Winter is in full force, which means that flu season is upon us. Once it makes its way to your office, it can spread quickly, affecting many of your employees and your business practices. Keeping your facility clean and disinfected can prevent an outbreak from occurring.
How Does the Flu Affect You?
The flu is a highly contagious virus spread through person-to-person contact. It can be spread up to six feet away through droplets carried through the area as the infected person talks, coughs or sneezes, transferring to people standing nearby. The flu can also be spread by contact with an object or surface the contains traces of the virus, especially if you touch your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands. Up to 20% of the population will contract the virus throughout the season and will be able to pass it on for up to seven days after symptoms begin to present, as well as in the days before you realize you have become sick. Up to 200,000 individuals will be hospitalized due to symptoms from the disease.
From a business perspective, the flu can lead to tremendous loss of funds. In the United States alone, up to $576 billion will be spent on medical costs, from medical visits to medications, lost earnings from not being able to work and overtime costs.
How Can I Prevent the Spread of Flu Through My Office?
You can prevent the flu from spreading through your office, gym or restaurant by changing your cleaning habits throughout the winter. The appearance of your facility can have a bigger impact on visitor perspective than you may realize, especially when it comes to your restroom and floors. There are also a number of touch points throughout your facility that are mindlessly handled throughout the day, without anyone giving it much of a thought. You can keep your facility disinfected by tackling the following areas:
- Touch Points. Door handles, faucets, microwave buttons, railings, and desk phones go from hand to hand throughout the day, often before you handle food or use the restroom. Having a day porter come to your facility and go over frequent touch points throughout the day removes germs quickly and reduces the spread of illness throughout your facility.
- Floors. Regardless of whether you have wood, tile, laminate or carpeted floors, keeping them clean can prevent illness, falls and injury. When you first enter the facility, dust and dirt particles will be tracked in on your shoes, landing on the floor. Residue buildup not only leads to unsightly scuff marks from forming but also patches where people can slip and fall. Regular vacuuming of carpeted areas will extract any particles collecting within the fibers.
- Your Desk. Your hands are on your phone, keyboard, computer, and mouse for most of the day. Continuously touching them after an illness will allow you to get sick again while your immune system is down. Wipe down your workstation each day with electronics-safe microfiber cloths and cleaning agents to disinfect your devices.