Everyone loves a clean and tidy office space; not only does it promote a higher degree of productivity, it also helps to keep things like dust and bacteria in check. That said, how many of us are taking our pristine desktops, counters, and bathrooms for granted? For that matter, how many of us have ever stopped and wondered whether or not the products that are being used on a daily or weekly basis to disinfect everything from the office furniture to the executive boardrooms aren’t actually doing more harm than good?
While off the shelf cleaners do in fact deliver on their promise of producing a dazzling shine and a lemony scent (for the most part anyway), many of the chemicals found in such products have been linked to conditions ranging from skin and eye irritation, eczema, hives and, on a more serious note, asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Doing away with scheduled cleanings isn’t an option – so the question becomes, how should you go about cleaning your office space in an efficient, and most importantly, safe manner?
First and Foremost, Be Part of the Green Movement
If your company is viewed as ‘green’ – meaning that it uses (or produces) eco-friendly products or furnishings, it should extend this philosophy to envelop the cleaning products that are used as part of their day-to-day cleaning regimen. After all, it’s somewhat hypocritical to claim on one hand that your firm is conscientious of the environment if the other hand is busily scrubbing every surface with harmful, (and in many ways toxic) cleaners.
Now, you could always go the route a of developing a proprietary blend of lemon juice, water, and baking soda to avoid the harmful effects listed above, but if you don’t have the time or the inclination to play chemist, there are a number of eco-friendly cleaning products available on the market that are just as effective as their harsh, chemical-laden counterparts.
Things to Look for
When choosing a cleaning product, there are a number of things to consider. To name just a few, your new cleaning product should include some of the following characteristics:
Bottle and cleaning solution should both be derived from renewable, plant-based sources to limit environmental impact
Look for products that have been tested by an independent third party, validating both its eco-friendliness and its propensity for eliminating filth and grime
The most effective green cleaning products contain a high level of non-toxic active ingredients. You should attempt to select one that is both biodegradable and hypoallergenic to prevent irritating even the most sensitive individuals.
Reduce environmental impact before the office even gets dirty with the purchase of environmentally friendly furniture.
Consider avoiding anti-bacterial soaps. It is now widely known that antibacterial soaps are no more effective at preventing common afflictions like the seasonal cold or flu (in fact both are viruses). Overusing antibacterial products can create resistant strains of bacteria, and contributes to the development of allergies & asthma.
Create a Spotless Work Environment Using Steam
Where practical, using steam to clean your office’s various surfaces is an ideal way to avoid chemical cleaners altogether without sacrificing cleaning power – after all, steam consist of one solitary ingredient: water. Many companies and homeowners use steam to clean everything from carpets to bathroom floors, confident in the knowledge that there are no adverse effects whatsoever.
Look for a Cleaning Company that Shares Your Vision
There’s a common misconception out there that third party janitorial services avoid using eco-friendly cleaning products because they limit their ability to maximize profits. Contrary to this belief, eco-products are priced competitively with conventional products and some cleaning services have gone so far as to carve themselves a niche by only using eco-friendly cleaning products. If the company you use doesn’t offer these products, insist on it. Otherwise, rest easy knowing that there is no shortage of companies out there that will.
Eco-Products: Send a Message to Your Staff
Much in the same vein of encouraging your employees to use an ergonomic office chair or keyboard to promote their physical well-being, letting them know that the company uses environmentally friendly and health conscious cleaning supplies exclusively will go a long way in showing just how much you value them. As an employer, showing your workforce they are valued can help to build company loyalty, reduce employee turnover, and foster a positive work environment.