NJSNJS

Getting a Little Festive


Office Best Practices: HAVE FUN.
For Halloween this past Monday a few of the NJS employees got a little festive.
Is it considered work if you look this good?

Click the post to see their costumes!

Why is Green Cleaning Important?


This post is provided by Betco

Green Cleaning means more than using “green” products. The success of a green cleaning program is dependent on numerous factors. While the selection of sustainable products is important, it will have little effect in the case of an inadequate cleaning regimen that leaves facilities dirty and the health of occupants, visitors and the environment at risk. A comprehensive green cleaning program should include sustainable options for chemicals, procedures, equipment, paper, liners, mops and matting.

The movement toward green cleaning does not imply that traditional methods are inadequate or have created unsafe conditions. Instead, it can be viewed as simply taking the next step beyond current approaches to further reduce impacts on the environment while continuing to maintain and improve the health, comfort and aesthetics of our surroundings.

Sustainable solutions minimize the impact of cleaning on people and the environment. More importantly, it is a process to protect natural resources for the future – not a single product alone. In articles and discussions about green cleaning, you will typically read or hear themes about the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit.

People – pertains to fair and beneficial business practices toward labor and the community and region in which a corporation conducts its business.

Planet – refers to sustainable environmental practices. This practice entails reducing the ecological footprint by carefully managing consumption of energy, non-renewables and reducing waste as well as rendering waste less toxic before disposing of it in a safe and legal manner.

Profit – is the economic value created by an organization after deducting the cost of all inputs, including the cost of capital.

The cleaners used by the custodial staff have an impact on the residents and staff at Long Term Care facilities. By switching to safer chemistries, without sacrificing performance, residents and staff can perform in a safer environment and will reduce the spread of Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI).

How do you know if a product is truly green? We know that green cleaning creates healthier environments.  However, to make sure that you are green cleaning you need to look for some type of third party certification endorsements from Green Seal, EcoLogo, Design for the Environment or BioPreferred.  These third party certifiers review a manufacturer’s product to make sure that it adheres to strict requirements based on the effects to the environment.

Note: The facility janitorial staffs contribute as much to the well-being of patients as the medical staff.  Keeping linens clean and reducing clutter helps improve the indoor environment and is conducive to healthy residents and staff.

 

8 Ways to Improve Office Air Quality


Take a deep breath. Notice anything? If you don’t, that could be a very good thing: indoor air quality, or IAQ, often only attracts notice when something’s wrong. But there are times when poor IAQ can go unnoticed, leading to headaches, congestion, nasal and throat irritation, and more—and it can even impact productivity. According to the World Green Building Council, IAQ can impact productivity by as much as 11%!  So how can the average business protect itself and maintain good IAQ? Here are a few easy ways—and the best part is, most of the efforts you take to improve your IAQ will also bring added benefits to your building and its occupants!

  • Maintain your air filters and your HVAC systems – this also ensures smooth operation and cuts down on energy costs incurred by poor maintenance and air flow!
  • Clean your building regularly to eliminate bacteria, dust and other pollutants. Not only does this improve IAQ, but also helps cut down on productivity drains like hay fever and influenza.
  • Protect your entryways and floors with proper matting systems that help trap soils and particles. Your lungs will thank you, and you’ll spend less time and money cleaning and refinishing your flooring!
  • Invest in (and maintain) quality vacuum systems for your facilities, including HEPA filtration technology. Backpack versions of these vacuums are also more efficient and safer for your employees to use.
  • Switch to microfiber dust mops and cloths that trap more soil and that are cleaned through thorough vacuuming and washing. Microfiber products can also cut down on the use of disposable alternatives, reducing your environmental footprint.
  • Choose cleaning chemicals that are low in volatile organic compounds. These chemicals are safer for your workers and can also provide you with the opportunity to streamline your cleaning supplies for more labor savings.
  • Plan your space around airflow, ensuring good ventilation and utilizing furniture and fixtures that are easy to clean. Thoughtful design can also boost productivity and employee morale!
  • Keep up to date with new guidelines issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. You should also work with vendors and suppliers who can work with you collaboratively to stay in step with the latest trends and regulations.

“8 Ways to Improve Office Air Quality.” 8 Ways to Improve Office Air Quality. N.p., Staples Business Advantage, 28 Sept. 2016. Web. 5 Oct. 2016.

