Contagious illnesses are often passed from person to person through indirect contact; for example through sharing personal belongings or by coming into contact with contaminated surfaces, such as door handles. If you manage an office, you need to encourage visitors & employees to wash their hands properly, so it’s important to understand the basic guidelines when addressing hygiene in the office.
Five steps for maintaining hygiene in the office:
- Encourage staff to practice good hand hygiene by regularly and thoroughly washing their hands throughout the day. Research shows that finger tips and thumbs often get missed during hand washing. It is recommended that you should wash your hands for as long as it takes to sing happy birthday twice (up to 30 seconds). Thorough hand washing is the easiest and most effective way of helping to reduce and remove potentially harmful bacteria and viruses, and so reduce cross-infection. (Check out our earlier blog post on how to wash your hands properly!).
- Aside from encouraging staff to regularly wash and then dry their hands thoroughly, hand sanitisers should always be available in public areas. The most effective sanitisers are those which are not based on alcohol.
- Ensure regular, thorough cleaning takes place in communal indoor spaces like the dining area, washroom facilities and any corridors. It is recommended that companies undertake a professional deep clean at least twice a year to prevent the build-up of hidden embedded dirt and contamination, and the associated micro organisms. In washrooms, specialist air sterilising devices can alleviate airborne microbes and help reduce unwanted odours.
- Ensure table tops, shelves and any equipment is cleaned regularly using anti-bacterial surface wipes.
- If a member of staff contracts a virus such as norovirus, make sure they stay away from the premise for at least 48 hours after the symptoms have disappeared, to avoid wider contamination.
These steps are simple and cost effective, because hand and surface hygiene is critical to reduce the spread of microbial infections. If you’d like to seek advice on cleanliness in your facility, give the guys at The Organised Cleaning Company a call on 020 7458 4433 and they’d be happy to help.