How to Reduce Employee Sick Leave During the Winter



According to the Office for National Statistics, UK employees took an average of 4.1 days off work through illness in 2017. Despite a steady decline in sickness absence rates since 1993, estimates show British firms lose as much as £77 billion through absenteeism each year.  Although Illness can take its toll at any time of year; colds, influenza, and other viruses become prevalent during winter, making the coldest months some of the most expensive.


Rhinovirus or the common cold?

Over 200 hundred viruses can cause a cold, but rhinoviruses are the most common as dropping humidity, and lower temperatures contribute to their proliferation and spread and hence, seasonal outbreaks.


25,000 people die of influenza each year

The flu virus thrives in colder, less humid air, and contaminates indoor surfaces. As we begin to take shelter from the cold outside, we unknowingly increase our risk of catching influenza indoors. The precise timing of ‘flu season’ varies but cases start to rise from October, peaking December through February, before declining in March.

The below graph shows how cases of influenza spiked during the New Year period in 2017-2018, where just one year early, cases remained relatively stable throughout winter.


Why does illness spread at work?

Colds and flu spread through direct or indirect bodily contact. A handshake, sharing a phone, even using the soap dispenser can lead to an outbreak. The viruses survive up to 24 hours on hard surfaces meaning, once the flu arrives, it can rapidly spread through any of the following paths.

  1. Coughs and sneezes: Sneezes contain 40,000 droplets of bacteria-spreading moisture, which can travel up to 32 feet, putting those around us at risk of infection. Cover your nose and mouth if you cough, or sneeze, and throw tissues straight in the bin.


  1. Contaminated surfaces: one study found the average work phone is the most contaminated surface in the office with over 25,000 bacterial organisms, while Initial Washroom Hygiene uncovered 17x more germs on an office teabag than a toilet seat highlighting the risk of shared spaces.


  1. Inadequate cleaning: Some areas are just harder to clean, as discovered by health organisation NSF International when it found 7 million germs per square inch on the water tap of a typical water dispenser.

As noted by antimicrobial experts, BioCote®, bottled water dispensers must be unscrewed, then placed in warm water and sliced lemon for 12 hours to ensure they remain hygienic, so it’s easy to see how bottled water coolers can cause the biggest flu-like headaches.

Use BioCote® technology to kill office germs

Desk surfaces harbour 400x more bacteria than a typical toilet seat, which you can now keep bacteria-free with BioCote antimicrobial technology. Imagine the productivity you could unlock in avoiding infection alongside keeping your team happy and healthy.

A lab study exposed five different bacteria to BioCote® silver ion-treated laminates. Over the course of 28 days, the material supported no visible mould, showing how BioCote prevents the growth and spread of potentially harmful microbes. By infusing BioCote technology to desks, kitchen appliances, bathroom facilities, offices can protect their workforce throughout the year, not just the winter months.


Avoiding employee illness supports your bottom line

In total, British workers miss 130 million days-a-year at a huge cost to employers. Several sectors have begun investing in measures to reduce employee absenteeism, realising a return on investment of £31 for every £1 invested, highlighting the economic benefits of preserving a healthy workforce.

Nottingham Business School shows workers spend 2.5 weeks-a-year at work feeling under the weather, costing £4,000 per employee in lost productivity. The critical advice to employers is to keep ill employees at home until at least 24-hours after their fever has gone.


How often should the office be cleaned?

By regularly disinfecting commonly touched items such as the computer keyboard, the office phone and door handles, you can prevent germs from spreading across the workplace. The consistency of an in-depth office clean is based on various factors, such as the size of your office, its purpose and your occupants. To keep your office sparkling and your employees healthy, invest in a professional cleaning service and you’ll never have to worry about whether your office space is clean. You can ensure a high standard of cleanliness is maintained through regular, light cleaning and control allergens like dust mites that thrive in dirty and dusty environments.


Prevention is better than a cure

Acting before an outbreak is a more efficient strategy than merely responding to it. Antimicrobial offices with a BioCote-infused water dispenser avoid the risk of infection; fewer employees become ill because of contaminated surfaces; your business continues to boom.

