An experiment reported in Live Science used a harmless virus to show how quickly more serious viruses like Noro can spread. The virus was placed in a couple of spots in a typical office, and within two to three hours was found to have spread to 60% of the surfaces in the room. The study also found that the use of QUAT-based disinfectants dramatically reduced the spread of the virus, by up to 99%.
QUAT is short for quaternary ammonium chloride compound, a group of disinfectants that not only kill germs but have a powerful cleaning effect too. They are used in preference to bleach because bleach is corrosive, causes damage to objects (and people) and has no real cleaning power, despite being able to kill germs. This is the sort of knowledge that the best commercial cleaners possess, because they make it their business to keep your business surfaces healthy. They do this by using the right techniques and chemicals that clean your office right down to the microbial level.
But you and your staff can help, and to keep your office clean and your staff healthy, here are three things employees should not be doing at work.
1. Making a mess in the kitchen
The kitchen is the one place in the office that people tend to abuse and a study has shown that half the surface space in workplace kitchens is contaminated by coliforms (usually found in the toilet). Even someone with a clean and tidy desk will think nothing of leaving a dirty cup in three inches of filthy water, only to fish it out and use it again an hour later. Kitchens can be so dirty that some staff refuse to use them, and they make a bad impression on visitors and clients. Commercial cleaners can include your kitchen on their schedule and keep potential hazards under control.
2. Turning the heat up too much
Ventilation is important for health and fresh, cool air can reduce mildew and even stop the spread of bacteria since it reduces the amount of moisture in the air. On the other hand, over-warm offices encourage the growth of bacteria and viruses – the office becomes a giant petri dish home to all sorts of nasties. Keep the temperature cooler, rather than hotter, and explain to your staff the reason why it’s healthier.
3. Taking the cleaning into their own hands
As mentioned, it’s important to know which cleaning compounds are needed to really keep an office clean. Apart from using QUAT-based disinfectant, commercial office cleaning services also use special HEPA filters on the equipment they use to clean the carpet and floors. This means that particles are being retained inside the machine, not scattered across the office from the vacuum’s air outlet.
Your office staff are not professional commercial cleaners, and shouldn’t be required to take on that responsibility. Use the services of a professional cleaner and let your staff concentrate on what you pay them to do.