How to Prevent Absences, Stay Aware, and Apply Good Cleaning Practices

It’s that time of year again: boxes of Kleenex on every office desk, dry air circulating the hallways, and seasonal illnesses spreading quicker than you can say “Bless you!” 

 Use these three A’s to help keep your facility and staff alert and ahead of the oncoming cold and flu season. 


1) Awareness

When it comes to side-stepping seasonal sickness, knowledge is power.

And that old adage of using basic common sense to avoid pitfalls? It applies here, too.

Stay aware of what you touch, who touches you, and how often you wash your hands. COVID may finally be in the rear-view mirror, but you can still use the same pandemic precautions to protect yourself from cold and flu. 

Be diligent in your work environment to minimize the spread of germs: wipe down shared surfaces, disinfect handles and high touch-points, and keep hand sanitizer at the ready. 

Want to take your awareness a step further? Pay attention to places in your facility where items pass from hands to mouth or hands to face. Trade office candy dishes and potluck lunches for individually wrapped sweets and sealed dishes from the deli. 

Lastly, incentivize a clean, conscientious office environment by stepping up and keeping shared areas free of debris. Reinforce a sense of workplace trust by hanging signage that encourages employees to take responsibility for their space; after all, a clean environment inspires a culture of respect and tidiness. 


2) Application 

Did you know a traditional bathroom faucet contains around 127,000 bacteria per square centimeter?

Application, which refers to preventative measures in facility maintenance, starts with an investment and ends in a long-term payoff — both emotionally and financially. 

Yes, there are hard costs associated with giving your building hands-free technology upgrades, but these costs are offset in the long run by reduced employee absences.

Facility updates like automatic soap dispensers, faucets, and driers all diminish physical contact between users, and help boost the immunity of employees by eliminating the need to touch a shared surface.

A professional cleaning crew will be able to partner with you in your efforts to keep your facility sickness-free by correctly utilizing industry chemicals, along with appropriate chemical dwell times, to thoroughly destroy any harmful, lingering germs. 


3) Absenteeism

 58% of the working population will call in sick at least five days a year

Whether you’re a large business or a mom-and-pop shop, the reality of employees calling out is going to have a noticeable impact on both your hard and soft costs. 

Think about it: a company of 100 people would experience a 58 person reduction in their workforce, while a smaller business of 10 would only have four people available on staff!

Add in loss of productivity and company output, and you’re part of the $225 billion in losses employers report annually due to sick or absent employees.

Weigh the cost of investing in routine commercial cleaning against the loss of workforce and wages when employees are forced to call in sick. Services like high touch point disinfection and enhanced cleaning work to prevent absenteeism and keep your company firing on all cylinders, even in the middle of cold and flu season. 



Whether you’re battling COVID-19, the common cold bug, or this season’s flu variant, the three methods of germ transmission still apply:

  • Airborne (Someone leaning in to talk over your shoulder, standing less than six feet from a person speaking, coughing or sneezing without covering)
  • Direct Contact (Shaking hands, kissing cheeks, giving a high-five)
  • Indirect Contact (The office microwave, water fountains, door handles, toilets, sinks, countertops, office pens)

When in doubt, do what grade school teachers taught: wash your hands thoroughly, cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing; and if you’re sick, STAY HOME!



Vanguard Cleaning Systems of Minnesota has been helping facilities avoid employee absences and expensive downtime for nearly 20 years. 

Schedule your FREE facility analysis today.

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