If you invest in appliances and office products infused with BioCote technology to fortify yourself before winter arrives, you will reap the rewards.

The world’s leading supplier of sustainable water cooler solutions, Waterlogic is an advocate for productive work environments and employee health. In our effort to raise awareness about workplace wellbeing, we cover the essential question on every business owner’s mind at winter: How to reduce employee sickness? Cold and flu viruses affect employees, costing economies billions. By introducing virus-prevention strategies, offices can inoculate themselves against the winter fallout helping protect the business’ bottom line in preparation for healthy Christmas cheer.

5 Ways to Get Settled After a Move


Welcome Home: 5 Ways to Get Settled After a Move

A house isn’t a home until you’ve cooked and eaten a meal as a family under its roof. But before you get that far, there are a few things you can do to make a new space your happy place.

Clean the Things You Can and Can’t See

Unless you’ve commissioned the building of a new property, your home’s previous owners likely left behind a few remnants of their existence. The best time to eliminate their footprint is before you move your furniture through the door. Spend at least a day cleaning the nooks and crannies of your new home. recommends starting high with the ceiling fan, shelving, and other overhead fixtures that don’t often get a good wipe-down. Alternatively, consider hiring a local cleaning company!

Add a Few Personal Touches

Once things are neat and tidy, you may bring in your large pieces of furniture. These should be followed by important items, such as family photographs and your favorite throw pillows and blankets. Avoid the temptation to immediately fill your home with the entirety of your belongings. You’ll want to take a day or two to get comfortable with the layout of your new home so that you can find the best place for your stuff. Before hanging pictures, make sure to clean the frames thoroughly. Check out Today for ammonia-free cleaning instructions for frames and glass.

Help the Kids Get Comfortable

Your children may be nervous or frightful when entering your new home for the very first time. Help them ease into their new life by giving them a tour and allowing them to run through the home flipping switches and checking out all of the little hiding spots where they will soon play. Property Reporter further encourages giving your children a say throughout the decorating process. You might, for instance, let them choose the color scheme of their new bedroom or assist in choosing a light fixture for the kitchen — within reason, of course.

Tackle Easy Projects Before the Place Gets Cluttered

Even if the property is in good condition, there are a few minor home maintenance tasks that will eliminate worry further down the road — and many are best done in an empty home. If you plan to paint, do this prior to moving your furniture. Likewise, swapping out to kitchen hardware, fixing toilet or faucet leaks, and changing the air filter in your home’s heating and cooling system will prevent nagging little issues from keeping you up at night. Money Crashers offers more information on easy home maintenance projects to keep your investment in tip-top shape.

Introduce the Dog to His New Digs

If your family is one of the 26 percent of UK households with a dog, you’ve likely already anticipated moving your pet with you. But you won’t truly be settled until he’s had an opportunity to inspect each room and sniff every inch of the lawn. Upon his arrival, make sure there is a safe space where he can transition. This area should include his favorite toys and bedding. Rover recommends letting your dog visit before you move. A word of caution: If the previous tenants had pets, your dog may be encouraged to mark the territory, so make sure you deodorize the home thoroughly prior to his first time on site.

No matter how much work you put into prepping your house, it takes time for it to feel like a home. No worries. Soon, you will be making new memories, and this unfamiliar environment will become your home in body and heart.


Image via Pixabay

8 Steps to Take When Looking For a Cleaning Company

8 Steps to Take When Looking For a Commercial Cleaning Company


Finding a good Office Cleaning Company in London can be a bit of a challenge, there are too many companies to choose from. The term ‘Office Cleaning Company London’ alone, generated over 61,700,000 results on Google as at July 2018. As an Expert in the Commercial Cleaning Sector, we have put together the following steps to help Facilities, Property and Office Managers when looking for a reliable cleaning company in London.


Use Correct Search Terms when searching the internet for a Cleaning Company

Look for the right company that meets your requirement. The first point these days is the internet. What you get on the internet depends on how specific you are in your searches. Make sure you are clear and brief with your search terms. Make sure you use search terms that reflect your location. Local Cleaning Services are more than likely to want to visit your premises before they can give you a quote. It is easier for a Local Cleaning Company to do this than a company based in another town or district.


