The Covid-19 Pandemic hit businesses hard and has seen millions of people put out of work.
For the fortunate few, it meant spending a few months working remotely from home, and whilst this was a good short-term solution, as national lockdowns are beginning to lift, offices are looking at ways to ensure that they can re-open again safely. The whole pandemic has seen individuals, companies, and governments trying to find the right balance between health and safety and economic considerations.
The best way that you can help to ensure that your company is able to reopen safely for your employees is by introducing the correct sanitizing techniques.
To help offices reopen and get people back to work, this article is a guide to sanitizing techniques your office needs to introduce.
1. Reorganize your Office
The best way to keep your office sanitized and stop the spread of Covid-19 or any other viruses or bacteria is to reorganize your office accordingly. Pay careful attention to areas where your employees tend to congregate, such as around water dispensers and coffee machines, and in the break rooms and bathrooms. Whilst lockdowns may have ended, and businesses are being allowed to reopen, it is vital to do so with due care and consideration given to making sure you open safely. Enforce social distancing in the office. This may mean moving furniture around, enforcing a 2-meter rule and making it company policy to wear a mask.
If your employees are able to work from home at least for certain tasks, try to have a kind of soft-opening, where you alternate who works in the office and who works from home. By having employees only come into the office every other day, you will have half the amount of people there at any one time. If nothing else, the Covid-19 Pandemic has shown us that remote working is quite probably going to be the way of things to come, so start now by introducing it into different sections of your workforce on different days.
2. Pay Attention to Your Office Furniture
The importance and effectiveness of masks and other personal protection equipment have been a hot topic in the news for the last few months. Covid-19 is an airborne virus that lives in droplets from our lungs and saliva so any physical barrier that stops those droplets will help sanitize your office and reduce the spread.
During the pandemic office, furniture designers have developed new furniture with special compartments and screens that divide and shield employees from one another. There are a lot of businesses that buy used furniture when they are looking to save money, but when you buy second-hand office furniture, be absolutely sure to give it an industrial clean before any employee uses it. Wear gloves, a mask, and any other personal protective equipment that you have and scrub every inch of the furniture down with bleach. Bleach kills 99.9% of all bacteria and viruses, including CoronaVirus, so make sure that your furniture is cleaned regularly, especially if it is second-hand furniture.
3. Provide Soap and Hand Sanitizer Throughout the Office
Regular and thorough hand washing is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of viruses and bacteria. It is surprising how many people only became aware of their lazy hand hygiene during the early days of the Covid-19 Pandemic when the medical experts were explaining that you need to wash your hands for at least twenty seconds. Make sure that there is always plenty of soap in your office bathrooms. Squeezy hand soap is more hygienic than bars of soap, especially because many people are squeamish about using bars of soap in public bathrooms.
Provide paper towels or electric hand dryers for people to dry their hands rather than cloth towels because these can become very dirty very quickly and become a haven for all kinds of nasty germs. The hand sanitizer panic that occurred in many countries during the pandemic was slightly overkill, but hand sanitizer can be an effective weapon against germs. Make sure that there is plenty of it everywhere around the office, especially near the coffee machine or refrigerators. Also, provide your employees with sanitizing wipes to wipe down frequently touched surfaces like door handles and computer keyboards.
It is vital to enforce effective hygiene rules in your office so that everyone working there can stay safe and healthy. As we are just starting to emerge from the most difficult times, we are all learning what the “new normal” entails when it comes to our work and personal lives. Take all the precautions necessary and remember that it is always to be over-cautious than underprepared.