Spring is allergy Season. If you have never thought of allergies as a workplace issue, you would be surprised to find out how allergies are impacting productivity and how you can help.
A recent study of US employees by the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health set out to evaluate the cost of lost productivity due to seasonal allergies such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever).
The study lasted 12 months and measured both absenteeism and productivity. 55% of the group studied had some form of seasonal allergies with Hay fever being the most prevalent. The study found that the average days absent due to the condition was 3.6 and an additional 2.3 hours a workday was lost on days that symptoms were present.
If you weren’t previously concerned with the impact of seasonal allergies on your business, you should be now. Seasonal allergies are costing your business in lost productivity and lost time.
So what can you do as the facilities director or business owner to help your allergy sufferers and your bottom line? You can clean your air ducts, vents, carpets, and upholstery.
Seasonal allergies are triggered by what is floating around in the air. When your ducts, filters, and vents have not been properly cleaned, you are just circulating things like dust, pollen, dust mites, mold, and other allergens.
Chances are your HVAC system is continually re-circulating the same dirty air all throughout your building. These allergens that circulate also land on carpets, furniture, on top of cabinets and desks.
If you do not have a filter, duct cleaning, carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning plan in place or you do not know if your janitorial service takes care of that, it is time to have the conversation.
One of the most important steps to discuss with your professional cleaning service provider is to make sure that the vent covers are being cleaned on a regular basis and that the air filters are getting changed often.
Vent Covers – should be cleaned every time your janitorial service is on site. If your vent covers are dusty or dirty, your air is dusty and dirty.
Air Filters – You can check with the manufacturer recommendations but the standard for changing air filter is every 6-12 months. This is one of the best things you can do to help the allergy suffers at your company.
Carpets – Along with vacuuming on a regular basis, your carpets should be professionally cleaned at minimum every time the season changes ( 4 times here in New England)
Upholstery – Upholstery should be dusted and vacuumed on a regular basis. This step is often overlooked by commercial janitorial services so make sure your cleaners are vacuuming and dusting your furniture. Besides vacuuming and dusting your upholstered furniture make sure you are having your furniture professionally cleaned at least twice a year.
Allergy season can be brutal on your staff and occupants and while you can’t completely irradicate allergens you can make your environment a little bit better and help easy the symptoms and lost productivity.
SteriClean is a commercial cleaning and janitorial service provider. We have been providing top notch Janitorial Services along with Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery Care to facilities throughout New England for over a decade. Our facility care plans include regular cleaning of air vents and filters. If you are interested in speaking with an Industry expert about air quality and allergies and how your facility can help or if you would like to schedule a FREE site assessment, then let us know and we will be in touch.