A Healthy Workplace! As things begin to open back up and employees return back to their office buildings we will all no doubt have the level of cleanliness on our minds with a healthy workspace. Making more sure we are diligent to give high touch areas a quick freshen up every few hours.
Experiencing a little bit of nervousness as we return to work is something nearly every one of us is experiencing and it is not uncommon or overdramatic to feel this way. When it comes to keeping the office clean there is a basic method that always brings success: having the right tools, an organized plan, and a team of trustworthy cleaners.
This office cleaning checklist can come in handy to help you with a solid and successful method of creating a healthy workplace that everyone will feel safe working and spending several hours in:
Use the Correct Office Cleaning Process
While our natural instinct is to disinfect every surface in sight, the CDC actually recommends a different method of simply cleaning the surface instead of constantly disinfecting it.
What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?
Cleaning should be performed for routine health and wellness. Surfaces should be washed down with a safe green cleaning solution or with simple soap and water to keep them free of everyday dust and dirt. This will also remove germs from the surface by picking them up from the surface when wiped with a cloth.
Disinfecting a surface means to use stronger chemicals to kill germs. The CDC recommends that strong disinfection is only necessary when someone infected with illness has been in the office. Disinfection is not necessary for routine daily cleaning.
Note: when either cleaning or disinfecting it is important that you read the instructions carefully on the bottle of cleaning solution that you are using. Never mix cleaning supplies you have no experience mixing as it can lead to a harmful chemical reaction. The CDC has disinfecting guidelines here.
Getting the Right Tools
Cleaning requires tools to make the process go smoothly and successfully. Basic office cleaning tools should include the following items:
Gloves: we suggest using nitrile latex-free gloves as latex can cause a sensitive or allergic reaction with some people
A high-quality all-purpose green cleaning solution spray.
Disinfectant: for those times when germs from illness may have been in contact with a surface. This can be in the form of wipes or spray specifically labeled as disinfectant or a correctly diluted bleach solution.
Personal Protective Equipment for use when disinfecting such as a properly rated respirator mask and protective gown to wear with the gloves.
Starting a Safety Cleaning Plan
When thinking about your safety cleaning plans it is good to have common germ hotspots as a top priority.
Think about the typical everyday use and flow of the office. Run through what a day in the office looks like in your head. This will help you to identify any commonly used spots and any spots that could be closed up to make cleaning frequently easier.
Walk through the office area by area and note the high-touch areas. Some common high-touch areas include tables and desks, countertops, chair backs, doorknobs, light switches, cabinet pulls and handles, elevator buttons, keyboards, and phones. Every office has its own highly used items take your time and think about what items in your office space are high-use and high-touch. Don’t forget the conference rooms and supply and mailrooms.
Developing a Cleaning Plan
Putting together a regular routine scheduled plan for cleaning and disinfecting is the best way to ensure you are staying on top of and doing your part to provide as healthy and safe of a work environment as possible.
No cleaning schedule is perfect and what works for one office space may not work for another. You may need to tweak the schedule you first plan on a few times to make it work smoothly, but a practice of daily cleaning for high-touch areas and intermittent disinfecting along with deep cleaning and sanitizing periodically of all areas including soft surfaces like window treatments, upholstered furniture, and carpets is the way to go.
When to Increase Cleaning Frequency
- Sometimes you may need to adjust the frequency of the office cleaning plan. Times to increase your cleaning practices would be:
- During local outbreaks of transmissible disease or illnesses
- During “peak” cold and flu seasons which generally falls around back-to-school time
- During large parties and events held in the office
- When an employee goes home sick or right after they call in sick with something highly contagious
- Promoting Office Hygiene
Right now during the pandemic, we find most employees are very willing to jump on board with helping to keep the workspace a clean, healthy, and safer one. Here are some ways you can encourage staff to chip in on cleaning and safety efforts:
- Encourage frequent and proper handwashing as well as personal respiratory health measures
- Communicate that it is more than okay to work from home or call in sick when feeling ill
- Let employees know where they can access cleaning supplies and keep those areas well stocked
- Place hand sanitizer and wipes in strategic high traffic areas for frequent use
- Continuously communicate a plan to keep socially distant, ask employees to frequently wipe down their workspaces as well, and clear and repeated information on all office safety measures
- Consider switching out fixtures for touchless ones such as faucets, paper towel holders and light switches.
With the right plan of attack, you can provide a safe and worry-free work environment for everyone in your office. A great launching point is professional office deep cleaning. Please contact us anytime to have your office space thoroughly cleaned. Snohomish County Commercial Real Estate
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