Keeping a working environment healthy and sanitary isn't new news, is it? Wait, is it? Hopefully this is no answer, but if it isn't, I am sure 2020 has kicked your office's arse into high gear. Maybe you had to (or will have to if you aren't there yet) scramble to put forth a feasible plan to keep your office clean and safe for your employees, customers, contractors, and vendors.
Where do you even start?
Surprisingly, this is a fairly easy feat to overcome. Save from encouraging personal responsibility, there are a few simple ways to make sure you meet your responsibilities when it comes to a sanitary environment. And it doesn't need to just be some big plan you implement today and follow for a while. These can easily become routine habits that follow your company along for years to come.
Aside from Federal, Provincial, or Municipal by-laws and mandates, your office is responsible for finding simple ways to keep clean. Engineering controls need to be a part of your new healthy building strategies. Engineering controls are methods that are part of your daily office processes that minimize hazards. In this case, we are aiming to minimize sharing germs and increase basic sanitization practices throughout the day.
Let's start by addressing clutter.
The tidier your space is, the easier it is to clean. Infact, a bonus of this is clearing space tends to put your mind at ease as well (try this at home!). So a good way to prepare for ongoing easy cleaning is by removing unnecessary stuff from your desk, common areas, shelving, and communal spaces that people spend their time in. Adding to that, put old papers where they belong (in the recycling), and put away items that are only used now and then. What you should have is a cleaner slate, a space that is easy to wipe down!
Consider a deeper clean
You know what’s really hard to clean well? DUST. Dust loves to just stick to everything. Moreover, when you wipe it off, it streaks itself along everywhere. So before we move on to our quick easy clean, let's take a minute to get all the build up out of the way. Using a damp cloth followed by a dry one is the most effective way to remove dust build up. Fun fact: dust doesn't always just lay gently on the surface. Often it sticks, as it wants to stay forever. Hence, damp cloth.
Another important factor in surface preparation is removing what product labels love to call a “gross filth". Ew right? Before proper disinfection can occur, gross filth must be removed. Gross filth is basically build up of anything like food, dirt, the sticky dust I just mentioned, and all the random colorful grunge you find when you really start looking closely. Remove this with a microfiber cloth and a non-toxic all purpose cleaner like Eco-Max Natural Lemongrass All Purpose Cleaner.
You will want to focus on all horizontal areas that dust settles on (desks, bookshelves, window sills) as well as all your high touch areas (handles, door knobs, taps, keyboards, computer mice, chairs, appliance handles, copier/printer buttons, coffee machines….
Make Hygiene Easy
Expecting the humans in your business to practice excellent personal hand hygiene is pretty much a given these days. Ugh, 2021 we need you. I am sure this next sentence will be so freaking obvious you could just skip it. Strategically place waterless hand cleaners and healthy cleaning products around your office to encourage frequent use. That is all I need to say, right?
Speaking of products
There are so many products out there that can safely clean your space. Disinfection does not need bleach (say no to bleach!) or harsh retail cleaners. I highly recommend keeping away from these toxic products. Not only are they detrimental to everybody's health, but they smell really strong too. As you know, scented products can cause big problems for some people. A strongly scented chemical product can be really harsh on your health.
Maybe we should take a moment to consider who is gonna do this? Is it better to assign one person to take care of the whole office, or does everybody clean their own space? Maybe the easiest way is to assign the common areas to one person permanently, and have everyone else manage their own areas. If you have a janitorial service, they should be doing a thorough clean for you on each visit.
Finally, to provide a safe and healthy work environment, you should take measure to clean the following high-touch areas:
- Light switches
- Door knobs and the area around them
- Door locks
- Walls that people put their hands on
- Kitchen appliance handles and buttons
- Computer mice
- Stair railings
- Thermostats, alarm panels
- Printer/copier buttons
- Storage cabinet and filing cabinet handles
- Furniture (chair backs and arms)
- Tables, desks
Would you like us to provide a healthy environment to your employees?
As we mentioned above, it would be ideal to ask your employees to clean their work desk for 5 minutes everyday before signing in. This small habit will not only keep your office clean but it will also ( according to neuroscientists) boost the productivity of your employees.
However, If you would like us to keep your office nice and germ free( just like we clean a lot of offices like yours, in your space), reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set up an on-site quote for you ASAP.
Lastly, check out our office cleaning checklist here.
Thank you for reading