Keeping a clean workplace has always been important. But with the whole world dealing with the coronavirus — a deadly virus that we cannot see — office spaces must become more cautious and vigilant to protect the safety of its employees. If your business is about to resume operations, here’s a helpful guide for office sanitization during COVID-19.
Office Sanitization: How to Clean and Disinfect Your Workplace
Sanitization is the process by which we make things sanitary — either by cleaning or disinfecting. In the time of COVID-19, though, cleaning and disinfecting go hand in hand. We must remove bacteria, germs, and viruses to significantly reduce the risk of spreading infection and disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), when sanitizing office spaces and other non-healthcare facilities, surfaces should first be cleaned and then disinfected.
Clean surfaces with water and soap to reduce germs, bacteria, and viruses. Cleaning does not kill these infectious agents, but it does significantly reduce their number.
Disinfection, on the other hand, kills infectious agents but doesn’t remove them from surfaces. Thus, both cleaning and disinfection are essential in lowering the risk of spreading infection.
Cleaning and Disinfecting the Office Space: High-Touch Surfaces
Routine cleaning of the entire office space is essential. However, high-touch surfaces, especially in high-traffic areas, should be prioritized. Frequent disinfecting and cleaning are a must. Here are examples of high-touch surfaces in an office space.
- Desks and tables
- Chair backs and armrests
- Front desk supplies (staplers, tape dispensers, pens, phones)
- Coat racks and hangers
- Touchscreen devices
- Computer keyboards, mice, and other peripherals
- Meeting room phones, remotes, projectors, whiteboard pens
- Light switches
- Window handles
- Kitchen appliance handles
- Cabinet handles
- Toilets and fixtures
- Bathroom surfaces (stall handles, faucets, soap dispensers, towel dispensers, waste bins)
Office Disinfection: Which Products to Use?
For office disinfection, the CDC has released a list of EPA-approved disinfectants that are effective against COVID-19. The list can be seen here.
If these products are unavailable, you can use household bleach to disinfect surfaces. It is also effective against COVID-19. However, the solution must be properly diluted.
Make sure that you are using bleach with 5.25-8.25% sodium hypochlorite. Mix 1-part bleach with 49 parts water. Another alternative for disinfection is to use 70-90% alcohol.
When disinfecting electronic devices, use disinfectant wipes or at least 70% alcohol.
Importance of Having a Plan for Office Building Sanitizing
Prior to reopening the workplace, you must develop a solid plan for office sanitization. You can make cleaning and disinfection simple for everyone by establishing protocols.
When developing your office sanitization plan, here are important factors to consider.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Supplies
Make it easier for employees to clean and disinfect their work areas by providing adequate cleaning and disinfecting supplies. Have an adequate supply of essentials such as alcohol, hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, paper towels, face masks, gloves, and trash bags.
Make sure that these supplies are accessible for employees, especially in high-traffic areas. Soap dispensers in bathrooms should also be regularly filled to encourage proper handwashing.
Likewise, the janitorial staff should have an adequate supply of cleaning and disinfecting supplies. Make sure that they have access to masks, protective gowns, gloves, safety goggles, and other personal protective equipment.
High-traffic areas can be hotspots for potential transmission. Analyze your office layout and find ways to implement social distancing. If possible, make sure that workspaces allow for a 6-feet distance between employees. If not, make sure employees are wearing masks.
Create additional work areas by utilizing spaces that were not used before. You should also limit the number of people that can gather at the same time, such as in meeting rooms, coffee stations, and kitchen areas.
Work from Home
If social distancing is difficult to achieve in your office, consider having some employees work from home. You can alternate schedules to make it convenient for everyone.
Businesses should also encourage employees to just work from home if they are feeling unwell. This is so that employees are not pressured to come to work if they are already sick.
Proper Monitoring and Contact Tracing
You can increase the safety of your office space with proper monitoring and contact tracing. Take note of which desks are being used and by whom.
Make sure that these desks are cleaned and disinfected at the end of the day. Create a log for conference rooms and other spaces so that you can easily perform contact tracing should an employee get sick or test positive for COVID-19.
Benefits of Professional Office Sanitization
Cleaning and disinfecting can be a tedious process but it is necessary to ensure the safety of your employees. However, not all offices are equipped with the manpower to perform these essential services.
If you want to create a clean and safe workplace, consider the benefits of commercial sanitizing services. Having a sanitization team on deck can ease a lot of the burden placed on employees, managers, and business owners.
Here’s what you can expect with commercial office sanitization.
- Full PPE with Respirator Masks: Professionals always wear full PPE with respirator masks when sanitizing your office space. They follow EPA and CDC-approved cleaning and disinfecting procedures. This keeps your workplace clean and safe from potential contamination.
- Strict Safety Protocols: Professionals adhere to strict safety protocols, such as maintaining 6-feet distance and remote billing, to minimize contact with your and your employees.
- Professional Equipment and Supplies: A professional maintenance company is equipped with the latest technologies, equipment, and supplies to properly clean and disinfect your office space.
- Rapid Response: When dealing with COVID-19, it’s beneficial to have a team that can come in and sanitizes your office at a moment’s notice. A rapid response is critical in minimizing potential transmission in your workplace.
Office Sanitization as Part of the New Normal
COVID-19 has and will continue to change our way of life. More than ever, there is an emphasis on cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing our homes, vehicles, offices, stores, medical facilities, and so on.
As businesses try to adjust to this new normal and resume operations, it is crucial to implement office sanitization protocols for the safety of employees. Along with a solid plan, it’s important to have a sanitization team that you can rely on during these uncertain times.
If you need office sanitization services in Charlotte, NC, please do not hesitate to contact Maintenance Specialists Inc. You can count on us to keep your office clean and safe. Call us at (704) 405-6000 or email us at email@example.com today!