Sneezing, coughing and itchy, watery eyes are coming. Yes, before you know it, allergy season will be upon us. Find out how regular office cleaning can make this time a bit easier to deal with and lessen the negative effects.
Cold and flu season is bad enough and it quickly gives way to allergy season. However, the truth is that any season can be allergy season, depending on what you are allergic to. No matter what the season or reason, make sure your office is clean to help keep allergies at bay and maintain a healthy work environment for everyone.
Why it’s important to keep allergies at bay in your office
Productivity – when employees are coughing and sneezing all day, or have headaches brought on by allergies, they are not at their best or doing quality work. Some even need to take sick days to deal with allergies, which can affect the productivity of your entire organization. Research shows that allergy symptoms are the second leading cause of missed work. All those sick days can really add up to lots of lost productivity and profits. Your workplace could also suffer from employees who come in to work but are really out of it because of allergy medicines that make them drowsy or jittery.
Allergic reactions can affect everyone – even those not suffering from allergies can have their day disturbed by those who do. While some reactions are mild, others can be serious enough to require a physician, medication or emergency room visit. If employees are worried about their fellow co-workers and friends, they are not getting their work done.
Health and safety regulations – the law requires that employers provide a safe and healthful workplace. If it is discovered that you have not taken the necessary steps to keep your business clean and free of serious allergy triggers, you could be sued.
What you can do to help eliminate allergy triggers
Studies show that many Americans spend more time at work than they do at home. Add to this that we also tend to work in close quarters. As a result, your office is probably a veritable breeding ground for allergens. The trick is to try and remove or reduce as many triggers as possible.
When our immune systems go into overdrive, allergies are the result. Using the right cleaning materials and frequent hand washing can go a long way toward alleviating allergy symptoms. There are also other steps and precautions you can take to increase the wellbeing of your entire office and those who work there.
1. Keep your break room or eating areas clean
Floods, spills, leftover food and grime can eventually lead to mold growth. Mold can have severe health consequences, such as asthma, respiratory infections and bronchitis.
2. Pay attention to soft surfaces
Carpets, upholstered furniture and fabric-covered cubicles can trap and hide dirt and dust particles. This is especially true in high traffic areas and rooms that get a lot of use, like conference areas and lounges. Using only simple window coverings may reduce allergens. Regular vacuuming can help, as well as giving these areas a periodic deep cleaning. A professional office cleaning company can set up a maintenance program that will focus on the high traffic areas more frequently and establish routine visits and cleanings.
3. Give personal areas needed attention
Telephones and headsets, keyboards and monitors and bookshelves are some of the prime places where dust can collect. Covers and dusters may help but bacteria, dust mites and dirt seem to always find a way in. Additionally, mold can grow on a variety of surfaces, such as wood, paper and insulation, so you must carefully monitor and clean these areas. Personal items and trinkets, like stuffed animals and flowers, can be major dust and mold magnets. Staff should be advised to keep their areas neat and clean. Office cleaning staff and employees should be instructed to clean these areas periodically.
4. Limit the strong scents in the office
Often, air fresheners, perfumes and colognes and even the wrong cleaning products can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Everyone should be encouraged to think about others and respect these potential sensitivities. Wearing fragrances is fine as long as they are kept to neutral scents.
5. Create an anti-allergy battle plan
Dirty ventilation systems, aromas from cooking, pet dander and pollen from outside can all wreak havoc for someone who suffers from allergies. Fumes from machinery could be dangerous as well. Dander and pet hair can linger on people with pets and cause a reaction in people with allergies, so you may want to arrange office seating assignments accordingly. Keeping lint rollers on hand could also help to alleviate the problem.
You may also want to pay attention to where coats are hung, since dander and pollen can stick to outer garments and carry allergens inside. Office plants could also be a culprit for allergic reactions, due to pollen and standing water. Keeping doors and windows closed might also help. Additionally, you need to know whether any employees have significant food allergies, so ask. A high quality HVAC cleaning may also be in order. In addition, investing in a good air purifier or filtration system may be a wise choice. Also, watch for plumbing leaks.
6. Hire a professional office cleaning company
Happy, healthy people make the best employees. Even when staff tries to be clean and tidy, they may still miss the mark. Let the experts at Eco Dry handle your office cleaning needs quickly and efficiently.
Experts recommend dry cleaning methods to help keep carpets clean and allergies at bay. Our ecofriendly and deep cleaning processes are great for carpets, tile, textiles and hard surfaces. We also provide preventative care to help you maintain a spotless, attractive office.