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S.A.D in the Workplace: How a Clean Office Can Help

In any business, a happy workforce is a productive workforce. As such, Seasonal Affective Disorder in the workplace can be the source of low worker morale and low productivity. Also known as SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder in the workplace is prevalent in winter – people are affected by shorter days, colder weather, and above all, the lack of sunshine. In the fall and winter, Seasonal Affective Disorder in the workplace may affect workers in various ways.

Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder in the Workplace may include:

  • Difficulty waking up in morning
  • Lethargy and lack of enthusiasm
  • Uncharacteristic body weight gain
  • Lower concentration and attention
  • On organized office reduces stress and improves mood

Tons of paperwork, over-full garbage cans, and a chaotic workspace are not signs of productivity. It’s stressful for employees and impacts morale. On the other hand, a clean, organized office is a productive atmosphere with less stress and more motivation.

  • Beyond disorder, an unclean office allows for germs to propagate on desks, keyboards, and chairs. Without regular cleaning the potential for sickness is increased.
  • A messy work area is a recipe for stress – it’s a difficult atmosphere to work in. Having the office space and workstations regularly cleaned is inspiring to every worker.
  • Statistics show that a well-maintained office environment is better for employees productivity. It’s a work atmosphere that promotes personal pride and satisfaction.

Proper lighting can improve employee productivity

It’s not uncommon for employees to complain about office lighting, especially during the winter months when there is far less natural sunlight outside. Proper office lighting can actually have a positive effect on Seasonal Affective Disorder in the workplace – it can improve worker mood and therefore improve workflow. With poor office lighting, it’s not uncommon for employees to be stressed, complain of eyestrain, and even experience other health related symptoms.

 

Poor office environment affects worker productivity

Whether an office space is in disorder, unclean, or simply out of control, worker productivity is going to be affected. Beyond the day-to-day stress and unease, the symptoms of SAD have a direct negative affect on employee workflow and productivity. Seasonal Affective Disorder in the workplace has a way of affecting everything from personal relationships to employee/employer relations. As it is, every individual will differ with specific symptoms and reactions.

A clean, well-maintained office space makes for fewer sick days

A clean, well-maintained office space makes for a positive working environment. Employees are more productive, there are fewer sick days, and worker morale is at a higher level. The fact is, most people spend a majority of time at work, so it’s important that the work environment be clean, sanitary, and well maintained. This is where a professional services company is valuable.

READ MORE: 3 Dirtiest Surfaces in your Office

Statistics show that having a clean workplace is critical to maintaining worker productivity. Whether it’s winter or summer, an office space that is clean and fresh will make for a comfortable work environment, and a professional image for customers and visitors alike. Having professional office cleaners in Hamilton on contract will take the responsibility away from office workers, who can then get down to work, without the stress of extra duties. The truth is, staff and employees appreciate the effort.  If you’re running a business, you have too much on your plate to stop for office cleaning. Universal Cleaners Inc. is there to WOW your employees and your clients EVERY clean, EVERY time! Call us today to book a consultation – 905-745-7990

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Why Professional Office Cleaning is Important in Winter

Because of the extreme conditions posed by a Canadian winter, regular professional office cleaning is especially important. Workers and customers are dragging in slush and snow. Nicely carpeted areas get dirty and wet. And worse still, residual salt starts to accumulate everywhere. Keeping everything clean and sanitary can be a real challenge, and last for almost 6 months. With some professional help, an office workplace can be kept under control, and relatively free of melting snow, water puddles, and salt deposits. It makes for a much better environment for both workers and visitors. While every office may have different cleaning priorities, some of the needs will be common – such as the need for regular, scheduled “overnight” cleaning (often daily).

Mat service during the winter is probably one of the most important services. From main entry points, to employee entrances, to delivery areas, mats are crucial to collecting snow, salt, and dirt. A good mat system actually reduces the amount of debris that’s being carried into various office areas. Here again, regular service can either clean the mats or remove and replace weekly.

Offices that are covered with carpeting clearly need a different type of approach. This is where a professional cleaning service can keep things well maintained with a regular cleaning regimen, as well as periodic steam cleaning throughout the winter. Comprehensive steam cleaning will help remove “trapped” dirt and salt, while restoring the integrity and appearance of the carpeting. Often overlooked in an office environment is the accumulation of dust while heating systems are operating at full blast. Dust accumulates faster on all the office furniture, mechanical equipment, and flooring. Daily cleaning from a professional firm will ensure that workspaces are dust-free, and employees can work in a clean environment. It’s a great way to start off every workday.

