Coronavirus and How to Protect Yourself

As a cleaning company we have been inundated with questions about the Coronavirus, and what measures can be taken to prevent possible infection. We also offer a specific commercial service for Coronavirus Deep Cleaning.

Brightr have always undertaken our duties responsibly and so, if you as consumers follow basic guidelines too, the risks of infection can be minimised. Of course, there are no guarantees that the infection won’t spread, but sanitary conditions will help in the battle to contain the transmission of not just Coronavirus, but other germs and infections too.

So what can people do to protect themselves and others from contracting Coronavirus? Here are our top protective measures:

Wash your hands often
Washing your hands with soap and water will kill viruses that may be on your hands. Alcohol based hand sanitiser is also effective.

Keep your distance
If someone in your vicinity is coughing or sneezing, stand at least 3 feet (1 metre) away from them. Sneezes contain droplets from noses and mouths which may contain viruses. If you are close to them you could easily breathe in the droplets which will infect you.

Avoid touching your face
Hands touch many surfaces which can pick up germs and viruses. If contaminated, they can be transferred to your eyes, nose and mouth, then into your body.

Carry tissues
Be responsible for your own respiratory hygiene. If you need to cough or sneeze, catch it in a tissue. Failing that, the crook of your elbow. Dispose of any used tissues immediately.

If you’re feeling unwell, stay at home
If you have a fever or cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention. This may be a problem completely unrelated to Coronavirus, but you should phone through in advance and follow instructions from your GP or health authority. You may just have a common cold or other minor illness, but if by chance you are infected with Coronavirus, phoning ahead will allow your health care provider to direct you to the correct health facility, and will help prevent the spread of the virus.

What are the Biggest Contributors to an Untidy Office?

Having a tidy workspace can directly impact on productivity in a positive way.  Studies have also proven that a clean and tidy environment can improve mental health, and the act of cleaning itself can also help.  Unfortunately, very few workers can afford time to set aside for cleaning on top of an already busy schedule, added to the fact that very few have the inclination!

So what are the factors that contribute to an untidy and sometimes unclean workplace?

 

  • Illness

Bugs and germs spread through coughs, colds and other viruses can have a big impact on hygiene, cleanliness and overall untidiness in the office.  Germ ridden tissues can soon pile up in bins when any of the workforce catch a cold, and in addition to that there’s the mess that the eye can’t see!  Cold and flu viruses can breed on surfaces for over 24 hours if left uncleaned.  Shared use of keyboards, phones, pens and pencils will see the spread of germs multiply at an alarming rate, and pass from person to person until all are infected.  The thought leaves you reaching for the anti-bacterial wipes….

 

  • Food and drink

How many of us actually go to a designated area to eat lunch? It’s thought that a third of UK employees don’t leave their workplace during the working day, so the chances are that 1 in 3 of you sit at your desk to eat.  Even if you ‘down tools’ for a few minutes to eat you could well be interrupted by a phone call, or an important email that you need to answer immediately.  Food particles and crumbs will spread across your work space, and coffee and tea slopped over the top of mugs can cause a sticky mess.

If staff really do prefer to eat at their work station, try to encourage the use of a barrier; paper towels can catch dropped foodstuffs and be thrown away straight after.  Spills should be cleaned up immediately.  Food mess not only looks unsightly, but can smell bad too, and sometimes even encourage pests if not dealt with promptly.

The meeting room can be another haven for leftover food and drink.  If you have clients in, the room will invariable look pristine when they arrive, and carnage when they leave!  Delegate the clean up straight away. Clear away the tea and coffee cups, and bin the food packaging if there is any. A quick wipe down of surfaces will have it looking pristine again in no time.

 

  • Paper and other recyclables

If your business is paper heavy, then it stands to reason that you may have desks filled with files and reports.  If not filed appropriately, these can soon get out of hand, and what starts as a small pile in your in-tray can soon become a mountain.  Organise a suitable filing system as they may contain classified or confidential information which should be under lock and key.  Shred any unnecessary paperwork, or recycle as appropriate.  Keep on top of bins too; sort anything recyclable to make your workplace as ‘green’ as possible. A few minutes spent on this each day could save you hours at the end of the week!