Contact at least 2 but not more 3 Companies

I have seen Clients who contacted over 10 different cleaning companies. In the end, they become so overwhelmed by the number of calls, inquiries and requests for a Site Visit. They also came across companies that were only interested in undercutting all the other companies just so they can win the Contract. Some of the Companies have no track record of doing any decent cleaning job


Make Sure They Arrange a Site Visit

Make sure the Company visit your premises before you accept any quotes from a Cleaning Company. It shows they are committed to providing a bespoke service that would meet your needs. No serious cleaning provider will not finalise a quote with sending someone down to do a site assessment. If a company cannot do this, please stay away from such cleaning company


Look out for Reviews & Insurance

You can access free advice from previous Clients of a Cleaning Company by reading their reviews online. Make sure you select companies that have good reviews and are insured to carry out Cleaning Services. A good Commercial Cleaning Company should have the correct level of insurance to protect you and your business should anything go wrong.


Read the Terms and Conditions

Make sure the terms and conditions of the Cleaning Company you have decided to go with clearly stipulate what is cover in the Contract. It’s good a good practice to ask for terms and conditions and read it to make sure you know exactly what is covered in the cleaning contract. It’s therefore very clear to the parties what expected from the parties right from the beginning so there would be no miscommunication going forward


Agree on Specifications with Cleaning Company

A good cleaning company would normally produce a detailed cleaning specification of what services they are offering as part of your service agreement. This should be details of what would be done on a daily, regular, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis depending on the type of service you are looking for.


Agree on Cost

Make sure you agree to a fixed cost. There is nothing worse than hidden charges that you did not plan for as you progressed into the contract. Make sure the Cleaning Company provides you with one simple quote that is easy to understand. You don’t want to get whacked with any surprise fees


Award your cleaning contract

Once you have done all of the above, you can now award your cleaning service contract the companies that meet most of the criteria set above.

Should you feel overwhelmed by all of these and would like some help in finding the right Office Cleaning Company in London. Click here for a callback and someone in our team will call you back. We are a top Commercial Cleaning Company serving most of London based brands


Office Premises Cleaning is a Necessity and Not a Luxury


Office Premises Cleaning is a Necessity and Not a Luxury

Clean offices directly contribute to workers’ efficiency and safety of all users. Office Cleaning should be accorded the seriousness it deserves to get the full potential of workers and satisfaction of all users. Whether cleanliness is achieved through professional cleaning services or by the maintenance department, it should be regular and timely. A dirty office implies that the products are of poor quality. Nobody can be convinced to buy products from an organization with a dirty office. No one can dare lodge in a hotel which is not clean. Even students will change school if cleanliness is not maintained on the premises. The misconception that office cleaning should be done when the dirt is visible or felt can lead to loss of productivity, health problems and damage to office machines.


The company’s brand can suffer an unimaginable loss when clients realize that the offices are not neat well cleaned. Such a bad reputation can lead to a massive decline in sales, high bills to repair the machines and frequent hospital visits. Therefore, the catalogue should be made to ensure the office premises are cleaned regularly.


Prompt attention is needed after every accidental contaminant. Workers need a healthy working atmosphere, machines need to be protected from dirt, soil and organic dirt need immediate removal from working services, and carpets need to be cleaned: Everything deserves to be clean, always. This is usually regardless of whether an upcoming organization or an already established economic giant. You probably will never go wrong having ensured a tidy surrounding.


Whether in medical centres’ offices, hotel & hospitality facilities or schools and colleges, for office premises to be hospitable these five elements must be removed regularly and well.


  1. Dust

Dust removal is synonymous with cleaning. Dust is the most common form of dirt in the office. It accumulates slowly, unseen and unheard. By the time it is recognized, it may have already caused damage to the electronic machines or other valuables. When enclosed in a tight place with right conditions, dust is combustible especially if there is a presence of any combustible gases, no matter how minute.


