A professional office cleaning company does more than just mop, dust, and take out the trash. The right janitorial team can also help prevent COVID-19 from spreading like wildfire through your office. It’s more important than ever to take action to reduce transmission in the workplace.
Sick employees cost your business both time and money. And the coronavirus is so contagious that just one worker can infect numerous others. You, your staff, or even your clients, may fall ill. That’s a risk you don’t want to take. Although this novel virus is still new to the world, experts have determined ways to limit transmission in an office environment.
And without any further ado, here are the top ways you can prevent a coronavirus outbreak in your office:
Eliminate the Virus on Surfaces
Germs love to congregate on surfaces, and the coronavirus is no exception.
Follow these tips to eliminate the virus from office surfaces:
1. Clean and Disinfect Surfaces Regularly.
Germs don’t like clean environments. Have your employees pick up after themselves and wipe down dirty surfaces throughout the day. Schedule regular building cleaning services to deep clean and disinfect every inch of your office space.
2. Reduce the Need to Touch Surfaces.
The less you touch things, the less the virus can spread. Install automated toilets, hands-free door openers, or motion-activated lights.
3. Invest in Easy-to-Clean Office Furniture.
Plush, fabric-covered chairs may be comfortable, but they’re tricky to clean. Switch to hard-backed chairs that are easier for corporate cleaning services to wipe down and disinfect.
4. Vigilantly Clean High-Touch Surfaces.
Germs congregate on high-touch surfaces, like keyboards, telephones, doorknobs, and handles. Cleaning office buildings should involve disinfecting these areas several times each day.
5. Disinfect Soft Surfaces.
Carpets, rugs, and curtains are great hiding places for the coronavirus. Hire a janitorial service for routine office carpet cleaning to keep these porous surfaces germ-free.
6. Limit Sharing of Products.
You don’t want your workers borrowing from their cubicle mate. The more an object passes though hands, the more germs it collects. Make sure your employees have access to personal computers, tablets, phones, and any supplies they need.
7. Maintain a Clean Desk.
A clean office starts with your desk. Remove any clutter and throw out all trash. Professional office cleaning companies should empty full bins each day. The less you have on your desk, the easier it is to disinfect the area throughout the day. Bonus—it will also make you more productive.
8. Stockpile Disinfecting Wipes.
Your office can never have too many disinfecting wipes. Store the wipes in an accessible place to encourage your staff to use them throughout the day.
9. Set up Hand Sanitizing Stations.
Place communal bottles of hand sanitizer in common areas, such as near the entryway, restrooms, or break room.
10. Stagger Employee Breaks.
You don’t want everyone touching the office coffee maker or microwave at the same time. Send your workers on breaks on a staggered schedule.
Reduce Harmful Aerosols in the Air
There is increasing evidence that COVID-19 pathogens are airborne and may linger in the air for several hours.
Here’s how you can keep your office breathing easy:
11. Install Plexiglass Dividers.
Placing plexiglass panels at the reception area or between desks will prevent droplets from floating in the air. Ask your office cleaners to wipe down these dividers each day.
12. Switch to High-Quality Filters.
Upgrade your HVAC filter to those with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating of 13 or higher. HEPA filters, which do not have a MERV rating, are another solid choice.
13. Install an Office Humidifier.
There’s reason to believe that COVID-19 cannot survive in hot, humid environments. Offices should maintain humidity levels between 40-60 percent to improve air quality.
14. Limit Use of the HVAC System.
COVID-19 pathogens can travel through air ducts. You can prevent this by keeping the HVAC system off during the day. Only turn it on when it’s absolutely necessary.
15. Prohibit Personal Heaters and Fans.
Don’t let your employees keep a small heater or fan at their desks. These devices may inadvertently circulate the virus around the office.
16. Consider Investing in UV Lights.
Ultraviolet lights help kill viruses and bacteria. Installing these lights in your ductwork may help curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the air.
17. Open Windows Whenever Possible.
If your office has functioning windows, open them as much as possible to circulate the air better. You should even let your janitorial team open the windows fully while cleaning offices at night.
18. Work Outside if the Weather Is Nice.
Consider hosting meetings or catching up on phone calls outdoors. There’s evidence that COVID-19 doesn’t transmit as rapidly in fresh air or outdoor environments.
19. Use CDC-Approved Disinfectant Sprays.
EPA-approved disinfectant sprays can kill the coronavirus in a matter of minutes. These are the same chemicals business cleaning services recommend. Thoroughly spray rooms before entering and again when exiting.
20. Invest in Bi-Polar Ionizer Filters.
There’s a reason hospitals rely on bipolar ionization. Super-charged ions may inactivate the virus and reduce airborne transmission.
Encourage Healthy Behavioral Habits
There are simple behavior changes you and your office staff can make to mitigate the risk of an outbreak.
Encourage your employees to take up these habits:
21. No More Shaking Hands.
Handshaking spreads germs. Encourage your staff to come up with new ways to greet each other and clients. Some ideas include waving, nodding, or a friendly elbow-bump.
22. Limit Work Trips and Recreational Travel.
Traveling increases a person’s risk of exposure tenfold. Instead of flying across the country to visit clients or attend seminars, look for virtual alternatives. And require anyone who does travel to quarantine themselves for 14 days upon return.
23. Social Distance from Other Workers.
The CDC recommends maintaining a distance of 6-ft from others at all times. Move office furniture further apart to make it easier for employees to social distance.
24. Wear a Face Mask Indoors.
Anyone in a shared space should cover their mouth and nose with a face mask. Although N95 masks are the most effective, only medical professionals should wear them. Request that your employees and visitors wear non-surgical or homemade cloth masks while in the office.
25. Practice Proper Hand Washing.
You probably thought you knew how to wash your hands before COVID-19 hit. But most people don’t do it right. Teach your workers to scrub their hands for 20 seconds with soap to remove any germs. Use commercial office cleaning services to keep your sinks disinfected.
26. Reduce Office Movement.
Gathering at the water cooler is now a thing of the past. Ask employees to communicate or share documents via email to limit how much they walk around the office.
27. Schedule Virtual Meetings.
There’s no reason to book the conference room when everyone can chat in real-time via Zoom or another online meeting app.
28. Follow a Healthy Diet.
Beating the coronavirus starts from within. Encourage healthy habits with your employees, including increasing their intake of vitamin D and zinc.
29. Allow Employees to Work from Home.
Whenever possible, let your workers telecommute. Help them set up a functional office space with ergonomic furniture and updated technology.
30. Don’t Come to Work Sick.
Screen workers every morning before they come to work. Make sure they are not running a fever or experiencing any COVID-like symptoms.
31. Develop an Emergency Plan.
If someone becomes infected, make sure you notify anyone who has been in close contact with them. These people may include coworkers, vendors, maintenance staff, or clients. You should also schedule a professional office cleaning to disinfect the area.
Trust Our Professional Office Cleaning Team to Keep Your Office Germ-Free
Even if you follow all the rules in the book, germs may still linger in your office. Hiring a commercial office cleaning service is the best way to keep your workspace as healthy as possible. DNC Facility Services has the tools and expertise necessary to transform your office into a safe, germ-free space.
Our highly-skilled team members will go above and beyond to clean and disinfect every surface. With our years of experience and commitment to excellence, you can count on us to keep germs at bay in your workplace. The coronavirus doesn’t stand a chance against us. Connect with us online to learn more about our professional office cleaning services.