When employees and visitors start showing up with fever, body aches, chills and sneezes, you know it’s more than a cold virus going around. It’s flu season. If you don’t start preparing your office now, you’ll risk rampant absenteeism, lost productivity and reduced profits. You can’t stop flu season. It’s going to come whether you like it or not. Nevertheless, there are ways to prepare your office so that you lessen its impact and effect. You can accomplish that with proper commercial cleaning services. Studies show that approximately 20 percent of the population contracts the flu each year, leading to more than 100 million lost workdays. The following tips will help you be proactive, protect your workers, and maintain your profitability.
Educate your workplace about the flu.
Everyone should be trained to recognize the symptoms, separate fact from myth, and understand the importance of being vaccinated. You may also want to take this time to make sure everyone is aware of sick leave policies, paid time off, telecommuting rules and what insurance covers. It’s also a good time to review your company procedures to ensure they are still relevant and that they are beneficial for the way you operate your business today.
Create a communication plan.
Your company should not have to come to a standstill just because a few people are out sick. Develop a strategy to prevent work from going undone. It might be a good idea to delegate a specific person to handle sick leave requests and manage schedules and workloads. Many employees fear getting in trouble or fired for taking sick days so ensure them that this won’t happen. Telecommuting and shared servers are a must during this time of year so make sure your IT department is ready to handle the load. Perhaps the most important aspect of preparing for flu season is flexibility.
Employees should be urged to stay home if they are sick. This might seem counterintuitive to productivity but you will lose less by having one or two employees out sick instead of your whole office. At least one of your employees, bosses, kids and family members will likely catch the flu this season and the more you can roll with the punches, the better your workplace will cope.
Get in the habit of practicing good hygiene.
The best prevention against the cold and flu viruses is hand washing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You should also have floors and common areas professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Avoid shaking hands and keep extra sanitizer available at all times. Company-wide memos and posters in restrooms can help provide reminders. There are different strains of the flu virus every year. So developing a philosophy of cleanliness will serve your workplace well for years to come.
Integrate healthy routines into your office culture.
Give employees the opportunity to take advantage of programs that promote good health. You can do this with initiatives like giving discounts on gym memberships and providing room in your facility for workers to exercise. Stock your kitchen or break room with plenty of sanitizing wipes and products. Especially if workers tend to stay in for lunch. Make it effortless for employees to get a flu shot by providing the time off it takes to do so. Even better, go the extra mile and bring health professionals onsite to perform this task. The stronger you are and the healthier your immune system, the easier it is to fight off illnesses.
Give your workspaces a thorough commercial cleaning.
This includes wiping down phones, keyboards and everything else that gets touched often. Communal items like coffee pots and water fountains should receive extra attention. Also, don’t forget furniture, bathrooms and even cubicle partition walls. According to a recent study, microwave and refrigerator door handles, vending machine buttons and sink faucet handles have the most germs in an office environment. Flu season lasts from October to May so make sure you schedule your commercial cleaning for your office accordingly. Eliminating germs is the best way to keep your workplace protected.
Stop the spread of germs in simple ways.
Give everyone hand sanitizer to keep at their desks. This should contain at least 60 percent alcohol to be most effective. Strategically place tissues and disinfectant wipes throughout your workplace to encourage cleanliness. Invest in no-touch soap and paper towel dispensers to prevent cross contamination. Deliberately arrange trash recepticals around the work area to make it convenient. These actions can decrease the likelihood of swapping germs.
Arm yourself with the latest flu information.
Google offers a flu tracker so you can see flu activity, in real time, throughout your state or city. The CDC also provides statistical tracking of flu data on a weekly basis.
Have HVAC system and filters cleaned and changed.
Good ventilation is an important factor in preventing airborne transmission of germs and diseases.
Use the right commercial cleaning company.
Sometimes, things can look clean on the surface but they are actually harboring deep down dirt. The office commercial cleaning company you choose should have the best products and techniques to handle the surfaces and materials that comprise your office environment. Your employees are your biggest investment. They are on the front lines of customer service and keep your business operating efficiently. It’s easy to say that their health is vital for your survival.
When looking to hire a commercial office cleaning company in New Jersey, give EcoDry a call. We provide top quality, eco-friendly commercial office cleaning services for your floors, fabric, furniture and upholstery. Using our proprietary MilliCare cleaning system, we will keep your office looking its best and make sure it’s germ free during flu season and all year round. Contact us to schedule a free demo today.