Keeping your home workspace clean and hygienic

Over the past few months, remote working has become the new normal for many professionals. Setting up office in the spare room or hot-desking on the kitchen table has never been so popular, thanks to the COVID-19 isolation restrictions enforced by the government.

With a steady easing of lockdown yet to take shape, and suggestions that frequent working from home may become an essential practice moving forwards, we must ensure that our approach to workspace hygiene remains as robust at home as it does in the office.

Whilst social distancing measures significantly reduce our risk of catching and spreading COVID-19, it is still important that we stay safe and look after our health. We might bring germs into our households after a dash to the supermarket for essentials, or after our permitted ‘once-a-day’ outdoor exercise session, for example. However, unlike your company’s office space, you won’t be graced by the visit of a professional cleaner at the end of each day to disinfect your workspace.

This is why we have come up with some top tips to help you keep safe and well during lockdown and beyond, ensuring your home office set-up doesn’t become a hotbed for germs.

Tip#1: It is likely that you will be relying more heavily on your mobile phone to communicate with colleagues and clients at the moment, but did you know that the average device likely harbours ten times the amount of germs than the average toilet seat? Make sure you clean it regularly with sterilising wipes.

Tip#2: If you were surprised by how grubby your phone can get, we wouldn’t recommend looking too closely at your workstation. Your desk, keyboard and mouse are most likely riddled with germs, as they come into constant contact with your hands. Wipe down your entire workspace at the start and end of each working day to keep bacteria at bay.

Tip#3: Even though you won’t be venturing out very much these days, you still need to ensure that you are observing good hand hygiene by washing and drying them properly. Check out our top tips in this blog post.

Tip#4: Ensure that you periodically open windows to let fresh air circulate. Poorly ventilated homes can lead to a build-up of condensation which can promote mould growth, and in turn, irritate your lungs and cause other health problems*.

Tip#5: Take a break. The Health and Safety Executive recommends having a 5 to 10 minute break from screens every 50 to 60 minutes. Go and make a cup of tea, stretch your muscles, move away from your screen and go outside, if possible. Look after yourself – don’t risk burnout and physical, or mental, work-related health problems.

In these uncertain times, it will be comforting to have confidence that your home and work space is a healthy place for you to be. Whilst staying indoors is a lot safer than going to crowded places, you can still ensure that you are not exposing yourself to a different set of problems at home. This is our new normal for the next few months, at least. Let’s do our best to stay safe and well.

* http://www.wordonhealth.com/on-air-articles.php?id=314