Keep offices clean during flu season

January 14th, 2013 Category: Office Cleaning

Focusing on office cleaning could be an effective way of preventing workers being hit by illness this winter.

Staff absenteeism can be both disruptive and costly for any company, so US-based firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas has suggested bosses encourage employees to follow strict hygiene policies.

For instance, it said they should be required to wash their hands on a regular basis, as well as keep their keyboard, mouse, phone and desk clean by using anti-bacterial wipes.

But should the onus be entirely on workers to keep their working environment spick and span?

While they can certainly play a part, employers might also want to demonstrate their commitment to hygiene and cleanliness standards by bringing in contract cleaners to look after their premises.

They can do a professional job of ensuring it is as germ-free as possible, so businesses should hopefully see the results both in the form of a more pleasant premises and reduced staff absenteeism rates.

John Challenger, chief executive officer at Challenger, Gray & Christmas, noted that many workers are reluctant to call in sick as a result of the current economic climate and concerns over job security.

This, he said, means they are coming into work regardless and spreading their infections to other members of staff.

Mr Challenger stated that while these people "may think they are doing the right thing by toughing it out", they are actually damaging the ability of their employer to meet demand.

Businesses were encouraged to devise an effective strategy to accommodate employees who are hit by illness, such as give them the option of working from home if possible rather than coming into the office.

With the emergence of digital communications technology such as online instant messaging systems, this should certainly be practical for many firms, while keeping premises clean should hopefully ensure workers who are still at the office stay free from infection.

"A company might be running at 95 per cent capacity, but if a supplier cannot deliver key parts because half of its workers are sick, it could still find itself unable to keep its operations running," Mr Challenger stated.