07 4998 5250 07 4998 5250 Free Quote Free Quote

Stay Ahead of Flu Season: How Disinfectant Becomes Your Office's Best Friend

Flu cases are on the rise throughout Australia, and they’ll likely continue increasing as the season progresses. 

No matter how healthy you and your employees seem, it’s not hard for one case of the flu to take everyone down in a matter of days. Luckily, a thoroughly cleaned and disinfected workplace can protect you, your employees, and the company’s productivity.

If you haven’t created and implemented a strict disinfection routine, now is the time to do so. Learn the essentials of proper cleaning and disinfection below.

Understanding Australia’s Flu Season

Australia’s flu season typically runs from May to October. This highly contagious viral respiratory disease is caused by the spread of body fluids from infected individuals and causes the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat

The flu is most serious for babies, young children, older people, those with pre-existing medical conditions, and pregnant women. However, it can affect all people regardless of age or health status.

For most people, flu symptoms appear 1-4 days after exposure and last 5-7 days on average. Those who receive a flu vaccine may experience milder symptoms or be spared altogether.

Every year, the flu affects 10-20 per cent of Australia’s population and costs the country’s businesses over $100 million in lost productivity. When you consider that the average flu-affected employee takes 3-5 days off work to recover, it’s easy to see how productivity suffers.  

The Power of Disinfectants

Employers can reduce the risk of the flu spreading through the workplace by taking a proactive approach to cleanliness and disinfecting the office. They also reduce the company’s chances of experiencing significant productivity decreases due to sick employees.

Of all the tools for preventing the spread of flu viruses (and other pathogens), disinfectants are some of the most effective. Disinfectant sprays and other solutions kill germs on multiple surfaces, reducing the likelihood that employees will come in contact with each other’s germs.

The following are some of the world’s most well-known and powerful disinfectants:

  • Bleach: Kills viruses, bacteria, and fungi
  • Hydrogen peroxide: Kills viruses, bacteria, spores, and fungi
  • Peracetic acid: Kills viruses, bacteria, spores, and fungi
  • Ortho-Phthalaldehyde: Kills bacteria, spores, and fungi
  • Phenolics: Kills viruses, fungi, bacteria, and the spores that cause tuberculosis
  • Iodine: Has antiseptic properties and kills viruses, fungi, bacteria, and spores
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QACs): Kills bacteria, some fungi, and enveloped viruses (including the flu)

Products containing these disinfectants are generally considered the best options for combating the spread of the flu and other illnesses.

Establishing a Cleaning and Disinfection Routine

Although all the disinfectants listed above can be effective, they’re not all equally suited to the same surfaces. Here are some suggestions to help you decide which disinfectants to use on all parts of your office: 

  • Tile and porcelain: Bleach
  • Wood: Hydrogen peroxide
  • Walls: QACs
  • Appliances: Bleach
  • High-touch areas: Bleach 
  • Electronics: Hydrogen peroxide 

Always dilute disinfectants like bleach with water. Avoid mixing bleach with ammonia, too, as this can produce dangerous and potentially lethal gases. 

Once you’ve chosen your disinfectants, it’s time to outline your cleaning and disinfecting routine. The following guidelines can help you sanitise your office efficiently and keep yourself and your employees safe and healthy: 

  • Clean high-touch surfaces at least once per day: Examples of high-touch areas include counters, desks, keyboards, trackpads, pens, door handles, stair rails, and restroom fixtures)
  • Clean hard surfaces with soap and water
  • Follow up with your preferred disinfectant
  • Clean high-touch electronics with a highly diluted hydrogen peroxide solution (10 parts water to one part hydrogen peroxide)
  • Address other surfaces at least once a week (or more often if they’re visibly dirty)

Be sure to speak to your employees about the importance of regular cleaning and disinfecting. Consider creating a rotating list of cleaning assignments so everyone contributes equally.

Best Practices for Flu Season

Regular cleaning and disinfection can go a long way when it comes to combatting the flu. However, there are other steps you can your employees can take, including the following:

  • Encourage regular handwashing, especially after using the restroom or after sneezing, coughing, etc.
  • Encourage good respiratory etiquette (i.e., sneezing into your elbow or shoulder or into a tissue/handkerchief)
  • Offer easy access to flu vaccinations at work to encourage employees to protect themselves and others.

Let your employees know that you’re understanding when it comes to health and safety, too. For example, encourage them to stay home if they feel sick and let them know that they won’t be penalised for missing work because they’re experiencing flu symptoms (or other illnesses).

Prioritise Training and Education

Do you have a cleaning staff that regularly comes to your office?

If so, make sure they’re well-informed about the latest disinfection techniques. Ask about the cleaning and disinfecting products they use and, if necessary, ask them to use stronger ones during flu season.  

If you don’t already have them, you may also want to consider hiring commercial cleaners to keep your office sanitised and disinfected throughout flu season and beyond.

When searching for commercial cleaning companies, look for those that specifically offer disinfecting and decontamination services -- preferably with the help of fogging tools to distribute disinfectant throughout the office.

Ask them about their ongoing education efforts as well, and make sure they prioritise staying up-to-date on the latest cleaning and disinfecting techniques.

Stay Safe During Flu Season with Clean Feeling

There’s no guarantee that everyone in your office will be untouched by the flu virus. However, you can significantly decrease the risk of the flu affecting you and your team by taking cleaning and disinfection seriously.

Follow the guidelines discussed above to implement a cleaning schedule, educate your employees, and choose the right products and cleaning services for the job.

Do you want to work with highly experienced commercial cleaners who know how to protect you and your employees from the flu (and other illnesses)? If so, Clean Feeling can help.

Contact us today to get a free quote.

Related Articles

How to Clean Windows Streak Free: A Comprehensive Guide
Articles Commercial Cleaning

How to Clean Windows Streak Free: A Comprehensive Guide

Keeping Your Warehouse Clean: Essential Strategies for Efficiency and Safety

Keeping Your Warehouse Clean: Essential Strategies for Efficiency and Safety

Targeting High-Touch Areas: The Key to a Cleaner, Safer School

Targeting High-Touch Areas: The Key to a Cleaner, Safer School