Most of us spend the vast majority of our day at work, which means that the workplace is the primary source of illness and infections. Moreover, offices and other commercial spaces experience a lot of human traffic daily, increasing the chances of contracting a disease.
The best way to keep your workplace disease and infection-free is to clean and disinfect it properly. Maintaining proper hygiene practices is another excellent way to ensure your office or workspace is clean.
The following are tips on how to maintain workplace hygiene as well as how to clean and disinfect it to prevent any infections:
Providing Clean Hand Washing Facilities
According to the CDC, the most effective preventive measure to prevent the spread of germs and other disease-causing pathogens is to wash our hands. Therefore, you should provide clean handwashing facilities all over the workplace.
Make it as easy as possible for both employees and visitors to the workplace to wash their hands. You do so by ensuring that the handwashing facilities are as plentiful and accessible as possible. People should not only be able to clean their hands in the washrooms.
Offer directions to these facilities and posters to encourage hand washing in the workplace. The handwashing facilities should also be cleaned daily or multiple times a day, depending on their usage.
There should be hand washing chemicals in the facilities hence you should provide them amply. Whether liquid or solid soaps and hand wash, they should be available at each hand washing station.
An effective way to clean your hands and disinfect them is to use sanitizer. It would be best if you offered alcohol-based sanitizers with at least sixty percent alcohol to those who cannot access handwashing facilities, such as employees who are constantly moving, like messengers.
Alcohol is a natural disinfectant, and alcohol-based sanitizers are the most potent ones. If everyone in the workplace can have their bottle of hand sanitizer, the chances of the space being clean and pathogen-free dramatically increases.
Develop a Cleaning and Disinfection Plan
The best way to accomplish a goal is to have a plan to do it. Therefore, if you want a clean workplace devoid of infections, you should create a cleaning and disinfection plan.
You should especially have a plan if members of the staff clean the workplace themselves. Everyone should share responsibility for keeping their own space as well as cleaning the entire workplace.
The plan should ensure that the office is routinely clean, and if space is dirty or infected, you know exactly who and what is responsible. Routine disinfection of office spaces may be necessary for certain high traffic areas or get much contact, such as by the water cooler.
Cleaning and disinfecting various surfaces like doorknobs, computer screens & keyboards, railing, handles, and elevator buttons on a schedule ensures that you miss none, and accountability is assured.
Provide Tissues and Disinfectant Wipes
A great way to ensure surfaces in the workplace remain clean and pathogen-free is to wipe them regularly. To that end, you should ensure that you provide enough tissues and disinfectant wipes to everyone who enters the workplace.
Dry tissues are fantastic for wiping wet surfaces and spills, which could foster a dirty and disease-ridden environment at work. Tissues should also be present in each of the washrooms and handwashing stations for drying purposes. However, tissues are not great options for wiping dry areas, for example, dusty surfaces.
For that, you should use wet wipes or disinfectant wipes. These wipes are wet tissues that are imbued with disinfectant liquid. They can not only dry your surfaces, but they will also disinfect them while wiping.
The tissues and wipes should be as abundant as possible and placed in common areas and personal workstations.
Hire Professional Cleaners
Another excellent tip to have a clean and disinfected workplace is to hire professional cleaners. The staff in an office or commercial place receive payment for other tasks; hence asking them to clean could lead to many issues.
You can hire professional cleaners to clean the workspaces as well as the laundry. Both need to be immaculate if you want the workplace to be clean.
If you live in Australia, there are plenty of professional cleaning companies that offer commercial cleaning services. According to Performance Property Services Group, a commercial cleaning service will go well beyond regular cleaning services. They can afford to invest in the cleaning equipment and chemicals that most companies cannot.
A professional cleaning service will clean everything in the workplace, from the carpet or flooring to the windows and ceiling. They have the expertise to know which cleaning solutions and techniques will have the best results.
You should especially hire a professional cleaning service if there has been an infection in the workplace. The staff have the training and the gear to handle any cleaning emergency and ensure that the workplace is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
Train Staff on Cleaning and Disinfecting Procedures
If you want your workplace to be the cleanest and safest it can be, the people in the workplace are in the best position to do so. Therefore, you should train all your employees to clean and disinfect their workstations regardless of rank properly.
They should know which products to use for cleaning and disinfecting in a variety of scenarios. The knowledge will be beneficial and will prevent injuries or accidents from using the wrong materials.
You should also ensure that your staff train on using safety equipment when cleaning and disinfecting various surfaces. Each of them should have a box of gloves and know when and how to use them. Face masks, cleaning boots, and suits are other cleaning materials they should comprehend how to use.
Special considerations should be made for those with various allergies and medical conditions such as asthma. Though they might not handle all cleaning procedures, they should still clean their workstations and keep them disinfected.
Remove Dirty and Infection Prone Materials
One of the most considerable hindrances to having a clean workspace is clutter. The fact is that most workplaces and the workstations within them have too much stuff for you to clean efficiently. Clutter also makes the space more likely to conceal infectious elements increasing the chances of infection.
You should remove anything in the workplace that is not necessary and is contributing to dirtying the place. These things may include newspapers, magazines, office equipment, and furniture rarely used or cleaned.
Items such as magazines and newspapers in the waiting room not only collect a lot of dust but are also touched by plenty of people. Therefore, they pose an excellent infection hazard and contaminate the staff and other visitors in the workplace.
A sparser workplace is easier to clean and disinfect than a cluttered one. It makes the workplace look attractive and professional too.
Restrict Movement in and out of the Workplace
The fact of the matter is that people are the primary source of dirt and disease-causing pathogens in the workplace. Therefore, the less human traffic there is in the workplace, the cleaner and infection-free it will be.
You should restrict movement in and out of the workplace as much as possible. There are many ways you can accomplish this, with technology being the highest tool in this regard.
If any visitor can access your services remotely or online, you should help them do so. Online services have grown tremendously in the past couple of years, and they offer plenty of benefits both in terms of hygiene and economics.
The same goes for employees in the office who can work remotely. If someone does not have to come into the office, they should work from a place of their choosing. It will significantly reduce the office's human traffic and make keeping the workplace clean and disinfected easy.
Incentives and Punishment
It is much better to have everyone in the office or workplace take responsibility and participate willingly in keeping it clean and free of infection. However, there will always be those that couldn't care less, even when it pertains to their health and wellbeing.
For such staff and visitors, you should have a system of incentives and punishment to encourage proper hygiene. Research shows that positive reinforcement works better than negative reinforcement, but there should be consequences for those that ignore hygiene standards and procedures.
It should be abundantly clear to each employee and customer that proper hygiene is paramount in your organization. If people are rewarded and reprimanded for their actions, their behavior will follow suit.
In conclusion, maintaining proper hygiene to keep the workplace clean and infection-free is a daunting challenge. It will take the commitment of everyone in the organization. The tips above will help you develop procedures and systems for better hygiene in the workplace. The best way to have a clean and disinfected office is to have everyone understand its importance and participate in maintaining high hygiene standards.