In many cases, especially when winter weather gets extra snowy and icy, outdoor entrances also require regular maintenance. Beyond keeping walkways clean and clear, the potential for falling or slipping is dramatically reduced. And while this service may not necessarily be required on a daily basis, it makes good business sense to create and maintain a safe and welcome access area.

Office managers should not overlook winter office cleaning

During the winter months, office employees and visitors are constantly bringing dirt into the office. There’s more than usual, and more leftover than at other times of the year. There’s mud and slush, and plenty of salt that gets dragged in from the outside. This is why winter office cleaning is so critical and why it’s so demanding throughout the fall and winter months.

Winter is also a time for colds and flu – and here, germs are being spread right around the office. Having a regular service for winter office cleaning will do wonders in keeping desks and counters sanitary, let alone the public spaces like kitchens and washrooms. Winter office cleaning keeps employee areas cleaner, and contributes to a more sanitary, healthier working environment.

•  many people eat lunch (or snacks) at their desk

•  keyboards are known to harbour heaps of germs

•  some viruses can survive on surfaces for 24 hours

•  office desks are quite often dirtier than toilet seats

It’s no wonder that colds spread so easily in the office – it’s a time when germs are transferred, even from desk to desk. Without effective cleaning practices, the potential for an office epidemic is increased dramatically. On the other hand, with effective winter office cleaning, the workplace can be clean, sanitary, and otherwise healthy. It doesn’t take much to keep things under control.

READ MORE: 3 Dirtiest Surfaces in your Office

Save office floors from the ravages of winter salt

Winter salt ruins floors – period. Whether the municipality is using rock salt or snow melting chemicals, these are all tracked into the office. Salt wears away floor polish and destroys carpets. Under desks, all of the salt collects, doing even more damage over time. Without proper cleaning and maintenance, flooring requires replacement much sooner than expected. With proper winter office cleaning, hard surface floors and carpeting are cleaner, more sanitary, and last longer.

With outdoor salt, shoes and boots are constantly marking the floors in winter. Salt debris shows up everywhere – whether the floors are wood, tile, or marble. Simply put, the office space looks dirty and unprofessional. With a regular cleaning service, the office floors are kept clean and well maintained, allowing for a professional image. Workers feel better about their working space and visitors can be impressed with a business environment that is well cared for and presentable.

A healthy working environment boosts company morale

With winter office cleaning, a healthy working environment serves to improve morale. Germs and allergens are kept to a minimum, and the disinfected workspaces provide improved health and wellbeing for employees. Indeed, satisfied employees are known to be more productive.

Industry surveys show that professional cleaning does minimize germs. It means that disinfecting surfaces and equipment will keep germs and viruses from spreading through the office.

Professional cleaning also controls allergens, particularly when heating systems are spreading allergens and dust more than usual. Worse still, fresh air circulation is much reduced in winter.

With a professional cleaning company, practically everything is included – from trash removal, to dusting, to vacuuming, to washroom sanitizing. Every day is a clean and welcome workspace.

It may sound obvious, but winter is the time when office workers are dealing with more frequent colds and flus. It’s therefore critical for office space to be clean and sanitary, and to prevent the negative impacts of spreading germs.  A reliable cleaning firm will ensure that the entire office is properly disinfected, and that common areas like washrooms and kitchens are well sanitized.

Whether it’s winter or summer, an office space that is clean and fresh will make for a comfortable work environment, and a professional image for customers and visitors alike. Having a cleaning firm on contract will take the responsibility away from office workers, who can then get down to work, without the stress of extra duties. The truth is, staff and employees appreciate the effort.  If you’re running a business, you have too much on your plate to stop for office cleaning. Universal Cleaners Inc. is there to WOW your employees and your clients EVERY clean, EVERY time! Call us today to book a consultation – 905-745-7990

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How to GREEN are Green Products

When it comes to cleaning your home, you can’t go wrong when using green cleaning products. But many homeowners often find it difficult to determine regular cleaning products from green ones. After all, what determines whether or not a cleaning product is green? Here at Universal Cleaners, we only use green cleaning products, and we’d like to share a few tips with you about choosing eco-friendly products to clean your home with.

Understand that there are Many Green Products

From toilet bowl cleaners to moping products, there are many green cleaning supplies for you to take advantage of. In fact, did you know that North Americans spend around $600M each year on cleaners? And this is just the monies they spend on products that are supposedly eco-friendly.

