Consider this: Your homeâ€™s refrigerator door handle is one of the top 10 dirtiest spots in your house. With that in mind, how clean is the door handle in your companyâ€™s lunchroom? How sanitary is the space where you and your employees eat every day?
Lunchrooms are the spot where you store, prepare, and serve your food. You meet up at the water cooler for a chat with a colleague. You drop in between meetings to get a quick snack or drink.
The lunchroom is used by just about everyone in your office and it needs to be clean.
Why Your Lunchroom is Considered Mission Critical
Without a clean lunchroom, your employees are at risk of taking more sick days. From a foodborne illness to a virus like the flu or the common cold, germs spread rapidly in a room thatâ€™s used by the entire office.
In fact, a lunchroom is a bigger breeding ground for germs than the bathrooms.
In the bathroom, most people use better hand hygiene. Most employees wash their hands after using the restroom. Hand washing is the single most effective method for breaking the chain of infection.
In the lunchroom, hand washing is not as common, making it a hotbed for germs. The refrigerator door handle is a prime example. If dozens of employees rush to the lunchroom throughout the day to grab a quick drink, the vast majority of these people will not wash their hands before or after touching the surfaces in the lunchroom. Theyâ€™ll open and close the refrigerator without thinking about cleanliness.
How to Plan Your Corporate Cleaning Solutions for the Lunchroom
Without question, the lunchroom is a germ haven. Considering the number of touch points your employees had before entering the lunchroom, you get a better gauge of just how many germs are lurking on handles, cabinets, and coffee mugs.
The first step to proper sanitization in your lunchroom is using a general purpose disinfectant. Your lunchroom is relatively small, so it might not seem like it will take much time to clean. However, using the time and motion study to calculate the costs suggests otherwise.
Hereâ€™s an example of the most common scenario used for lunchroom cleaning cost calculations:
You have 10 tables and 40 chairs in your lunchroom.
Each table takes 4 minutes to wipe down and properly sanitize.
+ Each chair takes 30 seconds to wipe down and properly sanitize.
TOTAL: Youâ€™ll need more than an hour to clean your lunchroom
Thatâ€™s where most corporations stop their lunchroom cleaning calculations. However, this scenario does not take into account the cost of wiping down handles. As mentioned, those are some of the touch points with the most germs. They need to be regularly cleaned to avoid an office wide illness.
Hereâ€™s an example with the addition of the countertops and handles:
You already know that the average time for 40 chairs and 10 tables is an hour. Now consider the other touch points in the room.
Time and motion studies show that to wipe down the exterior of the refrigerator takes 30 seconds. Include your walls, countertops, microwave, and sink into the mix. Depending on the size of the space, youâ€™ll need an additional half hour to an hour to finish cleaning your lunchroom.
Ensuring an ultra-clean healthy lunchroom environment is critical to the health of your business and the workers who make everything happen.
All around, a clean office kitchen/lunch room is a much more sanitary environment for everyone, and reduces the risk of spreading bacteria and viruses, as well as being less inviting to insects and rodents as a new place to live. – Michigan State University
Thereâ€™s a lot that goes into planning and maintaining your corporate cleaning solutions. The lunchroom is just the start.
If you love a clean office but are overwhelmed with all of the work that it takes to budget for projects like these, download your free copy of, Dynamic Planning for Your MRO Purchasing Needs. In it, youâ€™ll get actionable tips to help your organization make a more cost-effective decision when purchasing cleaning services.