Many employees heading back to the office after a long shut-down have mixed feelings. They’re excited to see their colleagues again and get back into their old routine, but still concerned about COVID-19.
A big milestone in Central Florida was when Disneyworld reopened in July with new coronavirus safety rules. Many other businesses have also followed suit, mandating masks and social distancing.
If you’re headed back to the office either full or part-time, you want to do everything you can to stay safe. This includes keeping your workstation or personal workspace sanitized.
Everything from phones to computer workstations can transmit the virus on touch surfaces like keypads. Viruses and germs can live on surfaces and still infect someone as much as 2-8 hours after being left on a surface.
But electronics can be tricky to sanitize. You want to ensure two main things:
- That you’re using something that will kill the virus
- That you don’t use a cleaner that damages the electronics
Following, are several tips for sanitizing your workstation and personal work area so you can feel safe back at the office.
While it’s okay to use cleaners with bleach on non-electronic surfaces, you do NOT want to use bleach on electronics because it can be corrosive. Likewise, you do not want to use water.
What to Use on Electronics
The proper sanitizing products that will disinfect computers, phones, printers, etc. are alcohol-based. Alcohol cleaners will evaporate quickly and not leave behind any moisture or residue which can harm electronics.
- Products containing at least 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
- Alcohol-based cleaning wipes
If you plan to wipe again with a clean microfiber cloth after sanitizing the surface, it’s recommended you allow at least 30 seconds for the alcohol to kill the germs first.
Clean Using Compressed Air Before You Begin
Dust and crumbs can easily get trapped in keyboards and the fold of a laptop computer and then get blown right over a sanitized surface. Before you begin sanitizing, you’ll want to use compressed air to clean your devices thoroughly.
Use the Right Type of Cloth
If you want to avoid scratching a screen, it’s important to use the right type of cleaning cloth or swab to apply the Isopropyl Alcohol solution.
Using a paper towel can make scratches or leave behind particles. A cotton swab can leave behind fibers. You also don’t want to directly spray alcohol onto a screen or keyboard, it should be applied with a wipe or cloth.
Use a microfiber cloth or microfiber cleaning swabs, which are designed to clean electronics safety with no scratches and no dust or particles left behind.
Unplug & Turn Off Before You Begin
You should unplug any electronics before you begin and power down those with an internal battery.
Disinfecting Non-Electronic Surfaces
For any surfaces that are not electronic – desks, chairs, partitions, etc. – you can use bleach-based disinfectants as well as alcohol based.
The coronavirus can easily spread when someone that is infected spreads droplets from a cough, sneeze, or just normal talking to a surface and then someone else touches that surface and then touches their eyes, mouth, or nose.
Not all cleaners that you buy at the store are going to kill viruses, so to be sure you’re using one that will properly sanitize the surface, use one from the list of EPA registered disinfectants for COVID-19.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, you can create a disinfectant using bleach and water if you don’t have an approved product available. Carefully add 1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach to a quart (4 cups) of water; use a cloth to apply this to surfaces and let stand for 3 – 5 minutes before rinsing with clean water.
It’s also a good idea to protect your hands with gloves while applying a strong bleach solution or disinfectant.
Use a “Swiss Cheese” Approach to Stay Safe from Coronavirus at Work
Using a layered strategy is best when it comes to preventing infection from viruses and the coronavirus. This is often called the “Swiss Cheese” approach, because each precaution taken alone will still have inherent risks (holes in the cheese), but if you layer several over each other, your risk of infection is significantly reduced.
Standard precautions to take include:
- Wearing a mask
- Distancing from coworkers (6-8 feet)
- Sanitizing surfaces and workstation (keyboard, phone, etc.)
- Frequently washing your hands
- Using a desk shield around your work area
Get Help Distancing Your Workstations Safely
If you need to rearrange your electronics to properly distance employees while working, C Solutions can help. We’ll ensure you’re not left with cords on the floor that could pose a safety hazard and that all connections are properly handled.
Schedule a free technology consultation today! Call 407-536-8381 or reach us online.