A picture of a MOM franchisee next to a bucket, a mop. product to clean the floor and a wet floor sign.

Fostering a Clean & Healthy Work Environment

Work is a fact of life. No matter what we do, our jobs are the one entity we can pretty much count on encountering at least 3 out of 7 days a week. That being said, one other thing is certain: it’s not only the work you do that motivates you, but also the atmosphere in which it all happens.

A positive work atmosphere is an essential part of your everyday routine — and that means more than good lighting. To be fully positive and productive you need to feel that your place of work is clean, healthy, and safe. Here are a few tips about the biggest hygiene hazards to look out for in your office environment and how to avoid them.

Floors

You’ve probably heard of the 5 second rule — that food dropped on the floor is safe to eat if you pick it up within five second. Well, you should also know it’s a complete myth. Floors are floors. We walk on them, and they’re a breeding ground for contamination.

Whether your floors are hardwood or carpeted, they are home to various types of dirt and bacteria. Just think of the amount of foot traffic that is common to each and every area of your office space. Our shoes track in particles of dust, powder, clay, salt and organic material by the thousands each day.

If kept clean, a carpeted floor acts like a sponge and absorbs a large part of these contaminants. With over-soiled or unclean carpets, however, dirt particles become airborne, effecting the air quality and general cleanliness of the office space.

Unclean hardwood and linoleum floors can be even worse. They absorb nothing, allowing dust and particles to be kicked up every time someone walks across them.

Ensuring that your floors and carpets are regularly vacuumed and deep cleaned will help them do their job as active bacteria buffers, and will help contribute to health and safety of both the air you breath, and all the other surfaces you touch.

Air quality

We never stop breathing, so the quality of air we breathe has significant effects on our mood and health. While stuffy rooms can make us groggy, a deep breath of fresh air can be invigorating.

No matter where you are, the quality of the air you breath is affected by its surrounding elements. Indoors, we are surrounded by furniture, paper, plastic, food, dust and, of course, other people. Any of these combined with improper ventilation can easily lead to stale air, odors, dander, and other pollutants.

The best solution to avoid problems like this is simple: regularly scheduled cleaning of your air ducts and vents! This is the most effective way to permanently reduce the airborne contaminants circulating in your office space and to ensure that everyone can breathe easy.

Restrooms

As the most widely shared space of any office space, the importance of a clean and hygienic restroom is paramount. The biggest challenge, however, is implementation. While most people are confident that they know the ins and outs of clean washroom, too often this translates into a space that looks clean to the naked eye, but still requires some care to be safe and hygienic.

A mopped floor, clean sinks, and a freshly changed garbage may satisfy an onlooker’s perception of a clean washroom, but looks can be deceiving. To ensure a perfectly clean and safe restroom, proper attention also needs to be given to toilet bowls, floor drains, faucets, and vents.

Fortunately, all you need to meet this cleaning challenge is a bit of good planning and management. A comprehensive identification of suitable cleaning standards, a plan for maintaining them, and proper communication with your staff are all you need to keep your restroom experience positive for everyone.

Cleaning in Action

A cleaning initiative is one thing, but using the proper methods and products are another. From simple dusting to floor refinishing most cleaning tasks involve a certain cleaning product or chemical. Though these are relatively safe, accidents can happen if they are not properly handled.

For instance, mixing together certain cleaning agents (such as chlorine and ammonia based products) can release highly toxic fumes. Similarly, a floor that is mopped with a too-highly concentrated product may leave a potentially harmful residue which then evaporates into the air where everyone breathes it in. It’s difficult to see the point of clean and sterile surfaces if the cleaning products used make people sick.

Problems like these, however, can be easily avoided through proper cleaning-chemical safety procedures. By taking inventory of all the products on the premises and making sure that only qualified personnel who understand the potential health risks associate with their use and storage, we can ensure a work environment that’s not only clean, but safe, as well.

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