Cleaning, Office, Tips

The shocking truth about dirty office phones

 

On the surface, your office may look perfectly clean and tidy. However, with so many different employees using your facilities, it can actually be the ideal breeding ground for bacteria.

Germs can lurk in the places you would least expect and an inefficient cleaning regime can have a dramatic and negative effect on your business. High levels of germs and bacteria can lead to an outbreak of staff sickness as illnesses like colds and flu can quickly spread. This may mean your employees will be forced to take time off work.

Therefore, it’s in the best interests of both your company and your staff to maintain a clean and sanitized office environment at all times.

FACT: The average work desk is an astounding 400 times dirtier than the typical toilet seat!

Additionally, one of the dirtiest areas in the office is also one of the objects you might least expect; office phones!

As the phones in your office are so regularly coming into contact with your employees’ hands, this equipment often harbours damaging germs and bacteria. In fact, startling statistics indicate that the average office worker’s hands come into contact with 10 million bacteria every single day.

Inevitably, some of these harmful bacteria are transferred onto office phones, which are contaminated with approximately 25,000 germs per square inch. However, office phones aren’t the only piece of equipment taken over by germs and you might be surprised by the dirtiest places in the office. Water coolers, computer keyboards and taps are all key areas of the working environment that are vulnerable to high levels of contamination.

Whilst it is impossible to completely stop germs spreading in a busy office, there are steps you can take to reduce unhygienic and potentially dangerous bacteria levels. As an employer, it’s your duty to provide a clean working environment and uphold high standards to protect your employees from contracting illnesses.

To reduce germs both on office phones and in the entire office environment, you should firstly ensure that employees who are unwell do not come into the workplace. One employee’s absence is a lot more cost effective for your business than allowing an unwell employee to spread their illness to your other staff.

Secondly, you should inspire your staff to regularly clean their office phone and general desk area by providing access to anti-bacterial wipes and cleaning materials. If costs allow, you might also consider providing one office phone per employee and encouraging employees not to share phones to halt the spread of germs. You should additionally ensure there are signs displayed in toilets and kitchen areas to remind employees of the importance of washing their hands.

Despite these proactive steps, many employees are too busy with their work to commit to keeping their desk area hygienic. Therefore, to keep germs and bacteria at a safe level and provide a clean and pleasant working environment for your employees, you may need professional help.

Cleaning, Tips

5 ways to tackle cleaning chaos in workplace communal areas

 

Do you own a business or work somewhere with a communal area? If so, you’ve probably had your fair share of issues when it comes to keeping the kitchen or break area clean – and you’re not alone…

In a study conducted in 2010 by OfficeTeam, as many as 44% of workers identified making a mess for others to clean up as the most annoying behaviour in company break rooms.

“Since the kitchen is a common space, some workers may believe it’s someone else’s responsibility to keep it clean and organised,” – said executive director of OfficeTeam.

A messy communal area frustrates employees causing them to be in a negative mood at work and therefore reducing productivity levels. Simply put, a dirty communal area means employees are miserable and less likely to pull their weight at work.

If the plates are building up on a regular basis and you’re getting fed up of the overflowing bin and crammed fridge, here’s some steps you can take to tackle your communal workplace cleaning…

1. Devise a policy

In order to improve cleaning standards in communal areas, you need to set some guidelines for employees to follow such as the following:

• Place all rubbish in the bin

• Wipe down surfaces after use

• Wipe down microwave after use

• Only store food in the fridge if it is adequately sealed

• Do not leave dirty dishes, cutlery or mugs in the sink – clean, dry and put away after use.

2. Make it clear to employees

Once you’ve devised a plan, you need to inform employees. The best way to do this is to place a sign on the wall in the communal areas clearly stating the new guidelines and notify staff during meetings or via a mass email.

Some employees may need encouragement to keep the communal area clean. If this is the case, remind them of the health risks associated with a dirty workplace and politely give them reminders every now and then.

3. Allocate responsibilities

There’s always one employee that revels in the joy of having responsibility and some sort of power over their colleagues. If you have someone like this in your workplace, they are the perfect person to help you keep on top of the guidelines you set and encourage other employees to do the same.

4. Reward success

Hopefully your employees will be mature and understanding enough to follow the new rules and genuinely want a cleaner work place. However, you can still reward good results by treating them every once in a while. Whether it’s adding a top of the range coffee machine to the break room or simply adding a nicer brand of biscuits, little gestures of appreciation will go a long way.

5. Hire cleaning experts

Most businesses don’t have time to add cleaning to their to-do list and there is a fine line when it comes to expecting employees to clean as most will argue it’s not listed in their job description. Additionally, a good use of your employees time is doing what you pay them to do – which isn’t cleaning.

Hiring a commercial cleaning company can take care of all of the issues we mentioned above and more. They’ll not only clean the workplace but sanitise too which will prevent your staff from picking up work place illnesses and taking time off work.

A clean business is a productive business.

If you’re ready to say goodbye to a dirty communal area and improve staff morale, get in touch with us here at Magic Cleaning Supplies today.

Care, Tips

Taking care of your hands

When working in certain job roles, your hands may come into contact with a number of contaminants. Some of these may be fairly obvious, such as grease, oil, and general dirt – however, there are many unseen contaminants that you may come into contact with on a daily basis without even realising it. This can be especially dangerous if you work in a commercial kitchen or in a medical environment.

For kitchen staff, handling raw meats can carry a number of rather nasty bacterial surprises, such as Salmonella and E.Coli. These bacteria will transfer from a workers hands onto any surface they touch, from doors and drawer handles to plates and cutlery. Also when other foods are handled, there is a significant risk of cross-contamination. For this reason alone, it is essential that hands are sanitised and cleaned in the correct manner, in order to minimise the risks of this happening.