Fast Approaching Flu Season



With the incoming school year fast approaching many kids are finishing up their summer reading and going back to school shopping.  While most are excited and jittery, parents know that with the new school year means another flu season.  If there is one recommendation this time of year it is to stock up on disinfectants along with that new backpack.

With that said, as you get ready for the cooler weather you should also prepare for flu season so you and those around you don’t fall victim this year.  Things you should consider are…

 

The Vaccine
If you’re over 6 months of age the CDC advises you to get vaccinated. It reduces the risk by 50% to 60% and can help you and those surrounding you who are more vulnerable to the virus (Vaccine Effectiveness).  However, I know many people who prefer the holistic way, which means they need to take the next few precautions a bit more seriously.

 

Keep Your Environment Clean!
You’ve seen those commercials when one person sneezes and it forms a huge green cloud that touches everything, right? In reality the cloud is basically invisible but we get the point; germs are everywhere. Getting an area clean and keeping it that way for long is impossible.  That’s why you really need to disinfect not just clean and to disinfect often since we’re always coming into contact with objects and areas that may carry these germs.

 

Know the Difference
Many people probably just clean their spaces by using a rag or sponge with some soap.  What this is really doing is just taking the germs from one spot to another.  If done properly (wearing gloves, having a “no touch” waste basket, etc.) it can be pretty effective, however how many people have you seen actually wearing gloves when they clean their home?  The most advisable thing to do is disinfect- killing the germs on site (How to Clean).   You can clean the rest of your space but be sure to disinfect the high-touch surfaces, your health will thank you later.

 

Know the Signs
Fatigue, the chills, cough, sore throat, fever, gastrointestinal issues, dizziness, dehydration, etc. can all be signs you have the flu (Cherney). If you start to feel these symptoms coming on, take some preventative measures so it doesn’t get worse.  Measures such as drinking a lot of fluids to flush your system, staying home in order to become less exposed to more germs, over the counter medicine for headaches, pains and fever, and take a walk to boost your immune system (Vankoughnet).

 

However, don’t leave this until the last minute when you’re already getting sick.  It’s also better to think about it now to keep an eye out for sales on tissues, sanitizers, and disinfectants. Also, after you’ve finished preparing for the colder months, keep up on cleaning and disinfecting those high-touch areas until flu season is over to keep you and everyone around you out of the flu’s way.

 

Cherney, Kristeen. “6 Early Flu Symptoms.” Healthline. Healthline, 8 Oct. 2013. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.
“How To Clean and Disinfect Schools To Help Slow the Spread of Flu.”Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 Oct. 2014. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.
“Vaccine Effectiveness – How Well Does the Flu Vaccine Work?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18 May 2016. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.
Vankoughnet, Katherine. “8 WAYS TO STOP A COLD AND THE FLU IN ITS TRACKS.” Canadian Living. Group TVA, n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.

Green to Sustainable



We’ve been hearing it for decades, “go green,” and “save the planet,” but there’s always a next step.  Is now that time to take the next step? Every industry has been taking the necessary measures to try cutting their carbon footprint on the earth and to make their history more about their accomplishments than how they crippled the planet.  So now that we’ve all gone green it’s time to become more sustainable.

You’ve probably seen this happening already for a couple of years but more recently the pace has picked up and deadlines are being set.  San Francisco unanimously voted to have new buildings dedicate 15% of their roofs for solar panels (Domonoske).  San Francisco is also working towards zero waste, 50% clean transportation, 100% renewable energy, and a deadline of 2025 to get greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 1990 levels (Office of the Mayor). This is happening across the country and worldwide. Copenhagen, Denmark has pledged to become “carbon neutral” by 2025. Also by 2025, London, UK will produce 25% of the energy it uses at locally-generated sources (Altenerymag).

This new way of thinking effects the cleaning industry immensely, by needing trying to make all procedures more cost-effective and efficient for their clients.  In today’s world everyone is trying to be more environmentally conscious; using or even having the option of “green” products opens up your business to more markets.

This new step towards sustainability will effect all parts of a cleaning business such as equipment selection, when and how much chemicals one buys, scheduling, and products.

Equipment selection that uses energy and products more efficiently that will reduce cost of materials and shorter labor hours.  Buying chemicals only when you need them adds more driving time meaning more emissions and more packaging equaling more waste.  Scheduling carpet cleans will be set more on a needs basis then every (insert specific time here). Also scheduling day cleaning will be a growing trend as it allows the whole facility to shut down at a specific hour.  Also, the products themselves are changing. Some green products are being replaced by ones much more biodegradable and such as green trash liners to corn-based liners (ISSA).

