,In this blog we explore how you should be cleaning your commercial office during COVID-19. Along with social distancing, washing your hands regularly and good respiratory hygiene, cleaning surfaces and keeping your office well ventilated are the most important ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19: A cleaning background
In commercial office spaces, cleaning is essential in the fight against COVID-19. This is because the Coronavirus spreads from person to person and also surface to person. Cleaning regularly helps minimise the risk of an individual catching the virus through contact with a surface.
Any surface or object within a commercial office can become contaminated with the Coronavirus. This can happen when an infected person coughs or sneezes and then touches them. The risk of the virus spreading is greatest in highly populated and poorly ventilated areas.
The risk of catching COVID-19 from a surface or object depends on multiple factors, including:
- The type of surface contaminated.
- The amount of virus shed from the individual.
- The time the individual spent in the setting.
- The time since the individual was last in the setting.
Cleaning is vital in stopping the spread of the virus from surface to person as it reduces the presence of the virus and the risk of contact with a contaminated area. An increased cleaning schedules also helps fight the virus by simply increasing the amount of times your clean contaminated areas.
What needs to be cleaned in a commercial office?
When you think of cleaning, you probably think of mopping and dusting. However, in a commercial office environment there are other things that should be considered when creating a fully inclusive cleaning plan. These include:
- General cleaning and disinfecting
- Kitchens and communal canteens
How should you be cleaning your commercial office during COVID-19?
As mentioned above, a fully inclusive cleaning plan for a commercial office includes multiple areas and actions. We explore these in more detail below:
Cleaning and disinfection
Regular cleaning plays a vital role in limiting the transmission of COVID-19. When creating your cleaning schedule, it is important to consider:
- Risk mitigation
- Emergence and utilisation of modern cleaning techniques
- Deep cleans
- Periodic and daily cleaning
- Increase in consumables and PPE
- Window cleaning
- Preventative measures to support cleaning
- Education into cleaning solutions being used
By creating a fully inclusive cleaning schedule, you can ensure that all areas throughout your office are sanitised. You should ensure that you use standard cleaning products such as detergents and bleach, paying attention to all surfaces, but especially ones that are touched frequently, such as door handles, light switches, work surfaces, remote controls, and electronic devices. Reducing clutter and removing difficult to clean items can also make cleaning easier.
Check out our blog on the new normal for office cleaning since the Coronavirus.
As a commercial office, you may provide your employees with a laundry service. If you do not offer this, you may still have towels and other items on the premise that need to be cleaned.
As a rule of thumb, it is recommended that you continue with your regular laundry service washing items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. There is no additional washing requirement above what would normally be carried out in relation to the Coronavirus.
Kitchens and communal canteens
Many commercial offices have communal kitchen and canteen areas. Although it is not believed that COVID-19 can be spread through food, these places are hotspots within buildings for the virus to spread. This is because of the increased traffic and the number of different visitors they receive.
We recommend cleaning all frequently touched surfaces as often as possible. This could even include cleaning a seating station after each individual has finished. Cutlery and other utensils should also not be shared during breaks.
Other guidelines can be followed when preparing food. Anyone handling food should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before doing so. Surfaces and utensils in the preparation area should also be cleaned after it has been handled by a worker.
Any commercial business offering or allowing staff to eat food on the premises should continue to follow the Food Standard Agency’s (FSA) guidance on good hygiene practices.
Bathrooms are commonly perceived as one of the most unhygienic areas in a commercial space and rightly so. By nature, they are likely to harbour germs and can be a hot-spot for the Coronavirus spreading.
It is advised that you clean your bathrooms and frequently touched surfaces within them regularly throughout the working day. When doing this it is vital that you use disinfectants and bleach.
Other things to consider that will improve the cleanliness of your staff include ensuring suitable hand-washing facilities are available. This should have running water, liquid soap and paper towels or hand driers. Try to avoid using cloth towels. If you must use them, they should be available for individual use.
Check out our blog for tips on how to improve your bathroom hygiene and cleanliness.
We recommend continuing with your regular waste disposal practices. General commercial waste does not need to be segregated unless an individual in the setting shows symptoms of or tests positive for COVID-19.
For more advice on cleaning your commercial office during COVID-19 check out the government guidelines.