Imagine a typical day at work:
Like any other office-goer, you spend more than one-third of your waking hours at the office. Every morning, you rush to work & hurriedly enter the crowded elevator, press the buttons, get to your desk, switch on the computer and begin typing at the keyboard.
It’s mid-morning, you fish out a sandwich from your bag, hold it in one hand and use the other hand to continue typing. You drop a pen, bend down to pick it up while you are talking on the phone. A colleague walks by, you quickly wipe your hand to a piece of tissue and promptly shake hands or maybe even exchange a hug.
After the phone call, you decide you need a break and rush to the washroom. Several co-workers are already there. You use the restroom and, while exchanging gossip, you absent-mindedly rest your hand on washbasin after you wash your hands.
You go back to your desk & realize someone switched off the AC, you switch it on and suddenly start sneezing…the rest is history…
Your working environment is full of germs. Except if you work in a disinfected workspace, like an operation theatre or lab, you are exposed to millions of bacteria and germs each time you are at work.
There is a high risk of being exposed to germs around the workstation from keyboards, phones, desks to the mouse. Microbes can be transferred through toilet faucets, microwave, fridge door handles, water fountain buttons, vending machine buttons among others.
A while ago, Saurabh Agarwal, Director, UNIFY Facility Management revealed shocking insights on how workplaces are dirty. You can read the previous article here.
This time, Saurabh reveals 7 workplace threats and related infection risks:
1. Workplace threat: Congested workspace; small office or lack of proper space allocation resulting in employees sitting very close
Related Risk: Spread of common cold or influenza virus
2. Workplace threat: Closed offices in an incubated environment with artificial lighting
Related Risk: Severe Vitamin D deficiency due to lack of sunlight and/or respiratory infections
3. Workplace threat: Badly maintained air conditioning (HVAC) system
Related Risk: Legionella Pneumonia (lung inflammation usually caused by infection) and Tuberculosis
4. Workplace threat: Unclean air-conditioning (HVAC) vents
Related Risk: Spread of air-borne bacteria, fungal spores, and viruses.
5. Workplace threat: Thick wall-to-wall carpets, curtains and old files
Related Risk: Dust mites that can aggravate asthma
6. Workplace Threat: Fumes and toxic chemical exposure
Related Risk: Irreversible lung damage
7. Workplace Threat: Badly-lit workstations or unergonomic chairs and keyboards
Related Risk: Eye strain and headaches, and ‘computer vision syndrome’, mechanical back pain leading to spondylosis and disc disease
How can you ensure workplace hygiene is maintained?
Of course, you can maintain workplace hygiene by cleaning your own desk and using sanitizers before using equipment that others have touched. But that is not a complete solution to the threats.
Saurabh advises that employees must play a role in coercing the Office Administration/ Human Resource Department to hire a Commercial Cleaning & Facility Management partner who will ensure that the workplace is kept clean & risk-free.
If your office has already hired a cleaning services company, it would be a good idea to ask them to submit a cleaning audit & effectiveness report that will assure you of your health and safety.
How to choose a good commercial cleaning company?
On our request, Saurabh shared a few guidelines on how to choose a good commercial cleaning partner. He firmly believes that quality of work life depends on a healthy environment at the office. He says, “Workplace wellness must be on the top of the agenda of any company that wants to grow and prosper. Healthy employees mean less absenteeism, more productivity.”
Speaking about his decade-old venture, UNIFY Facility Management, Saurabh ascertains, “With a 95% renewal rate, we currently manage 400 clients across 15 cities. Our trained workforce is 4500 people strong & we pride in partnering our clients to enhance workplace environment within a reasonable cost structure”
He continues by adding, “UNIFY provides services in the areas of Housekeeping, Office Support Staff, Pantry Service, Pest Control, Water tank cleaning, Facade cleaning. The highlight of our hard services is efficient property management that includes taking care of electrical systems, air conditioning systems, and vital heavy equipment. We ensure that the professional space is always ready to function. We provide expert services in electrical services, carpentry, HVAC, Plumbing, DG Set operations & lift operations.”
A clean office environment keeps employees satisfied and business visitors impressed. Hiring a reputed cleaning services company is a must for any organization or commercial facility.
How is the environment at your office? Is it clean? What are the steps that the management takes to ensure that you get a comfortable workspace? We would love to read your views, suggestions, and comments. Looking forward to reading your views!
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