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by Daria Brown

To say that 2020 has required some massive shifts is an understatement. Slowly businesses are opening back up again and figuring out how to function and thrive in a post-COVID-19 world. There are as many ways to run a business as there as business owners in the world, and this means that for everyone, this is going to look slightly different. This being said, there are some things that all workplaces will need to be doing.

Cleanliness and the health of our employees have never been more critical. The following will explore some of the ways you can create a clean and safe office space for yourself, your customers, and your staff.

Before we begin, it is essential that in addition to all of the below steps, you make it clear to your employees and clients that they can speak up if something feels unsafe or unclean. Maybe there’s only one person who ever changes the printer ink. Perhaps they’re worried about the countless hands that have touched the machine and would like antibacterial wipes purchased so they can wipe it down before beginning. Maybe one person used to be able to take cash and guide guests to the waiting area, but because of the extra cleansing steps required, they cannot manage this at the same speed, and the result is longer lineups.

Ask everyone to speak up about what they need to be able to do their jobs safely and effectively, and do your best to accommodate them. They might even have already thought of a solution; they just need the go-ahead to apply it.

Space Out Work Spaces

This one is much easier said than done. It is recommended that people keep a safe social distance of six feet, or two meters, away from each other. This might mean you need to do some rearranging of the office furniture. Desks can be moved further apart, and chairs can be spaced out. You might also need to stagger meetings or breaks so that not everyone is in the kitchen or board room at the same time.

Beyond this, if you have an area for clients to sit before they meet with your staff, you might also need to rearrange and space out the furniture there. Yes, it might be a struggle to find a safe spot for everyone to sit—you might even end up staggering work hours to make sure it can happen—but social distancing is one of the best ways you can reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading.

Regular Deep Cleaning

You likely had a cleaning schedule before, and pre-coronavirus, it probably worked well. Today we need to give even more time and attention to cleanliness. This could mean increasing how often the kitchen is cleaned (especially if there are cupboards where everyone stores their lunches) as well as having the bathrooms cleaned more often. 

Post-COVID cleaning goes much deeper than this. Chairs and all surfaces where people put their hands (like doorknobs, window latches, printers, copiers, desks, keyboards, mice, the refrigerator handle, microwave buttons, debit machines, vending machines, remote controls, phones, and elevator buttons, to name a few) need regular sanitizing.

Experts at Master Maid emphasize that there are many options available to help you get these routines down. You might even want to look into having a one-time or regular cleaning provided by an outside company. Often a fresh pair of eyes, especially by someone who cleans for a profession, will discover many things that need a good cleaning you wouldn’t have thought of because you’re so used to it.

Stock Up On Supplies

Yes, office management is expensive. Post-COVID? Even more so. You’ll want to have an ample supply of cleaning products, sanitizers, masks (separate stock for customers and staff), tissue paper, and toilet paper. People might also go through seemingly unrelated things more quickly. If the kitchen has plastic wrap or paper towel in it, staff might use more than they used to in an attempt to keep everything clean and not touch things they don’t need to. People might be less keen on borrowing a pen from their colleagues when they lose theirs and head to the storage cupboard for a fresh one more often. Disinfectant and sanitizer might be used up faster than you can believe.

Make Hands-Free Arrangements Where Possible

Try to avoid having things that everyone needs to touch if you’re able. This can mean leaving internal doors open to keep everyone from needing to touch the same handle. It could mean switching from a standard coffee maker to a single-serve machine, so not everyone is touching the same spot. It could mean designating specific staff to particular items to keep the possibility of contamination minimal.

The above information should get you ready to make the necessary changes in your workplace to keep everyone safe and healthy. Make sure to take a moment and research any additional concerns that arise within your particular industry.

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