Cold and flu season can put a drastic halt to your employee’s productivity. The National Institutes of Health reported that about 150 million workdays are missed each year as a result of the common cold, accounting for about 40 percent of all time lost during the work year. However, the introduction of toxic chemicals to clean and disinfect surfaces is rarely the best option for keeping employees healthy. As an employer, it may be inexpensive and easy to incorporate non-toxic and organic cleaning solutions to keep your employees from spreading germs.
Upgrade Current Supplies to Organic Products
A number of newer, brand-name cleaning products are available. These non-toxic and organic cleaning products are often available through office supply companies. They work just as well as other products and tend to have comparable costs. This is the simplest of solutions for keeping workplaces clean without using toxic products.
It’s possible to sanitize without the use of toxic chemicals. These solutions can help fight cold and flu season germs:
- Create a solution – Equal parts of white vinegar and water can easily clean surfaces in the workplace to remove germs. You can also use this in bathrooms.
- Remove scuff marks and stains – Use baking soda slightly dampened into a paste.
- Use natural disinfectants – Tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract can help cleanse surfaces and stop the spread of disease.
Talk to employees about the products they bring into the workspace. Promote the use of green cleaning products and organic sanitizers.
Create a Healthier Workplace
There are several steps employers can take to significantly improve the overall healthiness of any workspace. Consider these tips:
- Install hand sanitizing stations – Encourage people to use these products as they enter the workplace and place stations throughout the workplace.
- Keep garbage cans empty – Removing trash and waste products from workplaces frequently helps reduce the spread of bacteria.
- Don’t share food or utensils – Ask employees to bring in their own dishware as necessary.
- Use disinfecting wipes – Desks and shared workspaces should be wiped down. Promote frequent cleaning of surfaces, especially when spaces are shared.
It helps to hire a janitorial team that focuses on green cleaning techniques. If your organization outsources these services, ask about any green cleaning products and techniques the company offers.
By far the most important and easiest step employers can take to reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria is simply encouraging those who are ill to stay home. Consider offering telecommuting as a way to work from home for individuals who may have a cold. It’s also important to encourage individuals to visit their doctor often for preventative vaccinations and illness care.
Sandy Baker is a full-time freelance writer specializing in health, personal finance and internet marketing. Her long-term history online has included publications with companies including Marriott Hotels, The New York Times and dozens of other small- and medium-sized businesses. She’s also published in print with award-winning books such as The Complete Guide to Estate Planning, Complete Guide to Early Retirement, The Complete Bankruptcy Guide for Consumers and Small Businesses and The Complete Guide to Organic Lawn Care.