Team Clean, Inc.Team Clean, Inc.

Workplace Hygiene: Keeping Shared Spaces Clean and Healthy

With flu season in full swing, it’s a great time to look at your workplace hygiene. As reported by CleanLink, with open plan and shared office spaces like coworking becoming more and more popular, there are also more and more opportunities for infection to spread.

With people working in closely-packed spaces, sharing office equipment, and even hot-desking, there are ample opportunities for bacteria and viruses to pass from person to person. Even in more traditional office spaces, studies have shown that germs are present on an alarming number of surfaces.

Surprisingly, the restrooms are potentially one of the cleanest places in the office because they are cleaned and properly disinfected regularly. Implementing excellent workplace hygiene can help keep workers healthier and reduce the number of sick days lost to infections like cold, flu, and stomach bugs.

Here are our tips on keeping your workplace clean and healthy this cold and flu season:

Provide Hand Sanitizer

The spread of workplace germs is mostly down to the number of surfaces people touch with their hands. One study by the University of Arizona demonstrated that infections can spread at an alarming rate, with just one employee entering the office carrying the germs on their hands.

Placing hand sanitizers and wipes around the office in high-traffic areas like kitchens and meeting rooms can help prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses. One common mistake is placing hand sanitizers in the restrooms. Proper handwashing is more effective than sanitizer. Keep sanitizing kits for areas where people can’t or won’t wash their hands.

Clean and Disinfect Surfaces More Frequently

Restrooms are typically cleaned and disinfected several times in a day. Desks and other office surfaces like door handles are often only lightly dusted once per day, with a more thorough clean much less frequently.

Cleaning and disinfecting high-traffic areas, desks, and other surfaces regularly can reduce the spread of germs. It’s especially important during cold and flu season. The increased cost involved with cleaning surfaces more frequently will be offset with the reduction in sickness absence.

Refrigerators, microwaves, coffee machines, and even photocopier buttons are also office hotspots where germs can linger. A comprehensive cleaning program includes regular cleaning of all kitchen appliances.

Pay Attention to Items on Desks

Desk surfaces themselves often harbor a lot of germs, but other items like mouse mats, computer mice and even stationary can harbor nasty viruses and bacteria.

One of the worst culprits are telephones – desk telephones and mobile telephones both tend to be breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses. Cleaning these items regularly, along with the use of hand sanitizer, can stop the spread of .

At Team Clean, we offer cleaning solutions for offices throughout the Philadelphia area. Our eleven-point office check system ensures a thorough clean each time. Why not get a quote and see how we can help you stop the spread of germs in your office? One of the worst culprits are telephones – desk telephones and mobile telephones both tend to be breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses. Cleaning these items regularly, along with the use of hand sanitizer, can stop the spread of . At Team Clean, we offer cleaning solutions for offices throughout the Philadelphia area. Our eleven-point office check system ensures a thorough clean each time. Why not get a quote and see how we can help you stop the spread of germs in your office?

Taking Charge of Germs

Taking Charge of Germs 

 Consider how many common objects you touch in a given day – door handles, key pads at check-out, faucets, shopping carts, railings – the list goes on. 

 Now imagine the amount of unclean hands touching those same surfaces.  Even if you routinely wash your hands, you can’t avoid the harmful bacteria and viruses accumulating on common objects. These germs continue to grow and start the dominoes falling as one by one they spread to each new hand that touches them. 

 Fighting the Spread of Germs… 

Thoroughly cleaning common surfaces with safe disinfectants helps stop germs from spreading. But can a spray cleaner and rag handle such a big job?  For a complete assault on germs, consider an electrostatic sprayer. This easy-to-use tool covers more surfaces faster than traditional spray bottles. Plus, it uses less chemicals while providing full coverage of objects. 

 …at the office 

The influenza virus can live up to 24 hours, so diligent hand washing is imperative.  If you touch an infected surface and then touch your mouth, eyes or nose, the likelihood of getting sick increases exponentially.  

 Studies have found that the work place can be a breeding ground for germs. Your desk could be ground zero, starting with your keyboard and phone. Contaminated common areas include, but are certainly not limited to, elevator buttons, staircase railings and door handles.  An electrostatic sprayer can quickly and safely disinfect your personal space and high traffic areas to destroy harmful organisms. 

 …at the gym 

Signs posted at the gym remind guests to wipe down equipment after each use.  It’s common courtesy to wipe sweat off of a machine, but is that enough to reduce the spread of infections? 

 Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA is a type of staph bacteria that often causes skin infections. MRSA can be passed to another person through body contact with an infected wound, by sharing personal items like a towel or using exercise equipment that has touched the infected skin. To reduce the risk of spreading MRSA and other infections, gym equipment, locker rooms and saunas should all be sanitized with an electrostatic sprayer.  

 …in the schools 

A petri dish is defined as a container usedforculturingbacteriaandother microorganisms. That sounds a lot like day care centers and schools. The continuous parade of unwashed hands and shared surfaces provide the ideal environment for spreading germs and infections.  

 Using a handheld electrostatic sprayer can efficiently clean these surfaces thoroughly by targeting entire objects.  And there’s no need to touch surfaces by hand. Plus, sanitizing the contents of a room with an electrostatic sprayer improves air quality and eliminates odors, without the strong smell of bleach that results from many spray bottle cleaning solutions. 

 …in many locations 

The technology behind the electrostatic sprayers allows the system to work with different chemicals like biocides and disinfectants for veterinary clinics, hospitals, food processing plants and much more.  The sprayers can also be used to apply insecticides or fumigants from warehouses to barns. 

 It’s important to adopt a cleaning protocol that helps stop infections from spreading. Traditional spray cleaning bottles do not provide complete surface coverage. Paper towels generate a lot of waste, while repeatedly using the same cloth could become ineffective. To cover more surfaces faster, with less chemicals, clean with confidence and clean with an electrostatic sprayer. 

