The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we live and work. For those fortunate enough to sustain a good living, and for those of us working in industries that thrive outside the office, remote working and new “digital workspaces” are the new standard. Even so, with the new year approaching, many employers and employees are preparing to get back in the office.
Unfortunately, as COVID-19 spikes continue—with thousands of new cases popping up around the world every day—office goers aren’t feeling too confident about heading back to in-person work. What’s important is that employers and employees are aware of the seriousness of the virus, the shocking truth about germs in the workplace, and what should be done to keep everyone healthy and safe.
The Truth about Germs and Viruses in the Office
While scientists are still unsure about the nature of COVID-19, we’ve been advised by experts to stay socially distanced and use personal protective gear to reduce the spread of the virus. Since the virus spreads through droplets, anyone in close distance can be infected. With a tentative vaccine distribution schedule, those going back to the office are extremely susceptible to catching the illness or other viruses.
In office spaces, shared ones especially, employees constantly come into contact with each other and touch office surfaces. Germs spread incredibly fast and far— in fact, one sneeze can transfer 100,000 infectious germs in the air. From desk supplies and kitchen appliances to office sofas and door handles, the risk of spreading germs around the office is high.
Return-to-Work Considerations for Employers
As an employer, it’s your primary responsibility to provide a safe working environment. This means taking reasonable precautions and implementing various health protocols to ensure employees are free of known hazards. One step all employers must take is ensuring the office space is large enough to accommodate employees, freeing up around twelve feet between each worker. If this isn’t attainable, it’d be wise to implement a hybrid work schedule where only a few employees come in at a time.
In addition, your office size plays a significant role in how air flows. Generally, smaller offices have reduced airflow, whereas large offices have increased airflow. Restricted airflow may not be sufficient in weakening germs and viruses. On the other hand, the circulation of airflow at higher rates may carry germs around the office. Where feasible, get as much fresh air as possible in your office by opening windows and allowing employees to enjoy some outdoor air.
Handling the Spread of Office Germs: Tips for Employees
As an employee, your main concern is most likely your wellbeing, as well as those around you and those at home. To effectively handle the spread of office germs, consider the following tips:
- Frequently clean and sanitize all surfaces using a disinfectant spray, particularly heavily touched ones like computer keyboards, mice, desks, and door handles.
- Promote office hygiene by encouraging coworkers to wash their hands with soap and water regularly. Frequently use hand sanitizer.
- Stay at least six feet away from coworkers. Avoid using shared workspaces until it is deemed safe to work collaboratively.
- Practice proper respiratory hygiene by coughing and sneezing into your elbow. Make sure that you’re wearing personal protective gear.
- Stay home if you’re sick.
Beat Germs in Your NYC Office with CRS
Looking to get your NYC office space professionally cleaned? CRS Moving & Storage can help at an affordable rate. Office cleanings can be challenging under normal circumstances, let alone when you plan to relocate, upgrade, or downsize office spaces. Our priority when executing deep cleanings for our clients in NYC is to relieve the worries that come with cleaning, moving, and storing.
CRS offers a menu of cleaning services, including electrostatic spraying and regular cleanings. Whatever you need, we’ll mix and match to meet your preferences. Our experienced and trusted team prides itself on providing high-quality services, and we’re happy to help you find a practical solution to your cleaning needs. Schedule a free phone or video consultation by calling (718) 424-6000 or completing our contact form to get started today.