create safer workspaces. Schedule a video chat and tell us what you need!
Strategy #5 – Want a healthier, happier staff? Make cleaning a priority all year long
If you’re already in a good cleaning routine, you shouldn’t have to make huge changes for cold and flu season. Paying a bit of extra attention and making adjustments for changing conditions is normal, but your employees and customers deserve a clean environment all year long.
Having a clear and visible cleaning plan in place improves employee morale and may result in a healthier workforce and fewer sick days. Communicating what you’re doing to keep everyone in the building healthy and safe will help your staff feel valued and ease fears about working onsite during the ongoing pandemic.
We can help: Don’t resort to panic cleaning when flu season rolls around! A consistent, year-round cleaning routine that can be scaled up or down depending on your needs is the key to success. Schedule a video chat with us today to get started with a custom cleaning plan!
We’re here for our customers
Whether your goal is preventing illness or just keeping things neat and tidy around the office, we’ve got the right cleaning plan for your business. Schedule a video chat with us today and get 2022 off to a clean and healthy start!