As worries about the coronavirus grow, we have compiled our top ten tips on how to reduce it’s spread in the workplace.
We are not health professionals, and most of the tips are common sense that we should all carry out normally anyway, but perhaps they are more important now than before:
1 Wipe it! – If you can still get your hands on any after the stockpiling, get your own supply of anti-bacterial wipes or hand wash and use them to wipe down all your equipment including your mouse, keyboard and telephone. Failing that, a hot damp cloth will have the same effect – just don’t burn yourself or get the equipment too wet.
2 No tea rounds! – It may be customary to make a round of tea at work, but for the time being, make your own drinks, use your own cup/glass and make sure it is cleaned at the end of the day with hot water ready for the next – maybe even hide it in your drawer overnight to be on the safe side.
3 Be ready for the sneeze – Assuming your local shops still have some, be ready with tissues and hand sanitizer on you. Use the hand sanitizer regularly throughout the day, and make sure any used tissues are disposed of in the bin, and that the bin is emptied outside every night.
4 Paper is your enemy – It is porous and absorbs bacteria. It could easily spread coronavirus as its shifted from stationery cupboard to printer to desk to files, and back again. Don’t print unless you have to, send by email or instant messenger where you can, and get rid of magazines and newspapers in the reception or communal areas. The fewer things that everyone touches, the better.
5 Extra bins – The further a tissue has to travel, the more chance it has of spreading something. Have bins or small bin bags at every desk or workstation to make sure they are disposed of quickly. At the end of the day empty them all into bins outside the main office so nothing stays in there over night.
6 Desk detergent – In situations where you have outside cleaners coming into to the building, ask them to use anti-bacterial detergents and regularly give the desks, meeting hubs and communal areas a thorough cleanse.
7 Don’t share – Wherever possible, avoid sharing telephone handsets and keyboards. If you have to share or have a hot desk policy, wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face after touching the keyboard or mouse. Wipe them down after each shared use, or consider covering them in clingfilm and disposing of it at the end of the day ready for the next person.
8 Spotless kitchen – Kitchens at work are hot spots for bugs with so many people sharing the same space and utensils. Make sure everything is washed up regularly, use disposable plates/cups wherever possible and wipe everything down with antibacterial wipes regularly.
9 Keep it to yourself – It sounds like common sense, but have your own supply of stationary like pens, stapler, paperclips, etc. Many offices share these things, so either use your own or wipe down the shared items regularly. And don’t chew the end of the pen – you don’t know who else has already done it!
10 Stay at home – Current government advice tells anyone with a raised temperature or new, continuous cough, to stay at home for seven days to self-isolate.
You can find the latest Government online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response