Purchase from Retailers You Trust

Although many cleaning products claim to be eco-friendly, this doesn’t mean they are. This is why you should always purchase your cleaning supplies from retailers you trust. More importantly, purchase the products from companies that go to great lengths to prove how green their products really are.

ALWAYS LOOK FOR THIRD-PARTY CERTIFICATION

Next, you’ll want to make sure the products you are investing in have certification of some sort through a third-party. There are two primary third parties that you should look for approval from, including EcoLogo and Green Seal. When purchasing cleaning supplies that have been approved by these parties, you can rest assured that they are eco friendly. In order to receive certification through these two entities, a product must go through extensive industry-standard cleaning tests. All ingredients must be disclosed as well as the possible effects if the product was to be ingested.

Furthermore, products that are friendly to the environment will have went through testing that ensures they don’t have negative effects on the planet, including both human and nonhuman life. The products must be biodegradable, and they can’t be acutely toxic to fish or algae. Additionally, there is a limit on the amount of phosphorous that the products can contain. And lastly, the products must be packaged in containers that are recyclable.

 

If you’re looking for green cleaning products, your best bet is to invest in ones that have the Green Seal. And don’t forget that when taking advantage of Universal Cleaners cleaning services, your business will always be cleaned using today’s latest environmentally-friendly cleaners.

How to Deodorize your Home

Learn how to deodorize your home using the following tips.

Treat the Cause Not the Symptoms

One common mistake many people make is masking the odor. While your candle warmer or favorite room spray may spread pleasant scents when used, you need to actually remove odors from your home if you want it to smell nice all of the time.

Now that you’re armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to learn how to deodorize your home.

How to Remove Odors from Your Home

Surely you’ve heard the expression “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This adage holds true when it comes to figuring out how to deodorize your home. The best way to maintain a pleasant smelling house is to create a regular cleaning routine and stick with it.

To actually deodorize your home, you can sprinkle baking soda on floors and furniture and vacuum it up. Baking soda neutralizes odors instead of just masking them. Note: If you have pets, you’ll want to make sure they’re not in the room until you’ve vacuumed up the baking soda as it can make animals ill.

In addition, you want to look at other ways you can minimize smells such as:

  • Leaving gross shoes and sneakers outside or investing in foot odor products
  • Washing your pets when they’re dirty and keeping bedding and litter boxes clean
  • Taking out the trash regularly and cleaning your trash cans when they begin to smell
  • Washing dishes on a daily basis
  • Keeping sink drains free of food debris
  • Replacing your kitchen sponge before it starts to stink
  • Maintaining a clean refrigerator
  • Doing laundry on a regular basis
  • Keeping sporting and fishing gear outdoors or in the garage
  • Tossing out unrefrigerated produce or other foods before they spoil
  • Opening windows (when the weather is nice) to air out your home
  • Leaving your bathroom door open after showers so the room gets some ventilation
  • Making sure no one in the family is leaving food, dirty dishes or piles of smelly laundry in his or her room

What if You Can’t Remove Odors from Your Home?

If you’ve tried deodorizing and have directly treated what you thought to be the source of the smell, you may be dealing with a more serious issue than a stinky trash can or stale laundry. Foul odors that hang around could be a sign that mold is growing somewhere in your home.

A simple clean won’t do the trick when mold is involved. Instead, you’ll need to contact a professional that’s equipped to deal with this issue. And don’t put off getting help with mold control. When left to linger mold can cause serious health issues, including headaches, breathing difficulties, skin irritation, allergic reactions and aggravation of asthma symptoms.

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Cleaning Tips for Allergy Sufferers

Anyone who suffers from allergies can tell you: they’re for real. And the allergens inside the house, like molds, house dust, dust mites, and pet dander can be just as intense as outdoor triggers like springtime pollen.

To help allergy-proof your home and reduce the symptoms of hay fever and allergic asthma, The Mayo Clinic recommends a weekly house cleaning routine that includes:

  • Damp-mopping hard floors
  • Removing dust from all surfaces including easy-to-forget ones like ceiling fans, windowsills, window frames, and the tops of doors

Another tip: Keep your house cooler (70⁰ F or below) and drier (relative humidity at 50% or below) to create indoor conditions less hospitable to dust mites and mold spores.

For other tips to reduce allergens, you might consider replacing moldy shower curtains, switching out horizontal blinds for more washable roller-type shades, and hiring a contractor to install a vented exhaust fan above your kitchen stove.

