5 office hygiene tips for preventing coronavirus COVID-19
Keeping your workplace healthy can be challenging even in the best of times—let alone during a disease outbreak. As companies such as Twitter and Lyft respond to the coronavirus by sending employees home, many other employers continue to grapple with how to protect employees at work while minimizing the disruption to business operations.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best defense against coronavirus is to practice good basic hygiene: washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, social distancing and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. While it’s up to each individual to follow these best practices, there are a few simple steps your company can take to promote good office hygiene.
1. Add a hand-cleaning & cell-phone cleaning station at the door
2. Wipe down workstations between shifts.
3. Send out regular hand-washing reminders
4. Use no-contact greetings & social distancing
5. Increase ventilation
One way to limit the introduction of germs into your workplace is to ask all employees to clean their hands and phones when they walk in the door. A hand-cleaning station near the employee entrance can serve as your first line of defense against unwanted germs. While soap is an effective way to mitigate the coronavirus, hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol, offered in a no-touch dispenser, can serve as an acceptable substitute. Also, setting up a place to spray and/or wipe phones with disinfectant products will keep your work-space more protected.
Desks, phones, keyboards and other work surfaces accumulate germs throughout the day and need to be disinfected regularly. Yet in many offices, they often get overlooked. Keep these areas clean by providing disinfectant wipes and asking employees to wipe down their desks at the beginning and end of each shift. Do not forget the proper dwell time for disinfectants. Follow instructions on how long the disinfectant needs to remain on the surface before wiping dry.
The more often employees wash their hands, the better. Minimize the spread of disease by encouraging frequent handwashing breaks throughout the day. Schedule regular email reminders, or prompt employees via messenger. Include tips on effective handwashing techniques, such as humming the “Happy Birthday” song twice through. (Or try one of these handwashing songs instead.)
With the coronavirus on the loose, even a standard handshake can pose an exposure risk. Limit the spread of viruses by implementing a standard no-contact greeting within your workplace. The CDC recommends these five alternatives to the traditional handshake. Set up employee workstations at least 6ft-8ft. Try to give workers as much space as possible.
Because the coronavirus is transmitted via respiratory droplets, a well-ventilated workplace can help minimize the spread of disease. If the air in your building is recirculated, consider investing in an upgraded filter that captures more contaminants.
By cultivating good employee habits and optimizing your workplace for hygiene best practices, you can help limit the spread of the coronavirus and other germs.