Many cleaners have already begun the process of making the switch to more sustainable cleaning methods and products. It is really no wonder with most clients demanding or wanting that type of service.  This shows that you’re working towards the same goal as your clients and the rest of the world.  It is something that could connect you and a possible customer.  Consider making the switch so have a better chance at making that deal.

 

Domonoske, Camila. “San Francisco Requires New Buildings To Install Solar Panels.” NPR. NPR, 20 Apr. 2016. Web. 23 July 2016.
“Mayor Lee & Board President Breed Announce San Francisco Exceeds Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Goal.” Office of the Mayor. SFGOV, 26 Jan. 2015. Web. 23 June 2016.
Segura, Ron. “Sustainability: The Next Turning Point in Professional Cleaning.” ISSA. ISSA, 3 May 2016. Web. 23 July 2016.
Tajne, Pradhnya. “Top 10 Sustainable Cities and Their Efforts in the Renewable Energy Sector.” AltEnergyMag. AltEnergyMag, 12 June 2015. Web. 23 July 2016.

Brand Loyalty and Your 80’s Haircut


So you found the perfect product from a specific brand that has always been your go to for getting the job done.  Only problem is you found that product 15 years ago and haven’t tried any new products since.  So my question is, are you hurting yourself and your company with brand loyalty?  It’s like that 80’s haircut you had that worked back then but you’re still trying to pull it off.  Some products, like hairstyles are timeless but others are meant to evolve with the times.  This goes for all consumer products from chemicals you may use at a job or home essentials you buy every week.  Here are a few reasons why you may want to rethink the brands you buy:

Shop around every once in a while. It’s good to check out some of your favorite brands’ competitors.  They’re competitors for a reason and will have slight variations on a product you might actually prefer.  Read the labels and do some research on customer reviews this can be eye opening and may actually convince you to try something new.

Get some rewards.  New customers to brands are many times given incentives.  “Free delivery with your first order” and “50% Off First Order” are two phrases that I hear a lot, especially when buying online for a number of products. Why not stray a little from your normal routine to get a rebate or discount?  Like I said before you can get great rewards by having brand loyalty but weigh the pros and cons of a two brand products to see if those points are worth it.

Don’t make it personal.  People will defend a brand like they are head of PR for that company.  Getting attached to a brand can be a good thing and in today’s world with rewards and incentives left and right it may actually even save you money. However, unwilling to try something else due to brand loyalty can be your downfall.  Brand loyalty is what every company strives for like a hook and sinker.  That’s understandable with the amount of resources that goes into getting a customer. However, shouldn’t there be a reason to stay, not just because it’s what you’ve always done but because of their products being the best, their friendly customer service, etc.

Don’t follow the pack.  When everyone buys one product it leads to a huge gap in the market.  Why is everyone buying that one thing anyway? Just because it is working for everyone else doesn’t mean it will work for you. Buying that name brand product that’s been hyped up and in turn has its prices ramped up won’t help you or your business if it isn’t a good suit to your specific needs.  It’s a little bit like buying that name brand coffee that always has a line out the door meanwhile there’s an even better cup o’ joe next door with a less expensive price tag.  Just a little food for thought.

Remember, nothing beats the best. There is always a chance you already have the best of the best.  In that case shopping around can reaffirm to stick with what you’ve been using all along. Also, if you have great customer service that can always be the biggest reason to stay with a certain brand.  It can be hard to find a company willing to work with you to fix your problems and genuinely want to hear your concerns; that can be something worth sticking around for.

So before you write off every single brand that you have never used, at least give some a try.

Below Your Feet


For a normal 9 to 5 job we spend 1/3 of our days at work. Making phone calls, working on the computer, and having meetings are normal activities we do on a daily basis. Thinking about how clean your environment is probably doesn’t take up much of your time unless it becomes glaring (like that microwave fiasco no one seemed to be guilty of…).  Even if it isn’t staring you in the face, it is something that should always be in the back of your mind. Why? Because clean matters.  You may notice a water ring from your cup that you quickly wipe from your desk or crumbs from a guilty pleasure cookie you had for an office birthday you threw away before any evidence could be seen.

Now, think about all the things you use every day, all the time. One thing in particular you may realize is your carpet.  It’s one of those things that you barely notice until you move that corner cabinet and see a pristine, indented rectangle that is at least 10 shades lighter than the one you’re standing on now.  So with eyes wide you quickly move the cabinet back; as good as new.

