In a very short time, the COVID-19 pandemic has been spread widely and has created an unexpected and shocking impact on the way we work and live. As the virus continues to spread across the world, the public has been shut down. Alone in the United States, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has limited the gathering of people to no more than 50 for the next few weeks.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in so many ways = the one that’s on the top is our definition of cleanliness. The way we use hand sanitizers, hand soaps and wipes disinfectants have been changed. We no longer just worried about the dirt we see, we have started to fight against a contagious virus, along with all the other invisible germs we can’t see.
Another big way the COVID-19 has impacted our daily lives is by changing our working routines and habits. As companies have started to re-consider how they can get people back to the workplace, from work-from-home routine.
The ways we disinfect, sanitize, and clean our workplace have not changed but also become more transparent. In this article, we’ll see how we can disinfect and sanitize the office during COVID-19.
Disinfecting, Sanitizing, and Cleaning are Not the Same Thing.
- Disinfecting uses specific chemicals and products (for example, EPA-registered disinfectants) to kill germs on surfaces. It doesn’t necessarily clean dirty strains on surfaces, but killing germs on a surface after cleaning can lower the risk of spreading infection. You can also use a sanitization misting system or tools to make your work easy and flexible.
- Sanitizing means lowering the number of germs on a surface or object to a safe level. Sanitizing either disinfect or cleans surfaces and objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.
- Cleaning removes dirt, germs, and impurities from surfaces or objects with soap, detergent, and water. Cleaning doesn’t completely kill the germs but lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
A Broad Range of Choice
In addition to considering how to disinfect, sanitize, and clean products, organizations, and companies are considering what materials they can use in the future. The good news is offices and workspaces are not just limited to a few options, just because they have to clean and disinfect their space with a cleanable product.
Kari Millier, Product Manager at Steelcase Surface says “There’s a worry from customers and designers to provide more materials that are cleanable with a disinfectant, and this will swing the pendulum too far and working environments will shift to feeling sterile,”.
Beyond disinfection, sanitizing, and cleaning, another common question is about antimicrobial additives. It’s important to consider that antimicrobials are not always recommended and don’t mean virus protection.
What are AntiMicrobials?
The term antimicrobial means the function of a material that kills or slows the growth of micro-organisms which include viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Antimicrobials can come from an inherent physical structure, chemical additive, or material attribute. Antimicrobials can target specific groups of micro-organisms (e.g. antiviral, antifungal, or antibacterial), specific members, or may act more broadly. The current antimicrobial technologies available for surfaces and fabrics haven’t been proven to combat or inhibit bacteria, fungi, or viruses such as the coronavirus.
While this all has become the new normal and businesses need to be more flexible, empathetic, and vigilant to the needs of employees and providing them a safer and sanitized environment to work in. Make the necessary changes and create new policies clearly and effectively. This will make sure that things go smoothly and you can protect your team, customers, and yourself.