Allergies cause great stress to many. Even though there are medications which help after the onset of symptoms, allergy triggers are all around us and they are often difficult to avoid. Commercial buildings, shared offices and workspaces are a source of such triggers. In this article, we look into the strategies which may help reduce allergies in the workplace.
Can commercial cleaning be an effective method of fighting allergies in the workplace? Read on to find out.
Table of Contents:
- » Why Office Cleaning Matters
- » How to Fight Allergies in the Workplace
- » Allergy Cleaning in the Office
- » What to Look for in Commercial Cleaning Services
- » Summary
Why Office Cleaning Matters
In the past decades, the prevalence of allergic diseases has been on the rise worldwide. According to the American Academy of Asthma and Immunology, allergic rhinitis affects between 10% and 30% of the population and roughly 8% of adults have hay fever in the U.S. alone.
Fortunately, as is the case with most allergies, symptoms are unpleasant but can be prevented if appropriate steps are taken. There are many tips out there focusing on allergy cleaning at home, such as vacuuming carpets, removing clutter, regularly washing curtains—the list goes on. Little is said about the importance of office cleaning, even though individuals spend most of their day at work. Employees with allergies tend to keep their desks meticulously clean but allergens can also be found in shared spaces and on surfaces where office cleaning is not regularly done.
How to Fight Allergies in the Workplace
Keeping your environment clean is the first step towards reducing allergies. When it comes to offices and commercial buildings, however, it is not enough to clean your own desk, since allergy triggers can be found in shared spaces like kitchens, meeting rooms and washrooms as well.
Allergy triggers at work include dust, mold, pollen as well as animal dander. Airborne allergens are difficult to fight because they are everywhere around us, in soft furnishings, carpets and curtains that might contain build-up dust, from fresh flowers and artificial fragrances to humid areas. During pollen season, seasonal allergies can be triggered just by opening the windows. Therefore, it is important to be aware of allergens and implement some best practices to fight them in the workplace.
Allergy Cleaning in the Office
- In shared kitchens, daily cleaning is necessary. Discarding out-of-date food, washing the dishes, and emptying the trash daily is a must. Refrigerators must be kept dry and clean in order to avoid mold growth.
- Washrooms must be properly ventilated. Daily cleaning and using mold-resistant, easy-to-clean surfaces is important to keep this zone allergy-free.
- In meeting rooms and common rooms, discarding carpets and upholstered furniture, replacing blinds with washable shades are shown to be very effective in reducing allergies in the office.
- Humidity should be kept below 50% in the entire office which can be managed with dehumidifiers and heating systems.
- Installing an air filtration system helps a great deal if filters are changed regularly.
- Since a lot of people suffer from seasonal allergies, it is helpful during pollen season to keep all windows shut and use air conditioning instead.
There are many aspects of allergy-proofing a workplace but every office is different and they face different challenges. Workplaces that allow dogs will have a hard time reducing allergies without changing their policies. Offices that use fresh flowers or soft furnishings must look into other ways of decorating their spaces. Some of these triggers are easy to eliminate but others aren’t—that is where professional cleaning services can help.
What to Look for in Commercial Cleaning Services
The first thing to ask from commercial cleaning services is if they are specialized in allergy cleaning, and if they are not, do they have the right cleaning that helps reduce allergies in the workplace. Without proper equipment, they might make the situation worse.
Do they use push vacuums or do they use vacuums with HEPA filters? Vacuuming with push vacuums decreases the air quality in the office as they send the allergens back into the air. HEPA filtration is able to trap the particles and mold spores invisible to the eye, and thus helps keep the air clean. What kind of cleaning products do they use? When it comes to commercial cleaning, we think it is impossible to avoid products with strong chemicals. But these products often have substances that trigger allergies. It is important therefore, to ask in advance whether they use ecological cleaning products.
Most high-standard professional cleaning services are aware of the various needs of companies and they offer specialized office cleaning solutions, allergy cleaning among them.
Most of the time when allergies cause problems in the workplace, it is because of dust, mold and other airborne particles. Fortunately, an allergy-free office is not impossible but companies must be aware of allergy triggers and employ practices that help eliminate those.
At Kohl Building Maintenance, we offer high-standard commercial cleaning services that can help reduce allergies in the workplace. We use the right equipment and products which help create a cleaner and safer work environment that every employee can benefit from. Feel free to call us at 818-882-2600 for more information on all our corporate office and commercial cleaning services.