Keeping the Flu at Bay in the Workplace - Unisan Columbus
Keeping the Flu at Bay in the Workplace

Keeping the Flu at Bay in the Workplace

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Cold and flu season has arrived, and this is the time of the year when the most people call in sick. Although the increase in sick coworkers may be blamed on the change in weather, in reality, the main culprit is probably an unhealthy office. If your employees have touched a computer keyboard, turned a door handle, pushed an elevator button or used the restroom and/or kitchen while at work, then they have likely already come into contact with more germs than the average toilet seat. Some of the most common germ-ridden places in an office are the least expected. So, to help prevent the risk of the flu being passed throughout the office, here are a few tips for keeping your workplace clean during flu season.

Keep Desk Areas Clean

The desk and items on or near it are touched quite frequently. As a result, some desks are a haven for germs. Consider enforcing a “no eating at the desk” policy to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination. Use a canned air-container to clean out particles between keyboard keys and use a sanitizing wipe to disinfect all keyboards and the mouse. Also, use a disinfecting wipe or a spray on phones and remove any tissues that may be littering the desks, especially during flu season. Cleaning and disinfecting desks regularly can make all the difference when it comes to reducing the risk of spreading germs.

Deep Clean Restrooms

The area that promotes the greatest risk of spreading flu germs is the restroom. It is essential that companies focus on specific cleaning strategies that will thoroughly disinfect, not just surface clean, all areas of the restrooms. To help keep restrooms clean and sanitary, make sure to follow these tips:


  • Schedule Deep Cleanings. It is recommended that you schedule a deep clean for the entire office, especially the restrooms, by a professional cleaning service. If you or office staff is responsible for cleaning the restrooms, the floors, walls, and partitions must be scrubbed with both a disinfectant and a sanitizer. If deep cleaning is only done once or twice a year, it’s best to time it at the beginning and the end of flu season. At the end of each workday, make sure to use a disinfecting spray or wipe on the door handles, paper towel dispensers, stall doors and faucets.
  • Install Hand Sanitizers. Hand sanitizers in strategic locations such as near the restroom exit are an easy reminder employees to wash and sanitize their hands. You can also place signage above the sinks and on the restroom doors that remind employees to wash their hands.
  • Remove TouchPoints. Going hands-free will reduce the spread of germs, so consider installing hands-free appliances, such as automatic toilets, soap and paper towel dispensers and sinks. Encourage employees to avoid shaking hands with other employees and visitors to reduce the risk of spreading the flu.

Kitchen and Break-Rooms

Kitchen and break-room areas are the second most common areas for the spread of germs. Encourage employees to clean and disinfect all tables, counters and appliances each day. Also, hang signage and install hand sanitizers in the kitchen and break rooms to remind employees to wash and sanitize their hands. Floors should be mopped with disinfecting cleaner daily, and walls should be wiped down with a disinfectant at least once a week.

Outside of deep cleaning these areas, you should focus on cleaning all surfaces where cross-contamination is possible. If you suspect an outbreak of the flu, everything from the elevator buttons to the doorknobs should be sprayed with a disinfectant; a hospital-grade disinfectant will instantly kill all bacteria and germs.

Need help keeping your office space clean? We can help! Contact us at Unisan today to get started.