The Healthy Workplace Project

Look at your computer mouse. Now your cell phone. Your computer keys.

Sorry to be the one to tell you this, but you’ve just looked at three of the most germ-filled objects of your day.

The Germophobe is the October persona here at Innovative Office Solutions , so it’s appropriate that we honor that persona by telling you a little bit about, “The Healthy Workplace Project,” an initiative from our partner, the Kimberly-Clarke corporation.

“The Healthy Workplace Project” consists of some simple steps every workplace can take to provide a healthier environment for their employees.

While we’re loathe to admit it, (and nobody remind the Germophobe), most offices are huge petri dishes of germs and bacteria. That’s just what happens when a group of people gather in the same space for an extended period of time. Having said that, there are certainly steps any office can take to help limit the spread of germs, which becomes even more important as we enter the cold and flu season. That’s where “The Healthy Workplace Project” comes in.

There’s a virus headed toward your office. It’s late October and it’s just that time of year. Unless you work in a hazmat suit, you’re more than likely susceptible. You have to open doors, use phones, push elevator buttons, use the copier machine and work at a desk throughout your day. Those are all germ hot spots at any office, and as viruses begin to arrive at work, they can spread quickly through all of these commonly used areas.

That’s why we encourage you to take three steps that can drastically help reduce the spread of germs at work: wash, wipe and sanitize.

Wash: Proper hand washing is still the best way to reduce the spread of germs. Make it a habit to go out of your way to give your hands a thorough scrubbing two more times than you normally would during the cold and flu season. Drying your hands completely with paper towels can reduce germs by as much as 77%.

Wipe: Wiping “hot spot” surfaces once or twice a day can kill germs and lessen their spread. Hot spots in the office include: desk tops, door knobs, phones, elevator buttons, stair rails, copy stations, water coolers, conference room tables and lobby and reception areas. These areas get the most traffic during a typical day, so wiping them down will drastically reduce the spread of germs. Viruses can live from 20 minutes to 2 hours on surfaces, including chairs, tables and vending machines.

Sanitize: Most offices are now equipped with hand sanitizers, either in bottle form, or at a hand sanitizing station located near office hot spots, like the water cooler or in the break room. Use them. A virus on one person’s hand can be transferred up to six times. Regular use of a hand sanitizer can reduce your sick days by up to 21%. Put a bottle on your desk and get into the habit of using some after you use the phone or come back from the conference room. It takes just a moment to do and it helps kill germs that gather on your hands.

See? We told you it was simple! Just wash, wipe and sanitize. Not even the Germophobe can avoid making contact with the office hot spots during the course of the day, but if you just utilize those three simple steps, wash, wipe and sanitize, you will set yourself up for a much healthier cold and flu season.