Exterior Spring Cleaning Chores

First and foremost, your home is a reflection of your personality. By taking care of it and making it fresh and presentable after accumulating months of winter grime, you make a better impression on neighbors and guests. If you plan outdoor activities in the spring and summer, a fresh, clean home is more enjoyable and you’ll find yourself wanting to spend even more time outside. Exterior cleaning can also help you convert your lawn, garden, and yard from a dormant winter state to a rejuvenated spring appearance, ready for growth and blooming.

Exterior Spring Cleaning Chores

Just like any spring cleaning list, it is easiest to approach a wide range of chores by dividing them into manageable areas.

For the House

Cleaning the actual structure of your house is easy and will instantly improve its appearance.

  • Windows: Washing windows and screens will give you a sparkling view of spring even if it’s still a bit too cold to be outside enjoying it as much as you want.
  • Gutters: Cleaning out rain gutters is a fall chore for many homeowners, but checking them again in the spring will ensure that no debris has become clogged in them during winter storms.
  • Siding: Pressure wash the siding of your home to remove grime. Be sure to start at the highest points of your home to avoid washing dirt down onto clean areas.
  • Garage: Cleaning out the garage will give you more space for summer equipment such as bikes, outdoor games, and gardening equipment. This may be a good time to hold a yard sale as well.

For the Deck

Whether you have a deck or patio, a few simple cleaning chores can turn it from a winter-neglected spot into a fun outdoor gathering space.

  • Flooring: If you have a wood deck, inspect the wood for signs of rot or decay and make repairs as necessary. Sweep first, then scrub the wood with oxalic acid to kill microbes, and restain the deck if necessary. For a concrete patio, check for chips or cracks that need repair, and scrub away any stains.
  • Furniture: If your patio furniture has been out in the weather all winter, it will need to be scrubbed clean. If it has been stored instead, now is the time to brush it off and return it to the patio or deck.
  • Grills: If you have a grill, check its connections and operations, following all safety guidelines. Clean the grills and handles, lubricate the lid, and get ready for great barbecues.
  • Lighting: If your patio area includes exterior lighting, check that bulbs are snugly screwed in and that all fixtures are working appropriately. Remove any rodent, bird, or insect nests and clean the fixtures so they will shine as brightly as possible.

 

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Your Changing Season Cleaning Checklist

As the seasons changes so should your cleaning strategies. Here are some of the most important tasks to check off your list to keep your home clean and organized.

Ceiling Fans

Are your fans turning in the right direction to properly circulate air? Rotating the airflow on ceiling fans during summer and winter will not only help create a more comfortable living environment, but also allows you to adjust your thermostat in order to reduce energy consumption and lower monthly utility bills. For a cool, summer breeze effect during the warmer months, fan blades should rotate counterclockwise in order to force the air down. In the winter, ceiling fans should run in reverse or rotate clockwise at a low speed, to pull air up and redistribute warm air throughout the room. Today, most ceiling fans include remote controls that make rotating the direction of the fan blades easy. If your fan does not have a remote, shift the switch or button on the base of the fan.

Air Filters

Changing your air filters is crucial to the proper performance of your HVAC system and protecting your family’s health. Air filters significantly affect your homes indoor quality. Dust, pet hair and other allergens often get trapped in your home’s HVAC registers and air vents. Additionally, if moisture is present, it is possible that spores from microbiological growth, such as mold, can be released into the home’s living space. As a general rule of thumb, replace air filters every thirty to ninety days. If you have pets or suffer from asthma and allergies you may need to change your filters more frequently.

Mattresses

To help alleviate allergy triggers, use an upholstery brush to vacuum mattresses in order to remove dead skin cells, pet dander and dust mites. Additionally, improved technology has enabled us to stopping flipping mattresses; however, to prolong it’s life and to prevent sagging and body impressions, it is important to rotate the mattress every three to six months. Do not forget to rotate your box spring while you are at it.

Fridge and Pantry

Next, turn your attention to the refrigerator and toss out any food that is expired. Remove all of the items and give the shelves and drawers a good scrubbing with a natural cleaning solution, such as vinegar, to sanitize the surface before replacing them. Then, inspect all items in the pantry and discard those that are expired. Pay special attention to spices and baking goods, which are not used as often.