Many diseases can worsen in dusty conditions. Crowded places like classrooms are unbearable to live in if the atmosphere is dusty. The effects of dust in asthmatic people cannot be underestimated. The affected personnel can sue the company, school or hotel for damages. And if there is any evidence that the dusty condition worsened their states, it can lead to serious legal repercussions. Dust is the leading cause of death in occupational health. Regular removal of dust could save organizations a lot of time and money.


It is easier to control dust in some office premises than others. In such business as below, controlling dust in the offices should be left for professional cleaning services workers;


  • Textile
  • Flour processors and mills
  • Carpentry
  • Grain storages
  • Construction sites
  • Salon and barber shops
  • Quarries and mining.


If the site of the office cannot be relocated somewhere safe, may be due to lack of space, dust management in offices is a tough job for an untrained person. When hotels and camping sites become so dusty, booking level will go down drastically, and it can be so hard to recover even after thorough cleaning has been done.


  1. Micro Organisms

Though unseen, microorganisms pose the most significant risk to health in dirty places than any other pollutant. They are the reason why medical centre cleaning services are so aseptic. Because the pathogenic microorganisms are mainly found in plenty in sick people, medical centre cleaning needs to be thorough and as aseptic as possible. In all offices, microorganisms can be found in plenty in toilets, washrooms, and restrooms.


Schools and colleges have a high concentration of microorganisms due to a high density of individuals visiting the toilets and washrooms. Proper cleaning is vital to prevent the outbreak of diseases in such places.


Hotels are frequented by all sorts of people. Some have undesirable toilet habits. If toilets are not cleaned well, and in time, visitors cannot come back again. Frankly, people fear germs contamination in hotels and restaurants than anywhere else.


Unlike other dirt’s cleaning methods, cleaning of places contaminated with germs is two-fold; to remove the dirt itself and to kill germs. Detergents together with disinfectants are necessary to clean such places. Since there are millions of germs in human waste, washrooms cleaning should do professionally especially in medical centres. Although not all microorganisms cause diseases in man, sterilization is mandatory on all infected services since no one can differentiate the pathogens from other microorganisms by looking at the dirt. This is especially so in hospitals and hotels.


Medical centre cleaning must not only be timely but also regular. Strong antimicrobial agents are always added to detergents used to clean tables, chairs, and floors in any medical office. This prevents spreading of diseases from a patient to a doctor or other patients. If regular and proper cleaning fails, nosocomial infections can spread in the whole hospital. It is a very repulsive idea to pick an illness from a health facility. Expensive court battles are inevitable in such scenarios, and the health facility can lose clients very fast.


All these can be prevented if professional cleaning services are sought to maintain regular and thorough removal of germs. Proper records should be kept by both the cleaners and the organization so that the type and source of germs can be studied to prevent disease outbreak in the future.


Germs can also quickly spread in any office setting because people can still work when they are sick, and some are carriers of bacteria which they do not affect them. Antiseptic detergents, therefore, should not be restricted to hospital setting but also in schools, colleges, and hotel cleaning. The effects of knee-jerk reaction in office cleaning and can lead to disease and underproduction. Workers will be satisfied and more efficient when they know their working environment is safe from disease-causing germs.


  1. Organic Matters

Dry dirt is not as dangerous as wet dirt. Organic dirt is even more dangerous because it is conducive for bacteria growth and multiplication. Germs feed on the organic matter especially the food leftovers. This will lead to foul smell and spread of infections. Hotels and schools are affected by organic matter than other premises. Their cleanliness reputation can be guided by proper cleaning. Although not all germs cause diseases in man, they all need to be prevented from multiplying by promptly removing any organic waste matter.


A piece of bread, when left unattended can rot and cause a foul smell. It can also attract all manner of bugs and insects. If this happens in an office, it can interfere with clients’ perception of the organization especially if they are new. Regular office cleaning is, therefore, a necessity to remove all food debris hidden in otherwise inaccessible places. Those snacks during breaks will cause fragments of food to fall to the floor and somehow find their way under the carpet. This is more common in offices frequented by many people like the school’s staff rooms.


School cleaning program must be regular and entire especially in the main offices. In hospital offices, the organic waste can be a good breeding ground for pathogenic microorganisms. Medical center cleaning services cannot afford to negate regular and aseptic office cleaning especially when dealing with pathogenic specimens.


