After months of empty offices, retail stores and warehouses echoing across the county amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the country is making its way back in. Though many businesses are moving to remote work, physical distancing and cleanliness guidelines must put in place to protect those employees who are needed to be on-site. These precautions start with reconfiguration of workspaces and office cleaning.
CDC Guidance for Cleaning
Cleaning and disinfecting your workplace – office, retail store or warehouse – is an important part of reopening and reducing COVID-19 the risk. In doing so, the CDC recommends the following:
- Normal routine office cleaning with soap and water will decrease how much of the virus is on surfaces and objects, which reduces the risk of exposure.
- Disinfection using EPA-approved disinfectants against COVID-19 external can also help reduce the risk. Frequent disinfection of surfaces and objects touched by multiple people is important.
- When EPA-approved disinfectants are not available, alternative disinfectants can be used (for example, 1/3 cup of bleach added to 1 gallon of water, or 70% alcohol solutions). Do not mix bleach or other cleaning and disinfection products together. This can cause fumes that may be very dangerous to breathe in. Bleach solutions will be effective for disinfection up to 24 hours. Keep all disinfectants out of the reach of children.
Each business or facility will have different surfaces and objects that are frequently touched by multiple people. These need to be cleaned and disinfected appropriately disinfect. For example, common surfaces and objects include:
- Light Switches
- Faucets and Sinks
- Touch Screens
Reducing Potential Exposure
Now that we’ve all become accustomed to making behavioral changes in our private lives and how we interact in public, we need to now bring new practices to the our workplaces. It’s not just about cleaning surfaces and wearing masks. Physical distancing in offices, which are sometimes tight knit, needs to be addressed. Prior to coronavirus, desk ratio was 1:1 and sometimes inches from another. A cost-effective strategy to help make it safe to return to work is reconfiguring workspaces. The first step in reorganizing work environments is to evaluate and plan. Consider the following:
- How many employees need to be in a particular workspace
- Is the size of your space appropriate; Can you downsize or do you need more space
- Is the current furniture you have optimal
- How can you rearrange your workspace to enable proper distancing
To help create a functional workspace, reconfiguration planning addresses maximizing space utilization and evaluating use of new or used furniture in order to optimize productivity and facilitate safe employee engagement.
Taking steps to reduce risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 during a daily work day requires a plan. As a business owner or facilities manager the responsibility falls on you. How will you handle?
The Advance Group applies its 40 years of experience to offer services that help ensure workplaces are operating at peak performance. Before you return to the office, we help you prepare with space planning and office reconfiguration to keep employees at safe distances. Our cleaning services utilize hospital grade disinfectants and follow CDC guidelines to ensure safe workspaces for your employees and customers. The combination of these services from The Advance Group will give you the confidence to know that you’re taking the right steps in navigating through the challenges of this global public health issue.