It isn’t “as good as new” though.  Those 10 shades of darker carpet are hiding dust, dirt, skin, bacteria, and even viruses.  Waiting to get a thorough clean allows for these harmful allergens to settle in even more, which can cause mold to grow. Not only does this leave a dirty looking carpet, but can make you or others at your office sick (The Hidden Health Risks).  On top of that it leaves a bad impression with visitors and knowing that you’re surrounded by dirt and bacteria isn’t the most comforting thing when you’re trying to be productive at work.  Lastly, I have to admit I’m a barefoot type of person who prefers to kick off my shoes while I’m in my office, so a dirty carpet is not something I want to worry about.

Many carpet warranties have the bear minimum of having you clean it once a year but in high traffic areas this may not be enough. The solution is to thoroughly clean your carpet at least twice a year as to not allow your carpet to become “too far gone”.  Do this at your home as well- even though you’re more familiar with the inhabitants think about all the extra activities you do running in and out of the house, kids from soccer practice and animals from the backyard.  And if I’m being honest, I don’t care too much about the germs I bring in and out of the house because I don’t see them, all I normally care about is how clean it looks. But the reason why I don’t have to worry is because every few months I get that thorough clean and it puts me at ease and I can go back to enjoying life rather than worrying about the accumulation of all the harmful allergens that no longer rest beneath my feet.

 

“The Hidden Health Risks of Filthy Carpets.” Health Risks of Filthy Carpets. LMS Restoration, 2014. Web. 1 May 2016.

Cleanliness Is Key To Exceptional Customer Experience in Retail Spaces


Post Provided by P&G

by Michael Kupneski

Cleanliness can be a key way to provide an exceptional customer experience in any retail space. To provide customers with a top-notch experience in your store, create a cleaning routine that not only addresses all the areas that they frequent, but gives extra attention to high traffic areas like the store entrance, checkout stands, and restrooms. These high-traffic areas can make a big impact on a customer’s first impression.

Following are best practices to help ensure a clean experience for customers. 

  • Simplify Cleaning – According to the 2013 Cleaning Industry Insights Survey from P&G Professional, managers of cleaning operations in the commercial industry, including retail stores, ranked products that get the job done the first time as the most helpful factor for performing cleaning services.

Multipurpose products from trusted manufacturers can clean a broad class of soils and surfaces, making cleaning easier by reducing the number of products needed and minimizing rework. Multipurpose products also help save time by reducing the complexity of the job, make staff training easier and inventory management simpler.

  • First Glimpse – The entrance to any big-box or retail store, regardless of location, is the customer’s first glimpse of your business. Make it a warm welcome with windows and doors that reflect cleanliness and customer appreciation. Clean the windows frequently to keep them free of dirt, sticky handprints and streaks.
  • High-Touch Areas – Cluttered, dirty counters with fingerprint marks are not customer friendly. Cleaning staff should clean counters and checkout areas frequently, as they are constantly touched throughout the day. Use multipurpose products, such as Spic and Span®Disinfecting All-Purpose Spray and Glass Cleaner, to clean and disinfect dry surfaces in one step, which can save your cleaning crew time.

Additionally, remind employees to keep counters and checkout stands clutter-free by putting items away as soon as possible. Create designated spots to put all items in their place.

  • Don’t Forget to Dust – Shelves, furniture, fixtures and electronics can pile on the dust without a proper cleaning program in place. Assign staff to regularly dust these areas and keep them free of dirt. Dust is constantly forming and being deposited, and not only detracts from overall cleanliness but can also trigger allergies in customers who are sensitive. Make dusting easier with a Swiffer Duster. Not only easy to use, Swiffer Dusters trap and lock up to 2x more dust than a dry cloth.
  • Keep Restrooms Sparkling – The level of restroom hygiene can greatly affect the overall impression of any business and should be routinely cleaned. According to P&G Professional’s 2013 Cleaning Industry Insights Survey, bathrooms ranked as the most important area to clean (30 percent) and also as the most difficult to clean (52 percent) in the commercial sector.

The goal of an effective restroom cleaning program should be to remove all soils that harbor and provide a breeding ground for germs, not just the visible soils. Bad odors or smells can mean there are still germs present, even if you can’t see the soil. Keeping restrooms clean so they meet public expectations means: surfaces free of noticeable soils and disinfected, emptied trash cans with new liners, no visible graffiti, paper products restocked and operational, no odors, mirrors and chrome spot-free and shining, no stains or discoloration on fixtures/dispensers, and floors free of litter, build up and moisture. Remember, for proper disinfection, always follow the product label instructions.

