On average, we spend 1/3 of our lives at work, according to an estimate made by Medium.com. That means we spend about 90,000 hours over the course of a lifetime in a shared space with coworkers, visitors, and clients. And not only we use the same facilities, but we also share the same high-touch surfaces, such as touchscreens, door handles, washrooms, and even the coffee pot located in the common kitchen or cafeteria.
The proximity between people in workplaces is precisely why these spaces are considered to be high risk for the spread of Covid-19. It would take a tremendous amount of work and strict compliance to social distancing rules to say otherwise. This is why Health Canada has published a series of recommendations for workplaces in hopes that it will proactively prevent the spread of the virus.
The government department recommends that coworkers greet each other with a friendly wave or elbow bump, instead of a handshake, for instance; and that everybody use any necessary personal protective equipment, as directed.
Health Canada also suggests that all people in workplaces keep a distance of 2 meters and limit any contacts closer than that to the shortest time possible. Added to this, it asks employers to increase the distance between desks, tables, and workstations and reduce activities that require close physical proximity or contact with people, such as team meetings.
Furthermore, the government department instructs workplaces to keep their environment clean, using appropriate products to disinfect items like desks, work surfaces, phones, keyboards, and electronics, as well as cash registers, keypads, elevator buttons, and customer service counters more often, especially when visibly dirty.
Why Didn’t We Think About Disinfecting Our Workspaces Before?
Hopefully, now we will think twice about this. There has been a lot of lessons from COVID-19. One of these is that we are more aware of close contact with others and not sharing things that could pass germs to other people.
We still have a lot to learn about pathogens and viruses, as we all know. The hard part is that, since we cannot see them, we assume our workplaces are clean when we come to work. And even then, we don’t ask the most important question, which is: are they properly disinfected? (Remember that cleaning and disinfecting are not the same).
The existence of germs, or any type of bacteria, virus, fungi, or protozoa, is not new. We all know of times where an outbreak decimated the workforce, due to the flu or a cold virus. Think of how those microorganisms made their way around the office. If you think they came strictly from airborne contact or touch, you would be wrong.
We receive calls from business owners asking about our disinfecting and fogging services in the event of someone contracting Coronavirus. This would be a most unfortunate situation, which we are well-equipped to handle. The problem is this is the wrong mindset.
I used to sell IT services for years and I remember how one of the toughest solutions to sell back then was cybersecurity. After all, our human behavior has many of us thinking “It won’t happen to me/us”.
Consider that most burglar alarm systems are sold after a home gets broken into, not before. Most generators and flood insurance policies are purchased after a major hurricane rip through an area — not the sunny days preceding it.
Waiting until an outbreak happens before you thoroughly disinfect the workplace, home, or vehicle will often only be worse. How many others were affected? This is a new time, we need to develop a regular practice to improve our spaces, and we should be thinking proactively.
How Can You Proactively Prevent the Spread of Covid-19?
According to Health Canada, the best way to proactively prevent the spread of COVID-19 within communities and across the country is to avoid closed spaces, crowded places, close-contact settings, and close-range conversation or settings where there's singing, shouting, heavy breathing (for example, during exercise). This, of course, includes many workplaces.
The government department also recommends all Canadians to wear a non-medical mask or face covering when in close contact with people from outside their immediate household in public or in shared indoor spaces; to stick to a small and consistent social circle and avoid gathering in large groups; and to talk to employers about working at home, if possible.
High Germ Zones in your Workplace
If you ask someone about the places in their offices or homes where they think need more frequent cleaning and disinfection, most people will immediately say washrooms and kitchens. What many don’t realize is that the assumed areas, such as toilet seats, aren’t always the highest source of germs.
The image below compares the difference in the level of microbes between a toilet seat, and the average desk phone, keyboard, or mouse. You might want to think twice before you use another person’s keyboard.
Our company Disinfect & Fog not only disinfects your whole space, but we also disinfect your electronics as well. Using various fogging technologies, we are able to disinfect keyboards, mice, phones, and other electronics without fear of damage, associated with using liquid-based solutions.
Ask us for more info, we are here to make your space safer. Contact us!