“I really can't stay, but baby it's cold outside.
I've got to go away, but baby it's cold outside.“ --Dean Martin
How Cold Weather Increases the Spread of Colds & Flu
With all the arctic weather, talk about the polar vortex and President Obama's decree during the recent State of the Union address that global climate change is real, one thing is certain, baby it’s cold outside. Dropping temperatures mean more than bundling up and icy roads, they mean more time spent indoors and that means increased risk of cold and flu transmissions. This year's record low temperatures and snowstorms are driving people indoors. Unfortunately, when people go inside, germs and sickness follow very close behind.
Does Commercial Cleaning Matter When It Comes to the Flu?
For businesses, the increased transmission of the flu and other illness inducing germs doesn’t just increase the company’s Kleenex budget, it translates into lower productivity and increased absenteeism. So what can you do to protect your health and the health of your employees and customers? Your first line of defense against colds and flus is cleaning for health inside where you work and live. Ideally, you are protected at work by a Commercial Office Cleaning program at that focuses on health and safety this germy, buggy time of year. What is cleaning for health?
Commercial Office Cleaning & Disease Prevention
Study after study demonstrates that touch points are the major culprit when it comes to spreading disease. What exactly are touch points and why are they so dirty? Touch points are those areas that meet many different hands throughout a normal day like a computer mouse, phone, handles on doors, sinks and toilets. Adults are hardly better than children when it comes to touching their noses and mouths and when they use those same hands to open doors and open computer files, germs spread with amazing efficacy. Touch points are germy for sure but they are also often some of the most ignored areas for cleaning because there isn’t always visible dirt. Just because your office looks clean doesn’t mean it is clean. For this reason, any commercial office cleaning company that wants to reduce the spread of disease and its ill effect on business must focus on these touch points.
Additionally, cleaning products are only as good as the cleaners using them. Any commercial office cleaning company worth their salt should understand the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing. Cleaning removes dirt from surfaces or objects. Cleaning uses soap or surfactants with water to physically remove dirt and germs from surfaces. Cleaning does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing many of them, their numbers are lowered, as is the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting on the other hand, kills germs on surfaces or things. Disinfecting using chemicals to kill germs, though this process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. Finally, effective sanitizing can reduce the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as assessed by public health standards. Did you know that to be effective against disease-causing germs, microbes, viruses, spores and bacteria, most cleaners require very specific dwell times? Dwell times are the amount of time a cleaner must sit wet on a surface to completely clean and kills germs. If your commercial office cleaning company is rushing through their work or using cleaners improperly, you might not be getting the protection you and your employees deserve.
Commercial Office Cleaning & Hand Washing Offer a Two-fold Defense Against the Flu
To reduce the transmission on colds and flus in your office, the best defense is a good offense. First, by using a commercial office cleaning service to clean for health in your offices, you put up the first solid barrier to more colds and flus making the rounds in your organization. Second, encourage your employees to wash their hands frequently and you will reduce touch point transmission in the periods between office cleaning. Even the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recognized how important touch point cleaning and hand washing are for reducing the spread of flu and other infectious diseases, especially in offices, schools and health care facilities.
Don’t Let the Flu Put Your Office Out of Commission
If you take basic steps to prevent the transmission of the flu and colds this season, the recent especially cold weather won’t have to mean more absenteeism in your office. With a little attention from your commercial office cleaning service to the real work of cleaning for health and some hand washing diligence on behalf of you and your employees, you can skate your way through the Polar vortex and be ready for the breath of fresh air and relief from increased colds and flus Spring brings.