Many welcomed the news last week that the South African lockdown will move from level 5 to level 4 on the 1st of May. With a few sectors re-opening it has been made clear that social distancing and strict hygiene protocols are the order of the day and employers will be expected to bring their workforce back no more than a third at a time to limit COVID-19 related risk as much as possible.
This means that working from home will remain the "new normal" for many South Africans and we will see even more people doing so under the level 4 guidelines. As Initial is passionate about hygiene (both at work and at home) I thought it's the perfect time to revisit an old blog, 5 ways to keep your office space hygienic, and add a 'home twist' to it. Here are your home office hygiene tips:
1. Make a habit of hand washing
Even though you wash your hands on a regular basis there's no guarantee that the members of your household are doing the same, especially if you have small children! Remember to talk about hand washing regularly and to share the importance of limiting cross contamination. We have a previous blog post all about how to keep your kids hygienic which may help.
2. Sanitise home hot spots regularly
“The unhygienic corners of your office” has a great infographic showing germ hot spots in the office and can also be applied to your home context. These hot spots include door handles, your printer and your home desk - basically any where that gets touched often by multiple pairs of hands. You might want to add a few more areas to the list, for example your light switches, security gate keys and remote controls.
I would say that your technology is probably your biggest concern in your home environment. Have a look at our Technology Do's and Dont's post for more technology cleaning tips.
3. Ensure there is good airflow
Air quality is something that we often take for granted, especially at home where we are prone to keeping the doors and windows closed on cooler days. What we don’t realise is that poor air quality leads to fatigue and increases your risk of picking up airborne germs. Both of these risks can cause illness and negatively influence productivity. Try to be more aware of your home office environment and make sure you get enough fresh air.
4. Eat away from your desk
Working from home, you are more likely to snack at your home office desk than you would have at the office. For one, the kitchen may be closer in proximity and fewer people will judge the number of trips you take to the fridge! As convenient as eating at your home desk may be, rather take your snack breaks away from your desk and use them as an opportunity to stretch, move around, or get some fresh air outside. This will minimise the risk of your biscuit crumbs ending up in your keyboard or that accidental coffee spill over your notes from occurring.
Take a look at our blog post How to keep your laptop clean which includes the video "How dirty is your keyboard?" One look at that and we're pretty sure you'll never eat at your desk (home or work) again!
5. Clear the clutter
With no one to judge, you might be tempted to leave that empty wrapper on your desk a little bit longer, or to let the papers you are shuffling pile up a little bit more before filling them away. Someone once said that a clean work space provides a clean thinking space but the practicality for me is that maintaining the cleanliness of your work space makes it easier to clean your desk with disinfectant. Remember to wash and sanitise your desk regularly to avoid the germs and dust bunnies.
I hope you enjoyed our home office hygiene tips. For more helpful tips to keep your space free from harmful germs and bacteria, subscribe to our blog. We'll send you all of our latest content, straight to your inbox. You can also view more of our hygiene resources here.