So when should you wash your hands?

• Before eating or handling food;
• After using the toilet;
• After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing;
• After touching animals or animal waste;
• After handling rubbish;
• After changing a nappy;
• Before and after touching a sick or injured person;
• Before and after visiting a hospital ward (remember alcohol-based hand rubs are also provided).

Can’t I just wash my hands with water?

Just rinsing your hands with water on its own is massively ineffective in comparison to using soap. This is because the bacteria and pathogens lodge in the natural oils in our hands. It is also important to make sure that you dry your hands correctly, as wet hands make for an excellent transmission medium for bacteria. Once the soap is applied to hands, it’s recommended to wash them for at least 20-30 seconds to make sure you lift all the dirt and bacteria first and then rinse.

Hand Sanitizers

If you’ve ever used a hand sanitizer product before, then you may have been left with hands which feel like they may be even stickier and dirtier than to begin with. This can lead to you questioning the effectiveness of your hand care product, but the reality of it is you may just be not applying it correctly. Warm water and soap is by far the most effective way to keep your hands clean and safe from bacteria, however, for those times when you just don’t have the time – this is where a hand sanitizer is perfect.

Ensure you use an alcohol based product, with at least 60% alcohol to enable it to destroy bacteria and germs. Be thorough with its application to the hands, working all over until it dries up. If your hands are heavy soiled, then you will need to life this dirt first before using hand sanitizer.

Beyond Cleaning

Cleaning your hands is essential for keeping them free from bacteria, but there are also products out there which allow some protection from the get go. Barrier creams will help to prevent the spread of pathogens, and will help keep hands from losing moisture through trans-epidermal water loss.

Cleaning, Tips

Winter is gone – Spring is coming

Spring is just around the corner, so the dreaded specter of the spring clean is looming. It needn’t be a nightmare though – we’ve compiled eight brilliant spring cleaning tips for you to clean your home effectively, and cut some corners where you can so you can get back to enjoying your weekend 😉

1. Preparation is key

Spring cleaning can be a daunting task, so putting some groundwork in to get yourself ready and motivated is a great first step. Write in your calendar, stick a reminder on your phone – and put off those social plans (and put down those social media apps!!!). Scheduling time to do this gives you incentive. Work from the top of your home to the bottom, tackling the rooms in a logical order, and tackle the larger tasks first – they’re always the worst ones, but once they’re done the remaining tasks will be a breeze! Give yourself some motivation, stick the radio on, and do your best Mrs. Doubtfire, try to take the monotony out of the tasks, and you’ll barely realize you’re doing them as you autopilot through your checklist!!

 

2. Don’t neglect those forgotten areas

Its all well and good cleaning the carpets, sofa and kitchen tops – but don’t forget those hidden areas! Your impressive CD and DVD collections? Pull them out and dust them off, including the shelf they’re on! Move any furniture and get in those spaces where it normally sits – you’ll be surprised how much stuff gets kicked under sofas and chairs! Make sure to get above any units, and reach those awkward top corners of each room – need a hand? then use an extendable cobweb brush to ensure you leave no stone unturned in your home.

 

3. Clear your corners

When tackling the vacuuming, the best way of achieving a uniform clean is to begin from the corners. Always start in the furthest corner, working your way over to the door of the room – using slow back and forth motions to ensure maximum coverage, slightly overlapping each motion as you go. This technique will ensure efficient coverage and you should end up by the door – ready to tackle the next room!

 

4. Wait for the perfect weather to clean windows

Are you waiting for a sunny day to tackle your windows? STOP RIGHT THERE. The best time to clean windows is actually when it is Overcast – why is this? Because direct sunlight on the glass will make the surface of the window hot, and this will actually dry your window cleaning solution out as you’re working, rendering it ineffective and causing your windows to get even worse! So the golden rule is this – wait for moderately rubbish weather before tackling those windows!

 

5. Exorcise that waste disposal

Your kitchens waste disposal system can over time begin to get a build up of unwanted smells whenever it is used over time, and this is usually not very pleasant for a kitchen! Keeping this clean is a simple enough job, however. If you simply drop in a cut up lemon, with a couple of ice cubes and a few pinches of salt – this will deodorize and clean away any stinky residues, leaving your disposal unit smelling nice and fresh!

 

6. Picking the right broom

Using the wrong type of broom for the wrong job can cause you to struggle with your floor cleaning routine, so its always important to make sure that the broom you plan to use is well suited to the type of surface you’re intending to cover. For indoor use, a broom with finer bristles will be king, as this will easily allow it to pick up smaller dust particles. For outdoors usage, always go for the sturdier, stiff bristled brooms. These are perfect for more porous surfaces, as well as being excellent at lifting more stubborn soil from surfaces such as decking and concrete.

 

7. Revitalise your stainless steel surfaces

Stainless steel gives a really smart, professional and clinical look to any kitchen, whether it’s your personal one at home or part of a commercial operation. Over time and without the correct maintenance, these surfaces can lose their luster, looking worn and dull. To get the brilliant shine back in your worktops and cookers, simply try applying a light misting of a wax-based aerosol, or specialized stainless steel cleaning product.

 

8. Keep your shower doors crystal clear

Bathrooms are always constant when it comes to cleaning – discarded clothing, floor strewn towels, moisture leaving streaks everywhere – its the same in every home. You can do some work to at least tackle the streaking and build up of soap scum on the glass of your shower! When you’ve finished cleaning them down – treat them with car windshield water repellent! This invisible barrier will bead water off the surface, minimising the appearance of streaks and marks!!!