Hygiene should always be a priority in the workplace; employers and colleagues have a duty of care to each other to ensure that infections such as colds and flu do not get passed around the office. Apart from health considerations, it’s simply economic common sense for employers to want to keep their employees in good health. In this time of pandemic, hygiene around the workplace is more important than ever. Many companies may be employing professional cleaners, but for smaller operations doing it yourself may be the way to go.
The first thing to consider is what needs cleaning. Essentially, anything that is constantly touched by workers should be put on your cleaning list. This includes tables and desks, keyboards, mice, mousepads, telephones, staplers, tape dispensers, light switches, the arms of chairs, and doorknobs. Experts suggest that these items should all be cleaned twice, firstly with a standard soap-based detergent and then with antibacterial wipes. Be careful with any items where moisture can seep inside machinery and damage internal electronics, such as keyboards and cell phones; use a cloth moistened with antibacterial cleaner rather than spraying it straight on to this type of item.
Don’t forget that there is more to office than just the workspace; clearly, communal bathrooms and shower areas should have rigorous regular cleaning schedules at all times, but you might want to consider increasing the frequency and thoroughness of cleaning in the current environment. Make sure all your employees are aware of their responsibilities to be even more meticulous about handwashing, disposal of sanitary wipes, etc. If you do have any fabric towels etc in your bathroom, now is the time to replace them with disposable ones.
Other communal areas such as break rooms should get as much attention as the office and the bathrooms; all surfaces should be thoroughly wiped down several times a day. You should pay particular attention to refrigerators, microwaves, and anywhere else that food is stored. Make it clear which storage area belongs to whom, so you can minimize the chances of people handling each other’s food containers, cutlery, etc.
For all these cleaning jobs, make sure that you use a product such as Lysol or Clorox, one that says on the label that it is designed to kill viruses. Some vinegar-based cleaning products may leave your surfaces looking clean, but obviously viruses are not visible to the naked eye; use a product that offers the greatest peace of mind, use it regularly, and use it thoroughly.