A 2013 Best Choice Reviews workplace survey found the two office areas offices presenting the greatest health risks to employees. The reason: their lack of cleanliness. Best Choice Reviews found that 48% of microwave door handles and excessive amounts of molecules found in animal, vegetable, bacteria, yeast and mold cells. Using ATP level scale these employee lunch room feature rank as “officially dirty”.
The second office area where employees generally exchange bacteria is the water cooler where 23% of the surfaces contained the excessive level of bacteria. The survey combines water coolers and drinking fountains together due to their similarity.
The impact of these areas is felt most during the winter months when the cold and flu seasons are in full impact. The unintentional sharing of germs drives up the cost of absenteeism and the negative impact of presenteeism. However some preventative measures can help a company prevent some of the germ exchange. One of the most useful tools if placing a container of antibiotic wipes next to the microwave, toaster, coffee maker or other items in the break room. These are easier to use than rubber gloves and more sterile than a dish cloth. Many come in a wall-mounted dispenser than can be hung on the wall next to the water cooler.
Another proactive measure is to increase the awareness of the cleaning staff requesting they spend extra time to specifically disinfect community areas where employees handle equipment or other items. This includes the copier, supply cabinet and any file cabinets yet to be digitalized.
©2014 Max Impact, used with permission.
Resources for creating a winning workplace culture:
- Cultural roadmap, a look at the contents of the character within each of us.
- Max Impact offers free leadership training and development materials including Cultural Faux Pas and Culture Quizzes
- Keep your workforce motivated with these motivational quotes.
- Repository of business surveys offers many informative and/or fun surveys about the business world.
- Books about workplace cultures.