Cleanliness has become more important than ever, thanks to the major changes in how we live our everyday lives. In the workplace, and especially in busy offices, proper cleaning can be the difference between normal operations or half of the staff being sent home sick.
But what do you need to consider as a business owner, and how do staff manage office cleaning when it is so risky to even touch another co-worker?
Knowing Where to Focus
COVID-19 has hit everybody in different ways, but most people agree that it is a tense, frustrating, and very exhausting time to live in. Extending too many responsibilities to people who are already putting themselves at risk in an office environment can be very tough to deal with, and it can add more pressure to their roles.
If possible, third-party office cleaners are always a better option. They can cost more, but commercial cleaning services are also able to provide all the right equipment, follow the correct disinfection procedures, and will take responsibility in the rare case that something goes wrong or gets overlooked.
With that being said, what is most important to your business and employees? And when does commercial cleaning become most useful?
Standard cleaning is always something worth doing, even outside of pandemics. A clean environment becomes a lot easier to work in, can help staff avoid allergy issues, and just generally improves the overall quality of their workspace.
Not only that, but in public-facing businesses where customers and clients are expected to visit often, it can be a major factor in whether or not customers will give you any repeat business. This is especially true during the pandemic since a customer will want to feel safe while they shop or take part in face-to-face meetings.
However, it also helps a lot with managing COVID-19 risks in your workplace. While basic cleaning might not be enough to kill off a major virus, it can still become important for places where germs are likely to gather – keyboards that employees share, door handles, elevator buttons, and so on.
A more active form of combating COVID-19 is disinfection. While you might disinfect a surface as part of cleaning it normally, pandemics like this require a more direct, larger-scale disinfection to deal with any potential health risks or infection hazards. For example, instead of simply washing a dirty desk, it might need to be sprayed down and properly cleaned with disinfectant.
Disinfecting can be more costly and take a lot longer, so it is important to choose the times and places for it. In shared spaces or areas that see a lot of traffic, it can be beneficial to clean more often since even a single sick employee can spread COVID-19 through second-hand germs. This might require multiple disinfections per day, especially after a new person is confirmed infected.
On the other hand, a private office or workstation meant for a single employee may not need to be cleaned as often, especially if there are no known cases of them being infected or having contact with infected individuals. Disinfection on a daily basis can be the safest option here.
Routines are almost an entirely separate method of cleaning. While cleaning and disinfecting an office is always going to be a good thing, it also helps to clean the office at the right time and to make sure that you are always doing it in an efficient way.
For example, disinfecting an area before staff use it can be a good way to stop germs from spreading onto the disinfected surfaces, at least for a while. However, it might also be more effective to disinfect a space after one group of employees has used it, like a kitchen area or back room.
On the other hand, you should consider which resources and pieces of equipment are needed to carry it out. The more disinfectant you use, the more you will have to buy, so making efficient use of the supply can save a lot of money. This also includes things like mops, cleaning devices, and anything else that can only be in one place at one time.
There are some surfaces and objects that simply need to be cleaned often, regardless of your schedule. This could be anything from a light switch to a keyboard – things that multiple employees and customers may use in a short span of time, often without realizing how risky they can be.
This is especially true for anything that both customers and employees may use, like shopping carts or high-traffic manually opened door handles. While interactions between employees can be easier to keep track of and regulate, there is always a chance of the virus spreading between employees and customers.
Bathrooms are also a very common place for this kind of thing, even if they are not shared between employees and customers. It can be easy to overlook how many germs spread in bathrooms beyond the usual hand-washing routines, so including them in the routine can be important.
How Should I Start?
While you could hire new employees or get existing employees to take on new cleaning responsibilities, it is often best to look for a dedicated COVID-19 deep cleaning service that you can trust.
Why does this matter? For normal office cleaning, the results might be similar, but an outside commercial cleaning company has access to skills, materials, resources, and tools that your company does not. It can often be cheaper on a per-clean basis to hire a company, as opposed to buying all the necessary gear yourself.
This also takes the pressure off your employees, as mentioned earlier. Employees can avoid extra stress, and your company can get more consistent cleaning that is not being split between other workplace duties. No matter how big or small your business is, this will be a good thing every single time.
Finally, there is the fact that you can talk to a company and give them your own personal plan or schedule. If you need a company to come in and disinfect things at specific times, then you can create a regimen that works for you and them, giving you far more flexibility in how you plan it out.