How to (Nearly) Achieve a Germ-Free Office
Health and safety are absolute musts at the office, but how can you keep the workplace as clean as possible for the safety of your employees?
For the better part of two years now, the whole world has been talking about germs, viruses, and sanitation. Individually, we’ve considered the areas we touch, the surfaces we encounter, and the quality of the very air we breathe. The pandemic was certainly frightening enough, but throughout it we’ve grown accustomed to dozens of sensible health and safety precautions.
Now, at the edge of flu season and with a pandemic still effectively raging, it’s time to put everything we learned about sanitation into practice at the office. But creating the safest environment for your employees takes more than just a couple of bottles of hand sanitizer placed strategically between the desks. To create the germ-free office of our dreams (or, failing that, the next best thing) we’ll need to go a little further.
Here are a few sensible steps you can take to give your employees and their immune systems a fighting chance in the office and beyond.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way and talk about those gallon jugs of hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer will likely become a staple of public places for the foreseeable future, but their success has more to do with where we place them than anything else.
Consider the route an employee might take to your office. Along the way, that employee will encounter many so-called “high touch” areas. These include door handles/knobs, elevator buttons, water fountains, handrails, welcome desks, and any other security measures you may have installed along the way.
Consider placing your hand sanitizer dispensers at key points along this route. You’ll also, of course, place sanitizer at the bathroom doors, the kitchen entrance/exit, and in or near meeting areas. To go that extra mile, consider distributing tubes of disinfectant wipes throughout the office so that your employees can clean their work surfaces whenever the mood strikes them.
On top of everything else they do, your custodial crew may already wipe common surfaces, but there are other “high touch” areas that could require specialized cleaning. Keyboards, touchable technology, shareable electronics, and screens may require specialized cleaning from a dedicated computer cleaning service.
If you’re interested in cleaning your electronics yourself, the CDC recommends alcohol-based wipes or cleaners thanks to their rapid drying effect. With other wipes or products, you may risk damage to your electronics.
You’ll also want to institute a regular cleaning and disinfecting schedule or otherwise advise your employees of the importance of health and safety within the office. When everyone works together to keep their workplace clean, the chances of a germ-free office go up. It’s that simple.
The flu and the coronavirus are most transmissible when we gather in large groups. The remedy, then, would be giving your employees as much space as possible to spread out. If your office is tightly packed already, it may be time to invest in some newer, safer workspace solutions.
Short of erecting your own plastic barriers, plenty of workspace solutions exist with prebuilt barriers for both privacy and safety. The Herman Miller canvas wall workstation is an elegant update to individual desks, while the layout studio maintains the feel of an “open-air” office while minimizing the dangers.
If you’re looking to maintain the open feel of your office, 3Form partitions create distinct and stylish work areas while encouraging social distancing. For more table space and a greater ability to spread out, you’ll need longer tables like this intermix conference table. Whatever you decide, there’s a smart product to match your space, style, and purposes.
Health & Safety
A sick workplace is an inefficient workplace. For both your employees and your bottom line, keeping your office as clean and germ-free as possible is the best path forward. The investments you make in hand sanitizing stations, after-hours cleaning crews, or new office furniture will pay you back 100 times by keeping your employees happy, healthy, and in-person!