 

  • Insufficient cleaning

An absence of proper cleaning can leave the premises looking lack-lustre and uninspiring.  Aside from the mess that you can see, there is also the hygiene aspect of the mess that you can’t.  Investment in a professional commercial cleaning service will ensure that all cleaning tasks are undertaken, and a clean and hygienic service is delivered.  You can talk to us about the services that Brightr offer and how we can help you keep your workplace gleaming!

Knowing the Difference Between Clean and Sanitised

Many people are mistaken when they think that because something has been cleaned, it’s sanitised.  So does your commercial cleaning company understand the difference?

Thousands of germs are spread in common areas of the workplace; your personal workstation alone could harbour millions of potentially infectious germs.  They multiply at alarming rates and are present on your phone, your keyboard and mouse, and even on your pens and pencils.  A polish and dust might make everything look clean but it won’t kill off the germs that the eye can’t see!

A professional cleaning contractor should understand the importance of killing germs, which means properly sanitising, and not just wiping over surfaces with a general purpose cleaning product; this could just move the germs around, instead of eradicating them.  The use of correct anti-bacterial products is imperative if surfaces are to be germ free as well as sparkling clean.

Business owners are always looking for ways to reduce the amount of sickness in the office, and they also have a duty of care to employees to ensure that they provide a safe working environment.  By going back to basics and ensuring that their place of work is clean AND sanitised regularly, the spread of cold and flu bacteria will be greatly reduced.  Clean and sanitary kitchens and bathrooms will also reduce the risk of any potential tummy upsets!  Absent employees can be costly to any business, so investing in a professional cleaning service can only be money well spent!

If you are looking for professional commercial cleaning services from a provider who knows the difference between clean and sanitised, get in touch here!

Is Cleaning a Contentious Issue Within Relationships?

Is cleaning a shared responsibility, or does one partner do and care more about it than the other?  Is cleaning heaven or hell?  However you regard it, it’s our business here at Brightr! We wanted to find out who does most of the cleaning in UK households, and we did so earlier this year by compiling a 16 question national survey.

Our research was somewhat surprising; it seems that sexism is still alive and kicking when it comes to domestic chores, with one household admitting that they divide the work into ‘pink and blue jobs’, while another said ‘the Missus does it all’.

Our survey entitled ‘How Dirty is your Partner?’, got down to the nitty gritty about the roles and responsibilities of cleaning within UK households, with 44% of participants admitting that cleaning is indeed a contentious issue within their relationships.  Here are some further highlights from the data we gathered.

  • 69% of participants said that a clean house is very important to them.

  • 77% of participants had a male partner and 22.45% of them don’t even notice the mess!

  • 40% of partners who notice a mess will leave it and see what happens!

  • 6% of people only put a wash on when they have had to wear the same shirt twice!

  • 5% of participants say the kitchen should be the cleanest room in the house.

Within our survey, there was one question which required a free form comment in answer to the issue of cleaning relating to a partner. Some of the answers certainly made for interesting reading!  Read on to see what some of our participants had to say.

  • He is a lazy pig who expects me to do everything cos that’s what Mummy did. If he were to lift a finger to help, I’d be checking his temperature to make sure he was feeling alright. I teach our son how to do chores as I refuse to raise a lazy, chauvinistic piglet!
  • As with most men he leaves it all to me. He pretends he ‘can’t’ clean. Boo bloody hoo! I’ve even taught him step by step how to clean the loo, but he seems to have permanent amnesia afterwards!
  • Cleaning has never been a contentious issue in our house because on the rare occasion he does something, he does such a poor job that I have to do it again, so what’s the point? It is quicker to do it myself.
  • Our relationship will be ending with the issues caused by his lack of effort being one of the main reasons.
  • In general marriage would be a lot happier if men helped women more around the house. It should be a team effort with the mutual goal of enjoying spending time in a clean and tidy house and not be worried about unexpected guests turning up.
  • When did ‘because I hate cleaning’ become an excuse for not doing it and leaving it for your wife?
  • He’s happy to live like a pig in the proverbial!
  • It annoys me that the majority of cleaning still seems to be done by females. Males generally just don’t seem to see it. Gggrrrrr!
  • I like the bathroom clean. Who wants to bath in someone else’s’ DNA?
  • Not too worried which room is the cleanest, the Missus does it all, so it’s never dirty!

