Cleaning has always been an important consideration when running a business. It is even more important now. COVID-19 has shown us just how quickly germs can spread. Not only will disinfecting your business help prevent this virus from spreading, it can also keep you and your employees safe from other viruses, like the flu, too.
However, disinfecting means more than taking a Clorox wipe to your keyboard every once in a while when you think of it. There are many things to consider if you want to create a healthy environment for everyone who works in the office.
Machinery and Equipment
One of the most convenient ways to disinfect your work area is to use a fogging spray, which uses an aerosol to attack airborne microorganisms. In addition, as the agent settles in the room, it can land on hard-to-reach areas, like the nooks and crannies of furniture and equipment. This can be a good thing, but equipment decontamination can cause problems too.
Cleaning agents can be sucked into equipment, including electronics, that have ventilation systems. It can also find its way into cracks and compromise equipment. Because the fogging agent is made out of water and chemicals, it can cause corrosion, which leads to irreversible damage.
Choosing a different method besides spraying and fogging is a simple solution, but you also have the option of covering sensitive equipment before you spray the room. If there is equipment that you want to have disinfected, cover vents, fans, and other areas where the cleaning agent can seep in.
Employees With Asthma
Using a lot of disinfectant in your workplace can help keep germs at bay, but it can also cause problems for your employees. Those with asthma may find it hard to breathe after an area has been fogged, or if it has been cleaned from top to bottom with harsh chemicals.
There has also been some evidence that harsh cleaning agents are associated with an increased risk of new-onset asthma, which means potentially healthy employees could be negatively affected by cleaning methods and agents as well.
Deep cleaning should be done when everyone is out of the office, or you should at least give employees rooms to go to when other areas are being cleaned. It’s also a good idea to use more natural cleaning agents, and don’t overdo it. Only use the recommended amount of cleaning agent, and consider disinfecting different surfaces at different times.
It’s not enough to know that you need to disinfect. You also have to know how often to disinfect!
Some items may only need to be disinfected once a week or once a month. High-touch surfaces, on the other hand, should be cleaned at least once a day, and in some cases, multiple times a day.
High-touch surfaces in the home are similar to the ones you’ll find in the office. A few to spend more attention on include:
- Table tops
- Backs and armrests of chairs
- Door handles
- Keyboards and computer mice
- Outside of soap and hand sanitizer containers
- Light switches
Disinfecting Outdoor Areas
It’s important to disinfect indoor areas, but if anyone in the office spends time outside, you also have to think about disinfecting those spaces too.
However, it’s important to know what’s worth disinfecting and what isn’t. For example, spraying an outdoor area hasn’t been shown to be very effective, so there’s no need to fumigate the areas around your building. High-touch surfaces, on the other hand, should be disinfected. Outdoor tabletops, the backs of chairs and benches, railings, and door handles should be disinfected regularly.
Ventilate the Area
No matter how you decide to disinfect, how often you do it, or when you decide to disinfect, you always have to make sure the area is well ventilated. It can prevent irritation and asthma-related symptoms.
Ventilating the area might mean turning on specialized ventilation systems, or it might mean turning the fan on the HVAC system. To keep the air moving, you may also want to turn on ceiling fans, bathroom fans, and strategically place floor fans throughout the space.
Opening the windows can be immensely helpful, even if they can only be cracked in the winter. That way, all the air has a place to go, while new air is circulated into the space.
It’s important to be disinfecting your business to keep everyone who works there safe and healthy, but it isn’t as easy as you might think. Make sure you keep these things in mind the next time you’re ready to clean your business.