Local employers are scrambling to keep their offices flu-free. Unfortunately, many workers who come to work sick pass along germs at the office, which becomes a breeding ground for disease. Studies indicate the average adult brings their fingers to the nose, mouth or eyes about 16 times per hour, and germs thrive on human touch. The flu can cost the United States up to $167 billion per year in healthcare costs and lost productivity.
Local cleaning pros with Stratus Building Solutions, the nation’s leading commercial cleaning and janitorial company, recently conducted a study that sheds a light on why the flu may be running rampant in office spaces across the country:
More than half of the survey participants use a paper towel or handkerchief to open doors because they think the office is dirty.
Over half of the employees surveyed had seen bugs or rodents in the office, and almost a third had seen mold or mildew.
More than 61 percent of those surveyed said they have co-workers who never wash their hands after using the bathroom.
That’s why Stratus created “Fight the Office Flu” kits to help businesses stay as flu-free as possible.
This flu season, our local cleaning experts are heading out to offices to drop off flu kits and help employees clean up Office Germ Hot Spots!
Top Office Germ Hot Spots:
Women’s offices contain more than 2x the germs as their male colleagues. Makeup cases, phones and purses have the most bacteria.
Doorknob or handle – Use a paper towel to open and close the bathroom door (bathroom faucets too).
Elevator button – Try not to touch the button, use a tissue or a piece of your clothing instead
Office kitchen – microwave, refrigerator, vending machine, water cooler, sink sponges, food/food container handled by others.
Another person’s keyboard or phone.
Office materials – Copier machine, shared books, pens, staplers, etc.
Key Prevention Tips:
Prevention is key – Get a flu shot!!! It’s not too late! (Studies show getting the flu shot in the morning is most effective). Many offices provide flu-shots in-house. It takes approximately two weeks for protection provided by the vaccination to begin.
If you feel run-down and sick, stay home from work! People are most contagious during the first 2–3 days of contracting a cold and about 5 days after being infected with the flu – even before symptoms develop.
Wash your hands with hot water for 20 seconds with soap, several times a day, especially following contact with the top office hot spots.
Avoid touching your face, eyes, or rubbing our nose.
Relax — stress can decrease immunity.
Drink more water! Decrease sugar intake. Get more sleep. Take Vitamin C and D.
Flight the Flu Kits Include:
New pens to replace old, germ-infested pens employees use each day.
Cleaning wipes to help employees keep germs away between professional cleanings.
Hand sanitizer to battle back against sharing germs when shaking hands, sharing documents, eating together at company lunches, etc.
Color-coded “green-clean” disinfectant sprays and microfiber cleaning wipes – highlighting the importance of hiring a commercial a cleaning partner that uses different, color-coded sprays and wipes for each surface in the office. You don’t want to use the same spray/wipe in the kitchen and bathroom!
Each year, on average, 5 percent to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu, tens of thousands are hospitalized and thousands die from flu-related illness. This costs an estimated $10.4 billion a year in direct medical expenses and an additional $16.3 billion in lost earnings annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Remember when you catch the flu you can easily spread it to the most susceptible groups — young children and seniors. So think of yourself, and others, please.
You cannot get the flu from the flu shot!
Let’s work together to fight the flu and help keep employees healthy! (in-Studio and remote Interviews)
We can come to your newsroom and discuss the top Office Germ Hot Spots and bring along an example of a “Fight the Flu Kit” employees can keep at their desks.
OR you can also follow us on a cleaning job where we can point out the top Office Germ Hot Spots, and possibly have you talk with an office manager as well.