Cost of Germs and Value of a Clean Workplace

clean-disinfected officeIllnesses such as cold, flu and headaches are the most common causes of short-term employee absences. In fact, in the United States, the spread of these illnesses results in an average of  7.7 sick days per employee per year. The time employees take away from the workplace annually can cost upwards of $225 billion and in addition to the direct costs, unplanned absences cause a 54% decrease in productivity/output and a 39% drop in sales/customer service. A germ-infested space can have a huge impact on company productivity while a clean space can prevent the transmission of infectious diseases and protect employees, customers and tenants. A relatively modest investment in an effective cleaning and disinfecting programs can help to avoid or significantly reduce the health and economic impacts of infectious diseases. This results in the “value of a clean workplace”.

How Much Germs Cost

In order to best appreciate the value of a clean workplace in the realm of infection prevention, consider the economic and social cots associated with the transmission of various environmental pathogens. Seasonal flu in the U.S. is estimated to impose and economic burden of over 80 billion a year, according to a Science Digest article, “The Annual Impact of a Seasonal Influenza in the U.S.: Measuring Disease Burden and Costs.”

How to Reduce the Spread

Effective cleaning and disinfecting programs can reduce the germs. First, it’s important to explore how infectious diseases are spread. Infectious diseases are spread one person to another by an infected person. When the infected person touches an object such as a doorknob, elevator button, hand rail and other frequently touched surfaces, it becomes contaminated with their germs. These germs then move to another person who touches the same object and then transfers the infected material from their hands to their nose, mouth or eyes. That is why it’s important to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces often.

Cleaning and disinfecting programs that include frequently touched surfaces significantly decrease the number of pathogens on those surfaces or objects, which in turn reduce the risk of illness. Routine cleaning removes the soil and dirt that harbors the infectious agents, while disinfecting kills the remaining pathogens.

Recommended Commercial Cleaning and Disinfection 

System4 recommends the following cleaning and disinfection practices to help prevent the spread of various infectious diseases – cold, flu, etc.

  • Commercial Cleaning – do not underestimate the power of commercial cleaning. Professional cleaning will remove dirt, soil and impurities that harbor germs and viruses. Routine cleaning plays a critical role in reducing the spread of the flue and other illnesses. It’s important to remember that cleaning is often a necessary first step in disinfecting a surface, which actually kills the remaining germs. System4 has over 100 years of commercial cleaning experience and will work with you to ensure all surfaces and object remain sparkling clean.
  • Clean and Disinfect Frequently Touched Surfaces – daily cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and objects that are frequently touched will help slow the spread of germs.
  • Clean and Disinfect Surfaces When Appropriate – it’s important to match your cleaning and disinfecting activities to the types of germs you want to remove or kill. For example, studies have shown that the flu virus can live and potentially infect a person for 2 to 8 hours after being deposited on a surface. Therefore, if your goal is to slow the spread of the flu, it’s important to create a customized cleaning and disinfecting program that will help you reach your goal. System4 specializes in creating customized cleaning and disinfecting programs that can help your business be successful at slowing the spread of illness.
  • Select an Appropriate Product – When selecting a disinfectant, read the label to make sure it states the EPA has approved the product. System4’s service provider use the highest quality cleaning and disinfecting products and latest technology equipment.

The Value of a Clean Workplace

Whether you work for school, medical practice, corporation, gym or child care facility, the impact of a clean space stretches beyond appearance. Cleaning for infection prevention can greatly impact both employee performance and an organization’s bottom line.

System4 is an industry leader in commercial cleaning and disinfection. We will work with you to create a customized commercial cleaning and disinfection program that will meet the unique needs of your business. We do not require long term commitments or contracts, and will be your one point of contact for service providers needs. Our vast network of vetted, experienced service providers is well-prepared to help keep your employees, customers and tenants healthy and safe! Contact us today to learn more about our commercial cleaning and disinfection programs.