We’re living through a time that’s unprecedented and uncharted, at Entrawood we wanted to take the opportunity to offer support and a few helpful tips on how to keep your workplace as safe and hygienic as possible.
The current situation in South Africa (at the time of writing this article) schools and public gatherings have been stopped for the time being. However businesses are not closing, they have instead been encouraged to continue operations whilst implementing more stringent health and hygiene rules and habits in the workplace. As well as ensuring that staff are educated on healthy business practices to minimise the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Health24, Coronavirus in SA: What does the virus mean for employed people?
17 March 2020
Good hygiene habits at work:
- Add signage and prompts that encourage staff to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser regularly.
- Practising social distancing making the environment safer for everyone. Why not move your meetings online? Try Video conferencing software such as Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams or even Slack for sharing live content with a team members.
- Offer employees who can work from home the option to do so.
- Encourage staff to stay at home should they feel sick or show any symptoms of flu. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough.
- For people who do have these symptoms, encourage them to get tested at a local facility. Information can be found at World Health Organisation site or Discovery Hub
- Do not share stationery, especially pens. Pens are most frequently touched and used and some often habitually place pens in or around their mouths . Avoid the use of printed business cards, revert to digital business cards (phone-to-phone transfer) or revert to email signatures for contact details.
- Keep your hands out of the cookie jar! Get tongs for the office coffee station to handle any transfer of rusks or cookies. Now would also be a good time to consider automated coffee machines that require minimal contact with the machine.
Cleaning tips for office furniture:
- Clean working spaces regularly. As a start, ask employees to clear their desks for a thorough wipe down.
- All melamine and HPL surface furniture items (such as desktop or meeting tabletop surfaces) can be cleaned using (purple) Methylated Spirits (with a soft cloth in a circular motion) which has a high alcohol content and can be used as a disinfectant without damaging the melamine.
- Surprisingly, upholstered and fabric-covered furniture pieces are among the easiest to disinfect. Simply spray fabric-safe disinfectant across the item and allow all the items to dry completely. Most of the spray disinfectant cleaners you can buy at general grocery outlets (brands such as Detol and Lyson have several product options) are safe for fabrics. If you are not sure spray a small, hidden spot on your upholstered piece to see if it causes a reaction. These types of cleaners typically work to kill mould, mildew, bacteria and viruses.
Invest in functional furniture that enhances workplace health and hygiene.
- Invest in long-term hygienic office furniture, especially in shared office spaces such as meeting rooms, boardrooms and hot desking areas. Entrawood offers options with a Fenix NTM surface laminate which has great antibacterial & antifungal properties, anti-fingerprint and low-light reflectivity. It minimises the spread of germs and bacteria through the office. (Fenix NTM)
- Desk-based screens or partitions are not only great for a sense of privacy and sound absorption (reducing echo in the office), but they also act as an additional barrier between employees in an open plan area that can reduce the spread of respiratory droplets produced when someone coughs or sneezes. Choose fabrics that are soil and water resistant for easy cleaning and use fabric-safe disinfectant spray (readily available at most supermarkets) to disinfect.
Let’s all help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus spread and support those who need it most.
The Entrawood Team