Whether you’re a die-hard #wfh fan or counting the days until you can share in-person water cooler talk with coworkers, the reality is that a clean workspace is incredibly important for employee productivity.
The good news is that encouraging everyone to practice a few simple cleaning habits on the regular does more than prevent questionable stains and dust bunnies — they’re also the key to promoting a sanitary work environment. Here are three steps to get started.
Step 1: Communicate
Transparency is always important in the workplace, and sharing the company’s latest health practices is no exception. If you are welcoming employees back to the office, make sure to highlight new office hygiene practices and policies!
Your employees will not only appreciate understanding the expectations surrounding workplace cleanliness and sanitation but also want to know how they can do their part. How you can help:
- Show employees where they can find cleaning and sanitation supplies/equipment
- Give them a way to request more supplies and report any issues that come up
- Post signage around shared rooms and high traffic areas on health policies
Remember to keep up the communication over time!
Step 2: Clean
Your first line of defense is maintaining a clean work environment and practicing smart hygiene habits. A spotless workspace isn’t just good for your health — it’s also an easy way to boost focus and productivity.
Incorporate cleaning into your office by making it an opening and closing routine. Use soap and water or detergent to clean dirty surfaces. (Don’t forget to read the instructions on chemical cleaners — and don’t mix chemical products. It doesn’t make them more effective and in some cases can be dangerous!)
Encourage employees to wash their hands regularly, especially after cleaning. Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (pro tip: sing or hum “Happy Birthday” x2 before rinsing) Alternatively, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Step 3: Disinfect
Always clean before you disinfect! You might be surprised to learn that dirt, stains, and other debris can actually hide germs and prevent the disinfectant from doing its job. Kind of defeats the purpose right? So to disinfect properly, clean first.
Because disinfection uses chemicals that can be quite harsh on the skin it’s a good idea to provide employees with nitrile gloves (avoid latex for possible allergic reactions) and skin lotion.
In addition to disinfection practices, you can help employees by stocking sanitizer and disinfecting wipes around the office. See a list of disinfectants recommended by the CDC.
Get started with these basics:
□ Paper towels, microfiber cleaning cloths, electronics wipes
□ All-purpose cleaning spray
□ Personal protective equipment (PPE), including nitrile gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, etc
□ Trash bags
□ Disinfecting wipes and/or spray (alternative: bleach solution)
□ Bonus: skin lotion, compressed air duster, glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner
HIGH TRAFFIC SPOTS
□ Doorknobs and cabinet handles
□ Light switches
□ Stair rails/handrails
□ Buttons for elevators, vending machines, monitors, etc.
□ Tables, countertops, chairs
□ Shared remotes, telephones, keyboards, etc.
□ Refrigerator, coffee machine, microwave, etc.
□ Clean surfaces, especially in high traffic areas
□ Mop / vacuum floors
□ Empty trash cans and replace liners
□ Clean toilets and urinals
□ Refill paper towels, soap, and sanitizer
□ Dust and wipe down appliances (e.g. coffee machines, water cooler)
□ Clear dry erase boards and cleanse office accessories