 

After 25 years, this ‘small-business champion’ isn’t done helping Philly women

Article by Diane Mastrull

Photo by Jonathan Wilson

The seven simple words were the ultimate in praise for a woman hardwired to change lives: “You made a difference in the world.”

They were directed at Lynne Cutler, founder and president of Women’s Opportunities Resource Center, better known as WORC. Speaking was John Fleming, acting district director of the Small Business Administration, who was in Philadelphia earlier this month to declare Cutler the SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania Small Business Champion.

There were several standing among the 200-plus audience members whose lives were touched by Cutler, including Rosliana and Mitchell Zigmund, Roz Brait, Gerry Fioriglio, and Cassandra Hayes, to name a few.

They are bakers, an operator of a home-care company, and the founder of a business specializing in customized promotional products, just some of the recipients of microloans, entrepreneurial training, and other support that WORC has provided to thousands in Philadelphia, its suburbs and northern Delaware – primarily, but not exclusively, women – since Cutler launched the nonprofit 25 years ago.

Over the years, the organization has issued 783 microloans – averaging about $7,500 and totaling $3.8 million – to help businesses start or expand. About 3,700 people have enrolled in its business-training classes. Under the Family Savings Program, WORC estimates nearly 1,600 families put away $3.4 million, which was matched by an equal amount. Combined with outside resources such as mortgages and education grants, the total economic impact was $52 million, Cutler said.

WORC was one of the first microenterprise programs in the nation that focused on entrepreneurship and asset-building to help lower-income people and families achieve economic self-sufficiency. Cutler suggests creating it was her destiny.

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Differences between types of Cleaning

Does your cleaning contractor know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing? Do you?

These terms are often thrown around and misused, but in reality, they each have specific definitions and reasons they are used. Cleaning is not the same as sanitizing and sanitizing is not the same as disinfecting. When you clean, you simply remove foreign material from high-touch objects and surfaces by using water and enzymes and some elbow grease. You need to clean, however, before you disinfect or sanitize, so it is a very important step.

When you disinfect, you kill germs. You don’t necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing the germs, you help to remove the risk of spreading infection. This is especially important in healthcare facilities. Sanitizing uses either heat, radiation or chemicals, and is mostly used in foodservice facilities. Again, the area needs to be completely cleaned in order for sanitizing to be effective, as sanitizing and disinfecting are a step above regular cleaning. Cleaning simply removes dirt, while the other methods remove potentially harmful bacteria that may not be visible. All are important in the areas and the buildings that they are used in, in the right order. Does your cleaning contractor keep your facility cleaned, sanitized and/or disinfected according to your specific needs?

Curb Appeal

Maximizing Your Curb Appeal 

 

How many chances do you get to make a first impression?   

 Yes, it’s a trick question.  Are you, or your company, ready to welcome new residents, employees and clients? 

 A first impression promotes your investment, reveals your decisions and shows your pride.  If guests arrive at your office, apartment complex or other facility, and see unkempt grounds or dying plants, they immediately lower their expectations.  These negative assumptions, like judging a book by its cover, can affect occupancy rates, and ultimately sales. 

 A property manager can assess the curb appeal of a building or campus and essentially work from the ground up to refresh the property. 

 First step: Contact a lawn maintenance company. 

 Local and national “landscape management” companies provide the ideal services to help create a positive image on your grounds.  Determine the schedule, services and fees that accommodate the size of the property.  When you find a company that provides great results, consider contracting them for additional properties. 

 Second step: Look for a maintenance plan that includes: 

 Consultations – determine frequency of landscaping service and treatment options. 

Pre-emergent herbicides – apply to keep weeds and crab grass away with this preventative treatment. 

Fertilizing – schedule to add nutrients to the soil and flower beds and encourage a greener lawn. 

Irrigation – keep your investment from drying out with a timed sprinkler system and keep mulch fresh in flower beds to retain moisture. 

Inspections – protect the lawn, shrubs, flowers and trees from insects and other diseases 

Seasonal clean-up – prune and trim trees and shrubs, weed and re-mulch flower beds, rake and remove debris. 

 Third Step: Maximize your real estate. 

 Rich green grass and lush trees welcome visitors to your property.  Encourage them to stay with essential add-ons that enhance your landscaping plan. 

 Apartment complexes and townhome communities may be designed with park-like common areas or tree-lined walkways.  Consider enhancing the property and resident satisfaction by staging social areas, a community garden or quiet retreats. Property managers will see the immediate results of adding extra elements that appeal to realtors and potential new tenants too. 

 Outdoor socializing – add benches, tables and umbrellas for residents to eat outside or visit with friends and family. 

Zen garden – create a peaceful sanctuary with a waterfall, koi pond or rock garden. 

Small details – hang windchimes or flowering plants or add large decorative pots with herbs or flowers to keep insects away or attract butterflies. 

Lighting – install solar-powered lights on walkways for guests to enjoy the landscaping into the evening. 

Gardening – Assign a small plot of land for residents to maintain a garden to promote sustainability and reduce the carbon footprint. 

 Business complexes can also utilize enhanced grounds: 

 Outdoor offices – this trend continues to rise as teams venture outside (for some fresh air) for a change of scenery and team building opportunities. 

Welcoming guests – invite guests to relax on a bench before an appointment or meet with them at an outdoor table in the shade.  

Vendors – utilize the outdoor space for hosting special events like “Food Truck Friday,” ping pong, washers or horse shoes tournaments. 

 Designing specialized outdoor spaces encourages residents or workers to interact.  The campus environment builds a sense of community and promotes longevity. 

 Lay the groundwork to promote your business, by improving your curb appeal today. 

 

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