Your desk isn’t just where you work.
It’s where more than half of Americans eat lunch.
And that means work areas are dirtier than ever before.
“Most offices have janitors who will come in after hours to wipe down hard surfaces, vacuum the floors, empty the trash and clean the bathrooms,” says Rodney Brown, CEO of Corporate Flooring Solutions, a local milliCare provider. “Rarely do the cubical walls, task chairs, and guest chairs get the attention they require.”
The dirty truth, he says, is these neglected areas harbor allergens, bacteria, dried skin, dust mites and bed bugs.
“If statistics show there are 21,000 germs per square in on your office mouse, keyboard, and chair, just imagine how many are able to become airborne every time you bounce in and out of your chair,” says Brown.
This is why Brown encourages corporate offices to consider a thorough cleaning before and after common allergy seasons. Indoor allergens found in fabric or microfiber furniture can lead to symptoms similar to a pollen allergy such as coughing, sneezing, and watery eyes. Symptoms of mold exposure, meanwhile, can include feeling irritable and fatigued.
“Offices can reduce the number of sick days reported by adding these upholstered items into the annual maintenance rotation,” Brown says. “It’s not likely you will ever put a stop to employees eating and drinking at their desks, but you can control cleanliness of areas in which staff does so.”
Corporate Flooring Solutions, a milliCare franchise, is hosting a “chairity” effort through August 31 to encourage companies to put office dwellers’ immune systems at ease while benefitting a great cause.
For every chair or cubicle panel that Brown’s team is hired to clean through the end of this month, $1 will be donated to the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
Companies should clean their textiles, which include carpets, chairs, cubicle walls, at least twice a year, says Brown. Call centers, where a single desk can be shared by multiple employees on different shifts, could benefit from a textile cleaning more frequently.
In addition to employee health benefits, proper cleaning extends the life of office furniture, too. Just ask to see Brown’s before-and-after photos.
“Our team of trained professionals can clean a chair is three minutess or less, and a three-walled cubicle within five minutes,” says Brown. “This is an investment in your people and office that doesn’t disrupt productivity. If anything, it will increase productivity, employee morale and health, and extend the life of flooring and furniture.”