At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, office managers started looking for ways to make the traditional office environment safer for people to return to work. That challenge was intensified as hybrid and shared workspaces became a first-choice solution for many employers as a way to encourage social distancing and staff safety.
As those workspaces look set to maintain their pole position, this poses serious tests for cleaning staff as this concept is creating a new breeding ground for germs.
“Our franchise offices are getting an increased number of calls to proactively clean hybrid or co-working spaces right now,” Afshin Cangarlu, CEO of Stratus Building Solutions tells CleanLink. “This new model is a big change for workers and we are happy to provide services that help keep people healthy.”
Cangarlu suggests 6 tips for doubling down on hygiene and disinfection in a shared workspace environment:
- As first priority when entering an office, wipe desks down with disinfecting wipes at least daily. With numerous people sharing hardware and space, infrequent wiping is no longer sufficient. Encourage building occupants to unplug everything and wipe it all down, including the keyboard and the mouse. Microbes such as the common cold can stay on a hard surface for up to 72 hours.
- Try to limit what is shared between employees. While hardware like a mouse or keyboard might be unavoidable, do not share pens or stationery, as the average office pen has 200 bacteria per square inch.
- Do not place bags or purses on even sanitized desks. A personal bag picks up germs from home, from a car or public transit, and from the floor of the office.
- Ensure kitchenware like coffee mugs or water bottles is always cleared away. It goes without saying that these are covered in germs, so use a disinfectant wipe to move the item to another shared space before beginning work.
- Ensure workers are cleaning their cell phones, the ultimate attractor of germs, at least daily. Phone can contain more than 25,000 bacteria per square inch, and the best way to keep germs away in this new environment is to sanitize daily.
- Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize. Encourage everyone in the facility to not only sanitize laptops, pens, notebooks etc upon arrival but also before leaving. These days, each desk may well be occupied by a different person the next day, so this is a crucial habit to develop.