For employees that have returned to their offices after the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, sanitization and safety are at the top of mind. Is going back to the office even safe? How can I keep my work station clean? How do I know that the public spaces are going to be clean enough for me to use? Is it even worth the risk to come into the office?
Perceived Cleanliness Affects Every Part of Your Business
There’s a lot that goes into keeping a typical office functioning smoothly each week, and it’s easy to see office cleaning as a side task that happens outside the scope of other functions. But in its own way keeping things professionally cleaned works into many other aspects of the business.
The presentation of the office is probably the most obvious, and it shouldn’t be discounted. If you sell products your staff probably spends a lot of time facing shelves and making sure everything looks right for customers as they browse, and you don’t want dirty buildup on tiles or in corners to sully an otherwise great look.
If you’re more of a service-based office you may not spend time arranging products, but the cleanliness of the space still conveys a message to everyone that comes in. In professional services like staffing, accounting, and legal services that attention to detail says a lot about what you offer.
It may not be true that an accountant with dirty floors isn’t a thorough accountant, for example, but the floors will be a hurdle to overcome with clients. It’s an area of doubt that can be totally avoided, which maximizes marketing spending because visitors you paid to attract aren’t being discouraged.
But did you know that office cleaning affects productivity as well?
Everything from training the staff to office culture shapes efficiency. When people work well together it makes a big difference in what the team can accomplish. Keeping that team at their best is affected by a lot of things, and one of them is indeed the office cleaning.
Germs tend to build up in places we touch frequently, which can be common items found all around the office.
Centers for Disease Control estimate that up to 80% of all illnesses and infections are spread through personal contact and touching common surfaces (OHS Online). Door knobs, tabletops, counters, and even paper towel dispensers are all things people touch most often and are breeding grounds for bacteria.
Here are a few of the big ones:
- Bathrooms – With E. coli, fecal toxins, and germs in general covering virtually every surface (including door handles), it may be wise to use paper towels to close toilet lids and open doors when leaving.
- Keyboards – Did you know that some keyboards can have 200 times the bacteria as a toilet seat? Yikes. Many folks are in front of keyboards all day typing, leaving their hands rife with spreadable bacteria.
- Telephones – Office phones have been known to carry over 20,000 germs per square inch. While not necessarily as heavy as other places, phones do get lifted to our heads and are often used by multiple people, which makes then another prime place to transmit germs.
There are no two ways about it; surfaces people touch often are usually covered in bacteria. Particularly as we enter the colder months of the year when no one opens windows and the air is re-circulated, some facility managers would be surprised how quickly those germs can spread.
The CDC also estimates that the average person touches their face 18 times per hour. A lot of that we probably aren’t even aware of. Germs infect the body most easily through bodily openings, such as the eyes, nose, and mouth. The trouble with touching our faces after touching the aforementioned surfaces is it’s a direct transmission of germy areas to the body.
So why bring up some of these unflattering facts about typical office workplaces? And how does all that relate to productivity?
Solid cleaning habits, including those used in office cleaning services, employ powerful yet eco-friendly cleaning agents. OHS Online references studies that showed good surface disinfecting habits can cut absenteeism up to 50%.
That means fewer days of teams being understaffed because folks are out, and fewer people becoming sick in the first place and getting others sick.
Less Sick Days and More Productivity
The point isn’t to gross you out, but we’ve all seen where a few employees get sick, and then it becomes a good chunk of the office. When you have multiple employees calling in sick it can really affect workflow, making it harder to hit deadlines and costing the company money.
And that’s before you factor in allergens. Did you know that in allergy season an average of 20% of all sick days reported are related to allergies? A regular carpet and upholstery cleaning can eliminate many of these woes — at least around the office. Air filter changes and other easy-to-forget tasks can go a long way toward preventing itchy eyes, congestion, headaches, and other distractions that crush productivity.
With regular janitorial services, these concerns are diminished.
Obviously staff missing work impedes workflow, but putting a dollar figure on exactly how much can be tough. A nationwide average, however, gives a pretty clear big picture view of how much sick days affect the American workforce in general.
Forbes conducted various studies into this very topic and estimates that sick days cost American businesses $576 billion annually (as of 2012). Indirectly, the article states, it can also affect the cost of living for everyone as businesses across the country have reduced margins to fulfill projects.
In a separate study that broke numbers down to a per-employee basis, Forbes estimated that unscheduled absenteeism costs companies an average of $2650 yearly per salaried employee. The numbers were derived from the following:
- Wages paid to staff that was not working those days
- Wages paid to fill-in workers and temporary staff
- Administrative costs of managing the absenteeism
- Management and morale considerations
Undoubtedly, in the case of morale, the workload becomes tougher when coworkers are out. Deadlines don’t change, and that extra weight has to be carried by fewer folks.
Where Do Office Cleaning Services Come Into This?
Office cleaning may sound like it just means vacuuming carpets and waxing floors, but it usually involves quite a bit more.
All of those surfaces, from desks and counters to doorknobs and bathrooms, are disinfected. Phones, keyboards, and other hot spots for germs are all cleaned regularly to dramatically cut down on the transmission of illness throughout the year.
Flu season tends to come during the colder months, but colds of all sorts prevail throughout the year. Plus, with COVID-19, all those surfaces need to be disinfected even MORE often to reduce the risk of transmission.
Janitorial Services Save You Money and Improve Work Flow
It’s probably not the most exciting aspect of your business, but a reliable janitorial service seems invisible when it’s working. From keeping your work areas tidy to disinfecting high-traffic zones, peace of mind is just the first benefit of outsourcing your janitorial duties.
It’s important for your space to look clean and present well to customers, but there are some other direct benefits to your day-to-day operation.
People are wary of wet surfaces and ice in inclement weather, but the biggest source of workplace falls and injuries come from something a little more innocuous. It’s not stairways or parking lots. It’s simply the flat surfaces within the building.
Surveys on all types of facilities, from restaurants to hospitals and hotels, show pretty consistent results. Roughly 70 percent of falls happen on flat indoor surfaces like tile and concrete.
These same slips are the biggest cause of workers’ compensation claims, not to mention that they create over 8 million hospital visits per year.
If your building has dirty, sticky, or slick floors it could be an accident waiting to happen. Areas with heavy foot traffic often have grime buildup, which can catch the bottoms of sneakers when people are walking quickly. Your business doesn’t have time for that.
A Clean Office is a Safe Office — The Janitorial Services Touch
Take the guesswork out of your cleaning and maintenance tasks and hire an experienced team of janitorial professionals. Our staff is trained in cleaning areas contaminated with germs and even bloodborne pathogens, with over 20 years of experience of adhering to stringent facility standards.
Detail is a big consideration for us at CST. Our staff is well-trained to be thorough yet efficient, acting as a business’ silent partner in keeping things going smoothly.
A well cleaned and maintained office has a consistently fuller staff and improves morale due to lower stress and nicer looking workstations. Even little things like the latter point can make a difference over time in how comfortable people feel each day.
What we truly offer at the end of the day is peace of mind for businesses in Greensboro and surrounding areas. Businesses that have their office cleaning handled can focus.
Our programs are flexible and can suit your office’s cleaning needs. Now that you’ve seen the benefits of a thorough clean, we’d be happy to tell you more about how we can help keep your business sharp and efficient!
Call us today to learn more about how our janitorial services can improve your work flow!