The global health crisis triggered by COVID-19 means that cleaning all surfaces of your workplace and helping employees practice good habits is essential. While your facility management plan should always include cleaning and disinfectant, it is absolutely critical at this time.
A professional facilities management company can safely and thoroughly clean your space to help halt the spread of germs, but if you’re doing it on your own, you may have to take additional steps to ensure your location is as safe as possible. According to the CDC, surfaces need to be both cleaned and disinfected to kill any existing germs that could contribute to the spread of the illness.
- Cleaning is the removal of debris, dirt and germs from a surface using a detergent, soap and water or a chemical cleaner.
- Disinfecting is the removal of infectious germs with a chemical agent.
Both of these need to be performed to fully protect your team from germs.
What Surfaces Need to Be Cleaned?
All horizontal work surfaces need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly. This includes countertops, your kitchen, break room and bathroom counters, all desktops and furniture that people touch or come into contact with regularly. Daily cleaning is essential, and all surfaces need to be disinfected with an agent that kills Covid19 germs for best results.
How Often Should you Clean?
Your surfaces should be cleaned daily and after use; some surfaces will need more cleaning than others, if they are in high traffic areas or used by multiple people. Create a policy that requires surfaces that are in active use to be cleaned when your team is done — so after a meeting, break, lunch or any time a conference table or desktop is in use.
Areas like your reception table may not be on your usual cleaning roster, but they should be now. Everyone who comes into the office likely touches this surface, so regular cleaning will help halt the spread of germs. Other surfaces, including those in your reception and waiting rooms, phones, door handles and anything people touch regularly should be on your lineup of cleaning work as well. Including these can help your team stay healthy.
Create Workplace Rules for Social Distancing
One of the best ways to prevent the spread of Covid19 is to stay further away from others than usual. Create rules or a policy in your workplace to remind your team about this safety precaution. You should also have rules about washing hands and avoiding contamination. Anyone ill should stay home — bringing illness into a facility could make everyone sick. Hand washing and other measures should be taken regularly and workers should be mindful of their own mess and space — if everyone pitches in they can help keep the facility clean and safe for all.
You should relay these new rules (and any other details your team needs to know) to be sure that your whole team knows what is expected and complies. Erring on the side of caution will help ensure you get the best possible outcome and that your facility stays virus free.
Work from Home When Possible
Having your teamwork from home accomplishes several things. If workers are not in your facility, they can’t contaminate others — or catch germs themselves. It will also be easier for you to keep everything clean, since fewer people will be using all surfaces and equipment in the facility. Take advantage of technology to allow as many of your workers to perform their jobs from home as you can — the fewer people in the office, the easier it will be for everyone. Meetings, sales calls, collaboration and other tasks can all be done from home using technology, making your workplace safer for all.
If you don’t have a building management company working for you, instill some best practices into your routine that not only keep up your regular schedule of cleaning and maintenance, but that address the specific additional needs instituted by this global health crisis. If you have a facility management company working for you, ask how they are addressing the Covid19 crisis; they should have a plan in place that includes your regular integrated facility management tasks and an extra layer of cleaning and disinfecting for your workplace as well.
Limiting the number of people in your office, committing to more thorough and regular cleaning sessions and ensuring that your team uses good hygiene and practices when they are in the workplace will help you halt the spread of germs and keep everyone safe.