Photograph of office workers batting autumn flu and virus season

 

In a recent study, researchers from the University of Arizona placed a sample virus, bacteriophage MS-2, on just one surface in an office, a healthcare facility and a hotel room. The virus was chosen because it is harmless, yet is the same size and shape as human norovirus, which is highly contagious and unpleasant.

Throughout the day, the researchers sampled 100 surfaces in the buildings, from table-tops and teapots to sinks. Within four hours, 40-60% of the sample surfaces in the buildings were contaminated with the virus and the bad news for business was that the tea break room was the first to be affected.

In the follow-up, wipes containing quaternary ammonium compounds were used to disinfect surfaces and the viruses were all but contained. The follow up tests revealed 80-99% less contamination when these simple wipes were adopted as part of the office routine.

Sick days and below par employees cost UK businesses up to £26 billion a year, according to recent government figures. It’s a massive number. If something as simple as a pack of wipes in every room and a little education can ensure that your employees prevent the spread of potential debilitating viruses and keep working at their best, then it simply makes good business sense.

Other simple measures include guidelines on hand washing after using the bathroom. Also think about keeping food preparation and consumption away from the general work area, which means banning employees from eating at their desks. Ensure rigorous hygiene standards are observed in communal kitchens, too, and then keep the disinfectant wipes freely available. It’s a tiny expense and a potentially huge saving.

You owe it to your employees and yourself to keep the office healthy, wealthy and wise. So invest in some wipes and some education and you could all but wipe out viruses.