CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -The flu season is ramping up and germs spreading in your office is more common than you think.
According to Stratus Building Solutions, the nation’s largest leading commercial cleaning and janitorial company, too many people are coming to work sick, spreading germs like the flu virus and are just plain gross.
In a recent survey by Stratus, healthy employees are partially to blame by not protecting themselves.
61% of those surveyed said they have co-workers who never wash their hands after using the bathroom.
If that doesn’t gross you out, the next problem will because you’re picking up their germs and touching your face.
Viruses need a way to get into your body and the easiest way is through your “T-zone," which is the area from your eyes, past your nose to your mouth.
A news release from Stratus said people can touch their T-zone 16 times per hour, on average.
According to Stratus a woman’s office can have twice the amount of germs than her male counterpart, and it’s not because of contact with their children.
“Actually, it is because it travels everywhere she does,” a spokesperson said about germs sticking to the many items a woman touches. “The floor, car, bathrooms, etc. The purse cannot wash its hands.”
The rest of the survey showed that employees feel like they work in a dirty office to begin with:
- More than 9 out of 10 people polled say their productivity is compromised by a dirty or disorganized office
- 1 out of 4 say they’ve thought about quitting (or actually quit) a job because the office was smelly and unclean
- 51% use a paper towel or handkerchief to open doors because they think the office is dirty
- 51% have seen bugs or rodents in the office
- 31% have seen mold or mildew
Stratus has even gone as far as developing “Fight the Flu" office kits they give to clients to attack what they call hot spots:
- Women’s offices contain more than two times the germs as their male colleagues. Makeup cases, phones and purses have the most bacteria.
- Doorknob or handle: Use a paper towel to open and close the bathroom door and faucets.
- Elevator button: Try not to touch the button, use a tissue or a piece of your clothing instead.
- Office kitchen: microwave, refrigerator, vending machine, water cooler, sink sponges, food and food containers handled by others
- Another person’s keyboard or phone
- Office materials: copy machine, shared books, pens, staplers, etc.
To clean those areas Stratus’ flu kits include:
- New pens to replace old, germ-infested pens employees use each day.
- Cleaning wipes to help employees keep germs away between professional cleanings.
- Hand sanitizer to battle back against sharing germs when shaking hands, sharing documents, eating together at company lunches, etc.
- Color-coded “green-clean” disinfectant sprays and microfiber cleaning wipes, highlighting the importance of hiring a commercial a cleaning partner that uses different, color-coded sprays and wipes for each surface in the office. You don’t want to use the same spray or wipes in the kitchen and bathroom!