Did you know that 57% of the United States population has now been vaccinated against COVID-19? As more people continue to get vaccinated we can expect the world to slowly return to normal.
And, that means more workers will begin transitioning from temporary remote work back to an office setting. However, it’s important to remember that the virus is still very much active.
As such, now is not the time to become complacent in office sanitation and safety procedures. To protect your employees, and anyone entering the building, it’s vital that you make appropriate changes to your traditional policy.
But, exactly what types of changes should you make? In this article, we’ll walk you through three tips for improving the state of your regular office cleaning. That way, everyone can be confident and happy to return to the physical workplace. Let’s get started!
Why Is It Important to Prioritize Office Sanitation and Safety?
Before we begin let’s take a look at why it’s important to prioritize sanitation and safety for your office. For one thing, it shows your employees that you value them. After all, if your employees are quite literally risking their lives to return to work.
As such, doing everything in your power to keep them safe shows that you care about them beyond their productivity and job contributions. What’s more, it also shows that you care about any customers or clients that enter the building.
It also helps reduce stress levels across the office. Nothing can freak germaphobic more than seeing someone spread their sickness across the office. As such, a sterilized workplace can help them divert their attention to more important things like their work.
However, one of the biggest reasons to prioritize office sanitation isn’t even related to COVID-19. Even before the pandemic employee illness related to colds and flu cost companies billions of dollars.
One report found that depending on the season between $7 and $15 billion were lost due to people taking sick days. Porper office sanitation can prevent this. Not only does it protect against COVID-19, but it’s also great at slowing the spread of flu strains.
As such, if you’re not prioritizing your office’s sanitation, then you’re both losing money and putting your employees at risk. Because of this it just makes sense to follow these tips to make your work environment cleaner and safer.
1. Prioritize Contactless Cleaning and Safety Procedures
Our first tip is to begin investing in tech, services, and layouts that move away from frequent contact. Remember that touching, whether it’s surfaces or skin, and proximity are how viruses are spread.
As such, offices need to do everything in their power to avoid unnecessary close contact. The good news is that automation is making it easier than ever before to achieve this goal.
And, when you combine it with some common sense scheduling, then it can quickly make your workplace safer. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can begin shifting toward contactless procedures.
Invest In Technology That Allows Less Contact
There are tons of different areas where you can reduce the amount of contact using new and old technology. Let’s start in one of the dirtiest areas: the washroom. Technology like automated sinks and touchless air dryers are much more preferable to traditional sinks and paper towels.
With traditional sinks and paper towels, you get your hand dirty again right after washing them. Since the handles used to operate them collect germs you’re effectively spreading it around the entire office.
However, touchless bathroom tech prevents this. Make sure to check out this site to learn more about washroom accessories that can help prevent contact. Next, think about where people touch the same surface often.
Door handles are one clear area. As such, automated doors are a great solution. Consider automating your receptionist if you’re able to. If you can’t, then protect them by requiring masks and putting up protective barriers around them to prevent the spread of germs.
Shift Away From Open Floor Plans
While the open floor plans associated with many offices might seem collaborative and communal their days are coming to an end. Unfortunately, fitting almost your entire office in these areas is a recipe for disaster in terms of spreading germs and pathogens. So, what’s the solution?
Well, if you can afford it, then small, private offices are the best route. However, these aren’t ideal for a variety of reasons. For one thing, it requires a lot of space and building. On top of that, private offices rule out a lot of the benefits that come with office culture.
On top of that, they also make communicating internally much more difficult. However, don’t panic. There might be a compromise between private offices and an open floor plan. This lies in a distributed office setup.
With a distributed office you break everyone up into small groups, preferably ones that work together or in similar departments. These groups are then separated, either by walls, floors, or entire offices.
This is ideal because it allows. After all, it allows for collaboration in a way that’s safe and effective. Plus, it allows people who work effectively in remote settings to continue working remotely.
We recommend keeping a significant portion of your staff working from home — the main ones that don’t need to be in-person to fulfill their duties. If they need to come in for whatever reason, then you can easily allocate some space for them.
This not only makes people feel safer, but it’s also more ideal for working mothers, or those who live far away from the office.
2. Hire Professional Cleaners For Off Hours
Hiring a professional cleaner to clean and disinfect your facility after each day is a vital part of sanitation. However, you shouldn’t choose just any type of cleaning company.
It’s important to select ones that closely follow the guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting as laid out by the CDC. You can learn more about these guidelines by following this link here. You should also make sure that they’re using strong cleaning products.
For example, many cleaning companies use products that clear out all COVID-19 pathogens. However, these same products don’t protect against things like Clostridioides difficile, norovirus, common influenza.
As such, you want to make sure that they’re using the strongest cleaning products possible. Finally, make sure that they come and clean after hours once almost everyone has cleared out of the office.
If you bring them in during the day, then there’s a much higher chance that they’ll spread germs or get sick. As such, it’s safer for everyone if they come in after hours.
3. Train Your Employees On Proper Cleaning and Disinfection Procedures For the Office
In addition to professional cleaning, it’s important for your employees to regularly clean their workstations and other areas of the office when they have some time. Unfortunately, individuals are unfamiliar with how germs are spread and the proper disinfecting procedures.
As such, we recommend organizing a bit of training for your employees. That way, they’re equipped with all the knowledge they’ll need on how to prevent the spread of germs. So, what are some things that you should go over during training?
Well, for starters you should clarify what the difference is between cleaning and disinfecting. Next, you should teach employees how to clean common areas of the office, as well as when they’ll be expected to.
You should also dive into what areas of the office get the dirtiest the quickest. It’s almost always frequently touched services. Like workstations, phones, computers, fax machines, printers, and the kitchen area.
As such, these locations should be prioritized for cleaning and disinfecting. You also shouldn’t put the responsibility of your employees to bring their cleaning products. Instead, provide them with the products and color code them for individual uses.
We also recommend carefully the building’s policy when it comes to wearing masks in certain areas. For example, it might be all right for an employee to be maskless when they’re at their desk. However, when moving from place to place they should consider masking up.
Want More Content? Keep Reading
We hope this article helped you learn some tips for improving office sanitation and safety in your workplace. As you can see, proper office sanitation can require a lot of work and changes.
However, at the end of the day, it not only makes your office cleaner but can potentially save lives. As such, if these changes protect even one individual from potential harm, then they’re more than worth it.
So, start making plans and policies to improve your office sanitation today. Did you enjoy this article? If the answer is yes, then you’re in the right place. Keep exploring to find more topics that you’re sure to love.