How to keep your workplace germ free
However large your workplace, it can be an easy place to catch a virus that can spread rapidly, affecting the health of everyone in your working environment. Think about how many people touch door handles, photocopier buttons, stair railings and canteen tables at work. Germs can survive for up to 72 hours on areas that are regularly touched. Even a handshake from a visitor could spread cold or flu viruses.
A recent Kimberly-Clark Professional study tested a variety of office hot spots for levels of contamination. Here are the percentage of surfaces that were found to have high levels of contamination, with Adenosine Triphosphate counts of 300 or higher:
But there's no need to fret. Here are our top tips for promoting hygienic practices in your workplace
Luckily, there are a variety of easy practices you can adopt to prevent the spread of viruses at work. By implementing a ‘wash, wipe and sanitise’ routine, you could reduce the probability of catching colds or flu by up to 80%.
The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock has recently quoted that hand washing is the "single most important thing that an individual can do" to prevent the spread of viruses. By encouraging everyone in the workplace to regularly wash their hands with an antibacterial hand wash, you’ll not only be protecting yourself but others around you too.
Antibacterial handwash is not just for the bathroom either. Keep a bottle in the kitchen for staff to use before they prepare lunch and before touching microwave and fridge doors. School kids have recently been told to wash their hands to the tune of Happy Birthday twice (or 20 seconds for those who don’t fancy singing!) It’s also good practice to wash your hands when you enter the office after the morning commute and wash your hands when you return home. This simple action will prevent the spread of germs to friends or family members as well as your colleagues.
Hand drying is equally important to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. Providing a stock of paper towels that can be discarded in the bin is the best way to stop the spread of germs after hand washing.
Encourage anyone with a cold to sneeze into a tissue that can be thrown away in the bin. Keep a handy box of tissues on your desk to ensure there’s always one to hand should you feel a sneeze coming on.
Why not also keep a stock of handy antibacterial wipes around the office. Use these on telephones, desks, door handles and cupboard doors. Similarly, keep a handy caddy of cleaning products in your meeting or conference rooms for cleaning tables and chairs before and after a meeting.
Having a range of antibacterial cleaning products around the office for all to use is a great way to promote a healthy office. If products are well stocked and on hand, it’s far easier to get into the momentum of regular cleaning.
As Spring approaches, there’s no better time of year to have a good clear out and a deep clean of your workplace. Dig out the rubber gloves, empty drawers and pull out cupboards to tackle dust and grime. Clean and open the windows to breathe in some fresh air. Get everyone involved. We guarantee it’ll give the whole team a sense of satisfaction and may even have a positive effect on productivity!
Don’t forget to concentrate on hard surfaces such as your desk and computer. It’s a shocking fact that there are 400x more germs on the average desk than on a toilet seat! A computer cleaning kit will help you sanitise all the nooks and crannies in your keyboard that are tricky to handle. Don’t forget about your mouse, telephone and screen which can often be overlooked.