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Why Is Your Office Getting You Sick?

When your office space is in order — meaning, files are organized and there is no clutter on your desk — it is easy to think that it’s clean and free of germs. But how your papers are all stacked neatly on top of each other is not the basis to germ-, bacteria-, and virus-free office. Unseen germs are lurking around those telephone cables.

So, how do you make sure your office will not get you sick? When you are constantly getting an itchy nose after eight hours in the office, what does that mean? Can a regular cleaning job do the work of removing all these toxins, dirt, dust, and other harmful particles?

Deep Cleaning

Fighting off these germs starts with an understanding of where they are lurking. Keeping these surfaces clean will allow the people in the office to work without fear of getting sick. That is a valuable element to their productivity.

The office does not only need regular cleaning, but it also needs a deep cleaning. Think about the same way you do spring cleaning in the house. This is the same principle you should apply when you decide to get the whole office cleaned.

Call a professional cleaner to go through every crevice of your office. Hire a commercial sanitation company, too, because they can help remove harmful toxins by using an especially-formulated sanitizer that removes even the traces of coronavirus. During these times, it is important to keep everyone in the office healthy.

Phones, Keyboards, and Elevator Buttons

Three of the things that people touch more than anything in the office are phones, keyboards, and elevator buttons. Make it a habit to clean the surfaces of these. An antimicrobial wipe will do wonders to disinfect handsets and keyboards. A study showed that office phones can carry around 25,000 germs per square inch.

Keyboards are also a haven for germs and bacteria. Many people eat on their desks while they finish work. Food particles eventually get into the crevices of the keyboard. These, in turn, produce bacteria that can transfer from one surface to another. You can free the keyboard from these germs by using sanitizing wipes and dusters. Don’t let germs accumulate over time.

If you are working in a large building, chances are that you are using the elevator at least twice to thrice a day. But do you know what kinds of germs could be lurking there? Make sure to have someone disinfect the elevator buttons every day. This is particularly important today when the world is trying to stop the spread of the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Indoor Air

Many offices have poor ventilation. While it is impossible for offices to always have access to fresh air, especially if it’s located in a building, the design of the office can work wonders for indoor air quality. Make sure that the air-conditioning system is not only working properly but also has clean air filters.

In the conference room, the air can contain high amounts of carbon dioxide because everyone is exhaling air. That makes the workplace feel stuffy. It can even affect the outcome of the meeting. Making sure that the ventilating system is working properly will clear the air and prevent adverse health effects such as respiratory problems, increased heart rate, dizziness, and even seizures.


The materials in your building can be making you sick, too. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are in wood products, copy machines, carpeting, upholstery, adhesives, and cleaning agents. One of the most harmful VOCs is formaldehyde.

This is present in the carpeting, for example. Carpets have perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), which repel stains off the carpet. The problem is it also emits formaldehyde, a carcinogen that can cause allergic reactions, cancer, infertility, and thyroid disorders. If people are smoking inside the office, this will also expose the workers to VOCs and toxic particles.

Sick Employees

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When your employees are sick, don’t force them to come to work. If they need to finish something, ask someone else to do that for them. Or, if they want, they can work from their homes. You shouldn’t allow people with colds and coughs in your office. They will bring the virus and bacteria to your office, which is less ventilated than most homes.

In turn, you and the other workers will get sick, too. The virus can cling on surfaces and affect the whole workplace. This is how the coronavirus has been spreading. That alone should teach employers never to let sick employees come to work again.

The office can easily be a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria when everyone doesn’t practice good hygiene. Make it an office policy to clean their workspaces. Look also for professional cleaners who can do a deep cleaning at least once a month. Keeping the office clean has never been as important as it is now.

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