LONDON—How often is your office cleaned? How does that contribute to workplace allergies? And—and this is the big question—how can working from a virtual office help?

An Allergy UK survey reveals that office cleaning is infrequent and doesn’t appear adequate enough to prevent the build up of house dust mites and allergens. In the survey, 37% said their office is cleaned just once a week or less—and 17% said their office is cleaned infrequently.

How does this affect productivity and could a virtual office really make a difference? Let’s look at some more stats. In the survey, 20 percent of respondents spent eight hours or more at work in a single day. When you combine that with a dusty environment, soft furnishings, poorly vacuumed carpets and lacking ventilation, it’s not difficult to see why so many employees suffer from allergies at work.

Now, here’s the kicker from a productivity perspective: 73 percent of those survey participants took time off sick in the last 12 months—and a significant 42 percent of that total took time off because of an allergy. In all, 42 percent took between four and 10 days off due to an allergy.

If you work from a virtual office, you have more control over your environment. For example, ventilation is important. When you work from a virtual office you can open a window and be sure your A/C filters are changed regularly.

You can use an air purifier in your virtual office to reduce household allergens. If you have plants make sure they are watered regularly and remove the top soil once and a while to avoid mold. You can do some of these things whether you work in a virtual office or not. But, of course, you have much more control over your environment when you work from a virtual office.