If you would like to access our survey you can do so here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GBLC7J8

Can Air Fresheners be Damaging to our Health?

Our places of work can often get a musty odour from time to time, particularly over weekends or holidays when there’s nobody there to throw open a window or two! It’s no wonder there can be a build-up of smells with the amount of ‘people traffic’ moving through the premises on a daily basis.  So it’s all too easy to find the solution in a tin of air freshener, and spray around the offending areas.

Air freshener exposure, even at low levels can have some adverse health effects. After all, over 100 different chemicals are emitted into the atmosphere each time we spray. It’s worth remembering that the lungs of young children, the elderly and people with some medical conditions may not be able to filter out these chemicals quite as effectively as a healthy adult, sometimes resulting in breathing difficulties, headaches, migraine and asthma attacks.

Perhaps tackling the root of the problem is key. A stricter cleaning regime will help, as well as thoroughly airing rooms to combat stubborn odours rather than masking them with fresh smelling sprays.

Here are some simple ideas to incorporate at your workplace:

  • Ventilation – wherever possible open windows for at least a few minutes a day to let in some fresh air, and to let nasty odours escape.
  • Plant life – some plants can absorb waste chemicals and odours from the atmosphere. Peace lilies in particular are perfect for this with their rich dark green foliage clumps.
  • Odour absorbing paint – there are certain types of paint on the market that will help purify the air. Decorate the place right now!
  • If you must use an air freshener, try to use one that isn’t labelled as fragranced. Try to research a more natural alternative.
  • Clean up regularly – don’t leave washing up or waste food laying by the sink. Deal with it to avoid nasty smells.
  • Bicarbonate of Soda – a natural alternative for fridges and microwaves. A small dish placed in both will absorb any unwanted odours.

These tips are all manageable on a day to day basis, but it might be sensible to hire a commercial cleaning contractor to really get down to the nitty gritty.  Effective and thorough daily cleaning will stop the build-up of dirt, grime and smells at the source.

Get in touch with us to discuss our range of services and for a no obligation quote.

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Caring for our Community

It’s fair to say that Brightr is a family run business that really cares about community.  We have been told in the past that what sets us apart is our understanding of the way our customers want to work, and how we fit in with that. Commercial cleaning is a people business and it is only by very carefully recruiting and training the right local people, with the right supervision, that the job will get done.

That’s why we decided it was time that we gave something back to the wider community; a community that supports our business by hiring us, a community that provides us with the high calibre of staff that Brightr strive to employ, a community that is rich with young talent in all walks of life including industry, education and sport.

Many organisations in and around Milton Keynes are crying out for a helping hand, mainly in the form of sponsorships, and one such was Milton Keynes Wanderers Football Club.  We approached their Chairman, Tim Reid, who explained the benefits of becoming a team sponsor.  Not only would we be supporting sport and healthy living within the community, but we’d be helping two of the junior teams by supplying their kits for the forthcoming season, ensuring football stays affordable for the families of the Wanderers players. It seemed like an opportunity too good to miss – of course the added bonus is that it helps to gain exposure and raise the profile of the Brightr brand!

What better place to start than at grass roots level? Literally!

Brightr are happy sponsors of MK Wanderers U8 Hawks and U8 Kestrels.

 

If you would like any information on the services that Brightr undertake, please get in touch or click here.

Clean Away Your Stress and Anxiety

It’s really easy to get bogged down in the daily grind that is life, and to sometimes feel we aren’t coping as we think we should.  Day to day stresses and strains can be exhausting!  But with mental health being such a hot topic, people are talking about it in a much more open way than ever before.