Sputum on the doctor’s table left by a patient has to be removed aseptically and disposed of by hospitals pathological waste management. Professional cleaning service demands that all doors, chairs, floor, and beds in doctors’ offices be aseptically cleaned. Containers holding pathogenic materials have to be sterilized to prevent the spread of diseases. Medical Centre cleaning services is mandatory.


Failure to remove organic dirt in schools, hotels and hospital offices can cause the authorities to close those premises especially if there is evidence of spread of disease. Since many business deals are made in the office, many potential clients can be lost if the first impression they find in the organization is dirty and unkempt offices.


  1. Dumpiness

Dry dirt is easier to remove than a wet one. While dry dirt is inert, wet dirt is always changing. Biological changes are constantly making it unfit change from food to being a source of infection. A healthy biscuit crumb when it had absorbed enough vapours can rot and cause that foul smell and attract insects. School dining halls and hotels are especially affected by rotting food particles. Just a little amount of water vapour can cause dampness in the office, and by the time people sense dampness, it will have caused some damage.


As long as the temperature is above 22 degrees of Celsius, water vapour is inevitable in the office. Like dust, the effect of water vapour on machines and equipment is so gradual that it is hardly noticed until when the damage has already occurred. Regular cleaning can, therefore, save many damages. Water spill in inaccessible places must be removed promptly, and the place dried well. Regular and complete cleaning of all corners of the offices and the environment will ultimately prevent water from corroding and damaging important materials like furniture, walls, and posts.


It will, therefore, prevent expensive replacements of organization’s assets. Dumpiness can cause corrosion of metals if there is an element of saltiness. A fraction of a millimetre of erosion is what is needed to make the air conditioner malfunction or to destroy the computer. Since dumpiness is hard to see, a regular office cleaning is mandatory to prevent equipment damage and foul smell in office premises.


  1. Chemicals and Vapours

A clean surface does not only mean an absence of dirt but also the absence of dangerous chemicals and vapours. A spill of a dangerous chemical like acid is not only injurious to the health of personnel handling it but also to other materials like clothes and documents. The removal of such chemicals from surfaces will require professional cleaning services. Since there are plenty of dangerous chemicals in use of in office premises, a regular inspection should be part of the cleaning protocol.


Simple equipment like a refrigerator can cause a spill of dangerous liquid. If it was cleaned regularly, such breakages could have been noticed earlier and be prevented. Hotels and schools can be safe for the occupants when cleaning is done regularly to prevent a build-up of dangerous fumes in enclosed places. Carbon monoxide, for example, can start to build up in enclosed rooms near kitchens or car garages. If such rooms were cleaned regularly, the build-up of gases could not be as much.


Ink spills from printers can accumulate to high levels when left unattended for long. They can explode to eyes and cause damages. All office premises equipment and machines must, therefore, be cleaned and maintained regularly.


An office premise is only considered clean when it is free from physical dirt, dangerous chemicals and fumes, dumpiness and rotting organic materials. Cleanliness of a premise cannot be perceived by eyes and smell only. It is therefore essential to maintain an excellent record of the date and type of cleaning used so that improvements in cleaning can be achieved.


Removal of potential disease-causing germs is crucial. If premises are cleaned only when a smell or sight evidence dirt, danger will always be lurking in the background; a machine can fail due to accumulated dirt, an air conditioning machine can fail due to gleam in its bearing, dampness can corrode a metallic post unnoticed. Regular professional cleaning in all office premises can prevent all these.


Office premises cleaning is a vital undertaking to ensure that the organization is running well and the relationship between the organization and its clients is good. Unfortunately, many people take office premise cleaning for granted until the effect of their negligence becomes obvious.


Closing the business due to failure in cleaning may look far-fetched but neglecting this critical responsibility will inevitably lead to closure, especially in hotel and hospitality facilities. Medical Centre cleaning is even more vital to ensure infections do not spread from patients to personnel. Disease out breakages in a hospital is not only hard to contain but also it can damage the reputation irreparably.