Is Your Office Space Making You Sick? If you are like most people, you have had to take sick days from work at least once or twice. You may have assumed that a family member or the changing weather made you sick, but that may not have been the case. If you find yourself falling ill often, it may not be you or your home environment – it may be caused by your office. A cold or illness that seems to be spreading around an office quickly could actually have been caused by the building itself. Unclean surfaces, poor air quality, and everyday dirt can contaminate your work space and compromise your health. Here are the ways these factors affect you and what you can do to change that. Unclean Surfaces Surfaces that are not kept clean can accumulate germs and bacteria, which then hitch a ride on your skin when you touch these surfaces. Does that mean you wear gloves at all times and avoid touching anything? Not necessarily. It just means that vulnerable surfaces in the office should be cleaned regularly. Which surfaces are the most vulnerable? Studies have shown that office coffee pots and buttons on machines like printers and copiers carry more germs than the average public toilet. Door handles and water coolers can carry germs in numbers similar to a kitchen cutting board. All of these surfaces are so dangerous because they are touched by the most people. To avoid the spread of these germs, appliances and machines in the office should be cleaned regularly. Keeping wipes in the office wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. Poor Air Quality The air inside your office can make you sick, too. It’s called “sick building syndrome”, and it’s been known to cause mass illness in the population of a building. Sick building syndrome can have multiple causes, and any one (or more) of them could be affecting your building. Some of these causes include: Carbon monoxide which could affect offices in high rises above parking garages or loading docks. Ventilation systems which could suck in cigarette smoke from smoking areas outside. Revolving doors which can suck in outdoor pollution. Building renovations which could release dust and paint fumes into the air. Machines inside the office that often emit ozone and other chemicals. Many times, you cannot open a window in your office, so you are stuck with all of these harmful pollutants. Most buildings also don’t have enough fresh air being pumped into the offices. Another issue with air quality is separate from sick building syndrome. It is called a building-related disease and refers to specific illnesses that are traced to a specific cause. This could include colds, allergies, and asthma caused by dust and mould. To avoid the illnesses that poor air quality can cause, air ducts and vents should be cleaned regularly. Dirt Yes, even dirt can make you sick. It doesn’t just affect those who work outdoors. The dirt that is tracked into the office every day can impact your health. If the area where the dirt is found is also damp, it could become a breeding ground for bacteria and mould. This can bring on illnesses and trigger or irritate asthma. The dirt may even contain certain tiny parasites which could make you seriously ill. This is why it’s very important to clean carpets, ceiling and floor tiles, and upholstery. Improve the Health and Productivity of Your Office There are many things inside your office that can prey upon your workers. When employees have to call in sick, your office loses out in terms of productivity. Employees aren’t the only ones affected – customers who come to the office could become sick as well. Not only does this keep them away, it could lead to liabilities if it can be shown that you neglect to clean and care for your office space. Members of management could also become ill, leading to business slowing down because there’s no one to approve and oversee projects. Crewcare can help you maintain the safety of your office and health of your workers. We offer commercial cleaning services that will improve the safety of surfaces and floors and the quality of your indoor air. Our Carenote online system helps you track results and ask questions in real time. We place value on the health of both your staff and the environment, so we will never introduce you to harmful pesticides and pollutants. We also value the security of your workspace, so you can rest assured that your equipment and valuables are safe. We have developed a system for cleaning your office that is simple and thorough, eliminating the need for repeat cleanings due to inconsistency. Our staff is dedicated, we will communicate with you about issues, and will work with you to monitor the results. Contact Crewcare today for your free quote on cleaning services for your office.