So what do we do when we’re feeling stressed, anxious or depressed? Medication isn’t always the go-to cure that it once was, as more and more sufferers are finding alternative ways to deal with their conditions. Meditation and yoga have proven to be a god send for those not wanting to take the anti-depressant route, and mindfulness apps are more popular than ever before.  A day at the spa may be just the thing you need to get a day of complete relaxation if you’re stressed, but it may surprise you to learn that more people are reaching for cleaning products in order to work out some of that pent up angst, which has proven to be every bit as effective for our mental health as some of the more relaxing or sedate alternatives.

Why exactly does polishing, dusting and vacuuming have such a positive effect on well-being? Maybe it’s because it gives a sense of control over our environment? When all is said and done, the act of cleaning will calm the mind and lift our mood due to the sense of satisfaction we achieve.  We also know that exercise releases endorphins, and an hour of minimum effort housework can burn over 100 calories, so in fact cleaning is a form of exercise!

The aromas and scents of some of the cleaning products we use can also have a positive impact on our mood, and when our sense of smell is aroused by these fragrances, motivation and energy levels increase whilst feelings of stress and anxiety decrease.

There is also one sure fire way to help declutter your mind – declutter your surroundings!  There’s nothing worse than a feeling of “unfinished business” and our senses can be overstimulated by too much ‘stuff’.  Tidy up, put things away, clear the decks!

If you ever wondered why we’re such a happy team at Brightr, now you know!

Is Your Work Environment as Clean as You Think?

We all like to think of home as a place that’s clean and sanitary; a place where our families thrive, our children play and on the whole where we live contented and healthy lives.  But do these standards extend to our work places?  We’d hope that our place of business is clean, and that the right image is projected in order to impress prospective clients, customers and visitors alike, as well as reaching the standards where duty of care to employees isn’t compromised.

So if we take a closer look, and burrow down under the surface, is everything as it seems?  Are hygiene practices being followed?  To the naked eye, everywhere could look sparkling, but what bugs and bacteria are present that we can’t see?  Here are our top 5 danger hot spots where infection could be lurking, ready and eager to spread among your unsuspecting workforce!

The Office Microwave

This could be the hottest hotspot! Accidentally spilt meat and vegetables, and other food particles will combine with heat and moisture which allow bacteria to multiply at alarming rates, causing potential health risks.  Consider how many people are using the appliances at your place of work. Far more than at home, which means they’ll harbour far more germs and bacteria.

The Office Fridge

The fridge may be at the other end of the heat spectrum to the microwave, but it is still refuge to germs and bacteria that can thrive beautifully!  Unless cleaned regularly, dropped or even forgotten food can gather bacteria and mould spores which will still multiply at a swift rate.  Here’s some ‘food for thought’ – the average fridge can contain over 7,000 bacterial colony forming units per square centimetre.

Your Desk

How many of us eat our lunch in the toilets? None, would be our guess. Yet shockingly, the surfaces of our desks can contain more bacteria than a toilet seat.  In some cases up to 400 times as many! The same goes for our phones, keyboards and other computer equipment.  Maybe a lunch break in the toilets isn’t as silly as it sounds…?

Stationery

Keeping your pens and pencils under lock and key could seem like a radical idea, but they can soon become communal items if you don’t. Think about all the unwashed hands that may have handled your paper clips!  How many mouths might your favourite ball point pen have entered before it makes its way back to your possession?  You yourself may be a pencil chewer – what kind of bacteria could be making its way into your mouth?  This all brings new meaning to the phrase ‘caring is sharing’!

The Water Cooler

It’s good practice to stretch your legs every couple of hours and head to the water cooler to get a drink of water.  This can also be the best place to catch the office gossip – but be careful that’s all you catch!  The dispensing button on water coolers can contain over 2 and a half million germs per square inch. Best remember to wash your hands straight afterwards!

 

There are several ways in which we can all help each other to combat the spread of bugs and germs at work, but none are more effective than regular investment in professional cleaning services like Brightr. Call us anytime for advice or a free quote on 01604 55 66 77.