Whether you’re managing a small office, a large office or you’re operating a facility that leases space to dozens of businesses, it’s essential to ensure that the people working within your space are doing so in a healthy office environment. When employees are working in an unhealthy environment, some will take sick time and stay home; others show up to work and are unproductive due to their illness — which they can spread to others.
Either way, employee absenteeism, as well as “presenteeism,” can adversely affect your bottom line. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation reports that “productivity losses linked to absenteeism cost employers $225.8 billion (or $1,685 per employee)."
Some companies try to improve office health by using their in-house janitorial staff while others will partner with a commercial cleaning company that offers janitorial services. However, just because people are vacuuming, mopping, or wiping surfaces doesn’t mean they’re cleaning effectively. Nor does it mean that they are abiding by any healthy work environment standards. There’s more to cleaning for health than moving around dust and dirt particles — and this is where green cleaning excels.
What is Green Cleaning?
Green cleaning is a practice that aims to improve and protect health while physically removing contaminants from the indoor office environment. It does this through a variety of industry approved and environmentally-responsible processes. Conventional commercial cleaning services use chemicals and methods that are harmful to the employees who work in your facility as well as the environment.
It’s critical to note that not every company that claims to use green cleaning methods actually is a green cleaning company — they “talk the talk” but don’t “walk the walk.” At the highest industry standards, green cleaning requires more time and resources than some companies are willing to dedicate. Furthermore, a genuine green cleaning company must be audited and pass the ISSA’s Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) Green Building (GB) certification to hold that title.
Maintain a Healthy Office Environment by “Going Green”
When a commercial cleaning service uses green cleaning methods, it goes beyond the chemicals used. It’s also about the processes and the targeted training that each employee receives and the certifications they earn.
Clean for Health and Not Just Appearances
What do we mean when we say “clean for health?” It means that the focus is to, at a minimum, disinfect the office environment — and, by “disinfect,” we mean remove 95% of harmful substances and pathogens from the office environment. This level is the second of three tiers in the hierarchy of cleanliness outlined by public health experts. The other two levels are “sterile,” which is an environment that is 100% free of contaminants (such as a medical laboratory), and “sanitary,” which is an environment in which some contaminants and risks of diseases still exist.
At Pro Clean, our employees abide by ManageMen’s strict Operating System 1 (OS1) guidelines. OS1 is a comprehensive green cleaning approach that cleans with health first in mind. Each cleaning employee, who is trained and certified in their specific job function, has the tools and chemicals on hand to perform their tasks. For example, this means they use:
- Pre-measured cleaning chemicals rather than measuring concentrated ones that can lead to overuse;
- Backpack vacuums rather than traditional flood-based vacuums, which can spread germs rather than remove them; and
- Microfiber cleaning cloths, which are positively charged and attract dirt and other contaminants, instead of less effective cotton.
Rather than having them be a jack-of-all-trades, each employee focuses just on their specific areas of expertise. This targeted cleaning process, which abides by OS1 healthy work environment standards, results in a healthier, cleaner, safer, and happier office environment for your employees.
Use Green Cleaning Chemicals Rather Than Traditional Chemicals
Conventional cleaning products are not only bad for the environment, but they’re also bad for the health of your employees. These harsh chemicals release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can adversely affect indoor air quality (IAQ) and cause a variety of health-related issues such as eye and skin irritation, asthma, and other respiratory conditions.
At Pro Clean, our line of green cleaning products enables our employees to clean your office environment for health as well as to protect Mother Nature. For example, we use pre-measured Stearns germicide, which kills a variety of bacteria and viruses — including staph, salmonella, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) — that can make you, your employees, or anyone in your facility ill. By using pre-measured applications, it prevents cleaning employees from using too much of any chemical.
Have a Professional Service Clean the Office Environment Regularly
Another critical factor of a healthy office environment is that professionals clean it on a regular basis. Certain areas should be cleaned either daily or multiple times a day — such as the restrooms, kitchen, and dining areas. However, how often other areas of the office environment need to be cleaned is dependant on several factors, such as:
- The size of your business;
- The type of business you operate;
- The age and condition of the facility;
- Whether it is a high-traffic or low-traffic facility; and
- Whether there are any ongoing health issues among employees or tenants.
While it’s true that cleaning for appearance is important, it’s more important that you clean with health first in mind. By upholding healthy work environment standards and creating a healthy office with green cleaning, you can reduce employee absenteeism and increase productivity — all to the benefit of your organization’s bottom line.
To learn more about green cleaning and cleaning for health, check out our free new guide by clicking on the link below.