A major work-related complaint is currently not about the recession or about bad bosses but about chronic allergies at the office. Inadequate office cleaning and
lack of care for the work environment can make you feel ill when you need to feel the most productive.
The Canadian Lung Association lists itchy skin, eczema, runny nose, wheezing and coughing are common reactions to airborne allergens. Some symptoms may even surprise you: headaches, stomach cramps and hives. The presence of allergens can zap your energy and make you feel brain fog.
According to WebMD and its online forum, your place of work contains more than 500 bacteria. Office clutter also attracts dust and particles that come from paper and human skin. Upholstered surfaces such chairs, as well as carpets and anywhere else that dust or mites might gather pose the biggest risk to your health.
How do you deal with bothersome and potentially painful reactions to allergens? Some say that they insist on stringent office cleaning routines. Many clean around their desk once a week and wipe down their phones, headsets, chairs and keyboards. Those surfaces are most affected by skin shedding due to repeated contact.
Talk to your management about what is covered in the contract with the commercial cleaning company that services your building. Unfortunately, most janitorial services focus only on visible dirt when they clean offices. Write a memo asking for a weekly surface wipe-down and regular carpet cleaning, at least once a year. The janitorial company may agree to wipe down most of your surfaces with damp paper towels, microfiber cloths or disinfecting wipes. You management may have to pay extra, but it may be worth it if it means decreasing employee sick days.