  • Attractive Floors – It’s been shown that facility appearance ratings can drop by as much as 75 percent if floor shine makes a bad first impression. A clean floor is literally a reflection of your business. Design a daily routine of dust mopping to help clear away larger elements of surface dirt, and then damp mopping to remove other particulates and oily soil. This helps prevent the floor’s finish from darkening or yellowing from embedded soil. For damp mopping, be sure to start with a clean mop head and clean water, and follow the manufacturer’s recommended dilution ratio for the floor cleaning product.

To ensure a consistently clean store, it’s important to put protocols into place outlining how and when to clean each area. Setting up a recognition and reward system for employees can help keep everyone motivated to follow cleaning guidelines.

Following these simple steps can help your business shine and increase customer satisfaction.

 

 

NJS Preventing Infections in Your Health Care Facilities



National Janitorial Solutions has been working on an Infection Prevention plan with specific time schedules, chemicals, and techniques. With hospital and urgent care patients becoming sick from hospital borne illnesses it’s imperative to combat those viruses daily to keep patients from becoming more ill and to even save lives. According to the World Health Organization 7% of hospitalized patients will acquire at least one infection while admitted. At first 7% seems like such a small number and some may think ‘what are the chances of that happening to me or someone I know?’. Well, that number seems to grow incredibly when you compare it to the total number of hospital inpatient discharges and outpatient visits of 160.8 Million making that 7% equal roughly 11,256,000; that number only consists of U.S. non-federal short stay hospitals (CDC). The World Health Organization also claims that 30% of ICU patients are affected by one or more virus during their hospital stay.

So, what are the reasons for this? Inappropriately using devices that expose the patients, the overuse of antibiotics, high risk procedures, overcrowding, under-staffing, human error, the cleanliness of the facility, etc (World Health Organization). This is the reason for finding a great hospital and excellent doctors. This is also the reason hospitals need to invest in the best janitorial providers. NJS is specifically targeting the locations where germs multiply and spread in hospitals and urgent care centers. Not only to destroy the existing germs but to prevent future spreads. National Janitorial Solutions is working towards dropping that 7% and towards your patients having a happier and healthier stay.

“Hospital Utilization (in Non-Federal Short-stay Hospitals).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 27 Apr. 2016. Web. 10 June 2016.
http://www.who.int/gpsc/country_work/gpsc_ccisc_fact_sheet_en.pdf

Critical Germ Touchpoints in Education Facilities


Post Provided by Betco

When it comes to effective cleaning in school facilities, what most people think about first is the restrooms. In fact, studies have found that parents, when visiting a college or university their son or daughter is considering, invariably visit the restrooms to examine their cleanliness. The reasoning is: clean restrooms mean a well-run school; poorly maintained restrooms, can mean something far different.

However, many people are often unaware of the most important areas that need proper cleaning; these places are known in the professional cleaning industry as high touch areas. We’ve all seen them but probably have never heard them called this before.

High touch areas include the following:

  • Light switches
  • Door knobs
  • Railings
  • Tops and sides of chairs and tables
  • Elevator buttons

The list could go on and on. High touch areas can spread germs to many people. Once a surface is contaminated everyone who touches the surface can spread the germs to other surfaces. This problem is paramount in educational locations because many students fail to wash their hands after using the restrooms.

This means that custodial workers must pay extra special attention to high touch areas. An EPA registered disinfectant should be used to clean these areas. If the surface is visibly soiled, first the high touch area must be cleaned prior to disinfection. This two-step process can be avoided if using a Betco product clearly labeled that it can be used for cleaning and disinfecting. Using such a product can be a major time saver.

High touch areas should be cleaned frequently, as often as once per day. Cleaning professionals should use microfiber cleaning cloths because they tend to be more effective at removing germs and bacteria than traditional cleaning cloths. Also, the cloths should be changed frequently and used for the same purpose: never use a microfiber cleaning cloth used to clean restroom fixtures on light switches, as an example.

While students and teachers may not be aware of how important it is to keep high touch areas properly cleaned, as cleaning professionals, we must be acutely aware of how important keeping these areas clean and sanitary is to protecting the health of all building users, teachers, and staff.

 

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