With the rise of new viruses companies must be proactive in order to keep their employees safe and their commercial office spaces clean. Enhances in technology will allow more people to work from home, however companies will still want to lease office space. People still have a desire to socialize, and while working 100% remote is possible for some companies, it's not a good fit for all, and a lot of ideas are missed when people are not in the same room.
Cleaning is the first line of defense for viruses. To make people feel comfortable coming to the office, companies will just have to take the responsibility and get better at making their offices clean and sanitary for the employees and visitors. The CDC has a great guideline on how to clean and disinfect your facility however we have summarized them below.
To Disinfect or Sanitize?
There is a difference between the two. Sanitizing reduces bacteria on surfaces to make them safer for people to touch. Disinfecting destroys both bacteria and viruses within 30 minutes of exposure. In an office environment you want to do both, however in your most used areas it would be wise to disinfect following CDS guidelines.
Wash Hands Frequently
Washing hands with soap and water is the number 1 thing that should be addressed in the office. You would be surprised to find out the percentage of people in your office that don't wash their hands after sneezing, coughing, or using the restroom. Then those same people go around touching door knobs, staplers, phones, countertops, etc. passing all the germs that they just produced. Post signs in the office, invest in hand sanitizer, and hold a clinic on washing hands no matter how dumb people think that is.
Products to Use For Sanitizing & Disinfecting the Office Areas
A sanitizer is any substance that kills 99.9% of germs and can be used to reduce the number of germs. To completely kill germs you would want to use products such as Clorox bleach, Lysol, ethyl or ispropyl alcohol or other products listed by the EPA
What Items Need to Be Disinfected & Sanitized in the Office?
These are items often overlooked however get touched and shared more than anything else. Infrequent cleaning allows germs to grow and get passed around between all your employees. Invest in good alcohol-based sanitizer wipes or sprays and have them easily accessible for everyone. Ideally one that kills 99.9% of germs.
- Mice & Keyboards
- Pencils and Pens
- Phones & headsets
- Tape dispensers and staplers
- Conference Tables
- Break room countertops
- Refrigerator inside and out
- Door knobs and handles
- Break room sink handles and faucets
- Light switches
- Copy machines and printers
When to Sanitize the Office
People cough, sneeze all day long and those mucous particles fill the air and land on many of the things listed above. That being said it's a good idea to sanitize the surrounding items every time before and after every touch, cough, or sneeze. Keep in mind sanitizing products only reduce the amount of germs however that is better than nothing.
When to Disinfect the Office
Disinfecting takes much longer than sanitization (30 minutes to completely kill germs) and you will want to vacate each room first. Disinfect regularly depending on traffic and time permitting. When each room is completed you can allow people in that room and move on to the next.
Conclusion About Disinfecting Offices
Washing hands and cleaning may seem like common sense to some, however you would be surprised to find out how many people actually don't do it. If you want to completely kill viruses and bacteria then it's a good idea to disinfect touched surfaces routinely.