Bathroom

One area of the bathroom that is often neglected is the shower curtain and liner, which can harbor soap scum, mold and mildew. While different factors come into play, such as ventilation and how many are using the shower, it is important to wash the shower curtain and replace the liner between three months and one year. For a greener approach, wash the curtain on a gentle cycle with mild detergent and ½ cup of distilled white vinegar and hang dry.

Wardrobes

The changing of the seasons should be your cue to evaluate what’s in your closet. You are more likely to wear what you can see. Accordingly it is important to swap out seasonal clothing, storing items you don’t need and hanging or folding ones that you do. Organizing and rotating your clothing will also enable you to see what you have and identify classic pieces that you will want to preserve. Sort clothing into keep, donate and toss piles to help declutter at the same time.

Safety First

Finally, your bi-annual cleaning ritual is a great time to test and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

9 Ways to Spring Clean your Home from the Pros

There is something wonderfully fresh about a home that has just been given a thorough seasonal cleaning. In addition to making our homes look more organized and welcoming, this type of cleaning also makes them healthier by removing accumulated dust, dirt and bacteria. If you want your family to enjoy all the benefits of spring cleaning but worry about the amount of time it will take, these 9 tips will help you have the best spring cleaning experience ever!

One: Assemble Durable, Functional Supplies

Avoid frustration during cleaning by gathering the supplies you will need before you begin. Remember to choose basic, multi-purpose supplies to make the entire cleaning process fast and easy. You will need:

  • A supply of microfiber cloths and mop pads. These tools are absorbent and able to attract and hold dirt, instead of just pushing it around
  • A good HEPA filtration vacuum with attachments for upholstery, crevices, drapes and an extender wand
  • Vinegar solution, baking soda or a non-abrasive and natural cleanser, like Bon Ami
  • Steam mop for hard surface flooring and tile
  • Lemon oil for polishing wood

Two: Plan For Efficient Cleaning

Avoid creating extra work by cleaning from top-to-bottom, so that any dust and dirt that falls from walls or furnishings will be picked up with the final vacuuming. Likewise, always begin vacuuming or mopping floors opposite to the doorway where you will exit so that dirt is not tracked over freshly cleaned areas.

Three: Use Tools Effectively

Make short work of wiping down walls and ceilings by swiping them clean with a microfiber mop. The long handle and wide mop head will allow the microfiber pad to quickly wipe away cobwebs from those high corners while you stand safely and comfortably on the floor. In addition, you can use it to easily dust behind heavy furnishings, instead of dragging them about.

Four: Window & Window Treatments

Remove curtains and put them into the dryer on a cool setting to freshen them and remove dust. While the curtains are in the dryer, make the windows sparkle by washing the glass, sills and frames with vinegar and water and using a clean microfiber cloth to buff them dry. Don’t forget to wipe the blinds with a damp cloth to remove accumulated dust and grime.

Five: Lampshades and Decorative Items

Use your vacuum’s upholstery attachment to easily remove dust from lampshades and soft decorative items.

Remove wall art, framed pictures and mirrors from the wall. Wipe them clean with a dry microfiber cleaning cloth and then wipe the wall down, too, before rehanging them. It is important to never spritz any type of cleaner directly on framed pictures, mirrors and wall art, because the moisture can seep through the frame and ruin the photo or artwork behind the glass.

Six: Cleaning Floors

Clean the floors of your home quickly and completely with these tips:

  • Vacuum carpets thoroughly using the edger attachment to clean the seam where the carpet meets the baseboard.
  • For large area rugs, remove the furniture on one half, then roll that section of rug up out of the way, vacuum thoroughly beneath it and then unroll and vacuum the surface. Repeat with the other side.
  • Use a steam mop to clean hard surface floors, like tile, hardwood, vinyl and laminate.

Seven: Mattresses & Upholstery

Working from the top down, vacuum mattresses, box springs and upholstered furnishings with the bristled, upholstery attachment, taking extra care near seams, welting, tufts and pleats.

Eight: Furnishings

Using your microfiber cleaning cloths, wipe down all furnishings as you clean each room. Fine woods will look lustrous and smell wonderful when buffed with a bit of lemon oil after cleaning.

Nine: Appliances

Spritz your vinegar solution onto a microfiber cloth to clean the exteriors and tops of kitchen and laundry appliances, then buff to a shine with a second, dry microfiber cloth.

Use the microfiber mop to dust behind appliances like the stove, washer and dryer. If possible, pull the fridge away from the wall and vacuum the back of the appliance thoroughly to remove dust and dirt.

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