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Spring is finally here, and you know what that means - it's time to bust out the cleaning supplies and give your office or workspace the makeover it deserves! But before you start scrubbing away, let's take a quick trip through the history of spring cleaning.
Some trace the origin of spring cleaning back to the Iranian Nowruz, the Persian new year, which falls on the first day of spring. Many Iranians still continue the practice of khaneh tekani (Persian: خانهتکانی; literally translates to "shaking the house") just before the Persian new year. Everything in the house is thoroughly cleaned, from the drapes to the furniture.
The practice of cleaning homes from top to bottom in the springtime is very much alive for many of us here in the UK, and today, people often still associate spring with a deep cleaning of their homes and businesses. But where should attention be focused during a thorough clean in order to keep your premises as hygienically clean as possible and to help prevent cross contamination from those common infections cold, flu and norovirus which are all prevalent across the UK right now?
Interestingly, a few years ago our sister business, Initial Washroom Hygiene, undertook a swabbing study*, across six British office locations which uncovered a top pathogen hotspot in the office kitchen of all places! They recorded exceptionally high levels of microbial activity on the office tea caddy – recording an average reading 17 times higher than the average toilet seat! Other culprits of significant microbiological activity were fridge door handles, the office kettle and the sugar pot. Without regular cleaning the friendly offer of an office tea round may be brewing more than just tea - it could also be helping to spread germs and thereby threatening employee wellbeing and workplace productivity.
Other key touchpoints such as door handles, light switches, lift buttons, and shared equipment like office printers and copiers can also become hotspots for germs and bacteria, like the office tea caddy, if they are not cleaned regularly. To avoid this businesses should take the opportunity of the new financial year, to spring into action and organise a deep clean of key areas.
1. Focus on high frequency touchpoints: Door handles, light switches and keyboards can provide a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. That's why it's essential to give them a thorough clean in order to help keep your employees safe and healthy. Take a microfibre cloth and give the surface a thorough clean with a disinfectant spray or antibacterial wipes. Don’t forget to tip keyboards upside down and gently shake to remove any crumbs or debris, computer mouse and desk phone.
2. Target communal kitchen items like the fridge: We've all seen those mysterious containers of leftovers lurking in the office fridge. So now is a great time to organise a clearout and clean of the office fridge. As well as inside the fridge, also make sure the handle is also cleaned thoroughly.
3. Address any build-up of dust and grime: Dust and grime can accumulate on surfaces and behind furniture, providing an ideal environment to harbour pests and germs. Out of sight, out of mind does not apply when it comes to hygiene, so be sure to move desks, chairs and sofa away from walls, so you can clean behind and under them. If areas are inaccessible (e.g. on top of light fittings or at height) then book a professional to come and clean these for you.
4. Clean air ducts and vents: Air ducts and vents can accumulate dust, pollen, and other allergens, which can affect the air quality in your office. Regular cleaning of air ducts and vents can help to improve air quality, reduce allergens, and help to prevent the spread of germs. Rentokil Specialist Hygiene can provide specialist cleaning services to ensure your air ducts and vents are clean and free from contaminants.
5. Don't forget your washroom: The washroom is one of the most important areas to keep clean in your office. While visitors to your premises and customers may not visit your mail room or stationery cupboard, it’s highly likely they’ll use your washroom facilities. A washroom that is clean, hygienic, and smelling fresh will act as a positive calling card for the quality and professionalism of your services.
Rentokil Specialist Hygiene provides a broad range of specialist disinfection services, specialist cleaning services, commercial kitchen services, washroom cleaning services and hygiene products to commercial businesses aiming to safeguard customers, staff and visitors. Our teams, located across the country, are available 24/7 to address your concerns.
If you need help with your office spring clean, contact us here.
*About the research: In November 2017, Initial Washroom Hygiene used an ATP bioluminescence reader to swab various items in a shared office kitchen (kettle, fridge, sink, tea box, sugar box, mugs, taps) at six different office (medium enterprise) locations across the UK.