Once we are able to safely return to work, we'll need to consider how we regularly clean our offices and workplace facilities in ways we may not have thought of before the coronavirus (COVID-19) upended our everyday work and life routines. While anxiety about returning and sharing workspaces with co-workers is certainly understandable, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has suggested several important strategies for space-hygiene that we can adopt to promote safe, clean offices.
Along with observing social distancing, encouraging face coverings and practicing proper hygiene (regular hand washing) as part of following the CDC guidelines, this office cleaning checklist will help you update cleaning practices for your everyday work routine and a healthy work environment.
Get the Right Cleaning Tools
There are several important cleaning tools every office should have depending on different situations, such as routine cleaning, deep cleaning, or disinfection. The CDC suggests often using green cleaners and soap and water solutions for routine cleaning of surfaces, while stronger disinfectants can be used more for eradicating viruses or bacteria, particularly in spaces where a co-worker has shown signs of illness for instance. Here are a few items to mark on your checklist:
- PPE — maintain stocks of face masks, nitrile gloves, hand sanitizer and cleaning solutions for all employees and staff onsite.
- Paper towels
- Green/chemical-free cleaning spray
- Disinfectants such as wipes, spray, or bleach solution — verify disinfectants are on the EPA List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
- Trash bags
- For disinfection, stock appropriately-rated respirator masks and protective gowns
Office Cleaning Procedures
Along with updated cleaning routines, various public health organizations have suggested a few other strategies for keeping employees safe in addition to a modified cleaning routine. Some of these suggestions include:
- Consider staggering work shift schedules where employees rotate (A/B shifts) coming into the office. This will not only limit contact and possible spread of illness but accommodate cleaning schedules and limited workstations.
- Keep necessary cleaning supplies stocked, labeled and accessible in high-traffic areas, such as disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and paper towels etc.
- Encourage employees to use the office’s cleaning supplies to wipe down surfaces in their personal workstation.
- Provide a channel for employees to suggest improvements in space-hygiene as well as request cleaning supplies and services.
- Consider touchless office upgrades that reduce contact at high-touch areas such as technology for touchless access into the office, as well as motion-sensing lights, towel dispensers, soap and hand sanitizer dispensers.
Recommended Office Cleaning Schedules
While every office is different and will have different cleaning needs, there are a few things to consider when it comes to cleaning routines. According to the CDC, “at least daily, clean and disinfect all surfaces that are frequently touched by multiple people.” Such high-touch areas include:
- High-touch surface areas typically include:
- Door handles
- Breakroom appliances
- Light switches
- Bathroom Fixtures such as faucets and toilets
- Workstations and workstation electronics
- Drinking fountains
There are times your office may need to escalate its cleaning schedule and regiment during the year in terms of disinfecting surface areas and deep cleaning in the office (upholstery, window treatments, and carpets). That could include:
- Should a significant outbreak of transmissible illness/rise in COVID-19 cases occur in your region
- After any relatively large office meetings
- During peak flu season in late fall/winter
- Should an employee report they have a transmissible illness
Finally, any business should identify a professional cleaning company that can meet the demands of your business's cleaning needs to ensure you maintain a safe and sanitary workplace every day. They should be able to provide deep cleaning of your office spaces before your business’s re-opening and be able to continue ongoing decontamination cleaning as needed, as well as thorough routine office cleaning each day.
For more tips and details on recommended office cleaning schedules for COVID-19, or to schedule a consultation with our specialists, contact Greenhouse today.