The Coronavirus has pushed both personal and office hygiene into the spotlight. In this blog we look at 5 ways to ensure that your office remains hygienic in 2021.
If you are subscribed to our blog you will know by now that we are passionate about hygiene, and that over the years we have written numerous posts about office hygiene specifically. This blog is a roundup of some of our previous articles, consolidated into 5 ways we believe you can keep your office hygienic in 2021.
1. Make sure your office is well stocked with the essentials
We know everyone is heartily sick of having to sanitise their hands every time they enter a building, but don't forget about handwashing. Handwashing is still the number one way to prevent cross infection. And good handwashing requires a good hand drying solution too, as wet hands are more likely to harbour germs. Make sure that your office space is well stocked with essential hand washing, drying and sanitising solutions. In case you need a reminder of why soap works better than anything else to destroy viruses, read our blog: Minimising your COVID19 risk: But first, wash your hands!
And remember, even though you wash your hands on a regular basis there is no guarantee that your colleagues are doing the same (although after the year that was 2020 we REALLY hope they are!). In the article "5 reasons you should make a habit of handwashing" it is evident that cross contamination is a real concern in the workplace. It is important to educate your colleagues on the importance of handwashing and the impact of cross contamination. Download our ultimate handwashing guide.
2. Sanitise office hot spots regularly
Germ hot spots in the office are any surface that is frequently touched by multiple people, and include door handles, the office printer, shared equipment, your desk, the kitchen kettle and the fingerprint scanner, to name a few. (Read whether your fingerprint scanner is making you sick, here). It is important to educate your daily cleaners on how to clean and sanitise these surfaces properly.
We recommended you enlist the services of a hygiene company on a quarterly or half yearly basis to sanitise computer equipment, telephones and printers as this equipment is tricky to maintain. Not convinced it's necessary? Watch the video featured on “5 ways to keep your laptop clean”.
And of course, if anyone in the office is diagnosed as COVID-19 positive, it is essential to have your office disinfected before any other colleagues take sick. Initial’s Specialist Disinfection Services use ULV fogging (extremely small droplets of a disinfectant) to enable the disinfection of large areas in a short time. Read our blog post "5 steps to take if someone in your office is diagnosed with Covid-19".
3. Ensure there is good airflow
Air quality is something we take for granted in our office environment. What we don’t realise is that poor air quality leads to fatigue and increases your risk of picking up airborne germs. And not that it is widely accepted that COVID-19 is airborne, this is even more critical.
Both illness and fatigue can negatively influence productivity. In “7 workplace mistakes you're making that are making you sick” we looked at air quality as a risk factor of illness. Remember to open windows to ensure good airflow, and add office plants were possible to improve air quality.
4. Invest in air purification
Leading on from the point above, in a Coronavirus pandemic world, air purification is something we believe is here to stay, and something that all offices should be investing in. Read more about why we think all offices should invest in an air purification system, how you air purifier works in our blog post here, and then take a read of last week's post to see why we think air purification is a trend to be aware of in 2021. And here's a sneak peak of what we will soon be able to offer you in South Africa by way of air purification: the Viruskiller, exclusive to Rentokil Initial.
5. Rigorously implement other COVID-19 precautions
Social distancing and mask wearing are here to stay, and we believe they need to be just as rigorously implemented at the office. Implemented in conjunction with the 4 points above will ensure that colleagues stay safe at the office.
We've got tips on how to choose a mask, or 10 things you absolutely need to know about wearing a mask to help you with this, but please remember - especially in your office - that disposable masks, gloves, and any other PPE your employees may be wearing and then disposing of, need to be disposed of correctly, and with consideration for the environment. Find out how to be hygienic and environmentally friendly here.
I know we are all feeling "Covid-19 fatigue", but I hope that this quick refresh has inspired you to maintain critical hygiene practices in your office environment this year. Subscribe to the blog for regular hygiene updates.