COVID-19 saw a lot of people migrating to a home office, which has indeed helped reduce the spread of the virus. However, we shouldn’t neglect cleaning practices just because we’re at home. Our home workspaces and devices accumulate plenty of germs and bacteria too, so it’s important to stay clean and healthy in all areas of our life.
Hard surfaces are a proven breeding ground for bacteria and viruses, where they can last for hours if not days. Frequently-touched surfaces such as keyboards, desks, door handles, chairs, and counters need to be regularly wiped with an approved disinfectant. Make sure that whatever you’re using is safe for your surfaces. However, if you’re having difficulty finding a disinfectant, you can use a mixture of 1 tablespoon of bleach for every 4 cups of water. Let the solution sit for 3-5 minutes before rinsing, and don’t forget to wear gloves to protect your hands.
Our cell phones come into contact with our face, ears, and hands regularly throughout the day, so you definitely want those sanitized. Soft disinfectant wipes work best for this; you don’t want to spray a cleaner directly onto the phone or get water into any of the ports. These wipes can also be used on electronic accessories like phone cables, headsets and earphones, your computer mouse, and any other frequently-used object such as USB drives. Cotton swabs or clear tape can be used to clean smaller nooks like the spaces between your computer keys. Ensure that anything you’re cleaning is not plugged in.
We don’t always realize how many objects we interact with throughout the day until it’s been brought to our attention. How often do you touch your computer screen, either to adjust it or because it’s a touch screen? Have you cleaned your printer in a while? What about your light switches or chains? Try to be conscious of everything you touch in a given day so you’ll know what to be mindful of when cleaning. It’s also worth sanitizing the rest of the house so you’re not transferring germs from your kitchen or front door to your home office. Germs travel!
You can use a number of solutions to kill viruses, many of which can be easily found in the house or purchased at the store. These include chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, detergents, iodine-based antiseptics, and alcohols so long as they are used for the recommended duration. Remember, check that whatever you decide to use is safe for your chosen surface before proceeding.
It can be difficult adding extra steps to your cleaning routine in an already-stressful pandemic, but it’s worth minimizing the risk of getting sick—and knowing that you’re not spreading a ton of bacteria around the house. We hope these tips will help you stay safe and mindful during this time, as well as keep your home office as clean as it can be.