Communal areas are important for any positive work culture, as well as to make the workday smooth and pleasant for your employees. Break rooms give colleagues a chance to interact with one another personally, develop relationships that extend beyond plain professional needs and exchanges, or just have a comfortable place to prepare food and enjoy it between tasks. That said, communal areas are also always an invitation for the spread of germs and bacteria, and can result in illnesses spread from person to person, and from family to family. This is always an important fact to be aware of, and to mitigate, but it’s more essential than ever while operating through the novel coronavirus pandemic – here are five common mistakes to avoid when it comes to break room cleaning.
Handles and knobs
Although these items are small, there are few more important. It can be easy to skip them without anyone being the wiser, but when it comes to preventing the transmission of germs and bacteria, handles are one of the highest priority touchpoints to address. Even so, many businesses think they are cleaning all their handles and knobs, while still missing a few unexpected ones. Drawers and cabinets are an easy one to recognize, but it’s important to not forget microwave handles, refrigerator handles, sink knobs, and coffee pots. Any item that is being used by multiple employees is going to be something you’ll want to ensure is being sanitized on a regular basis.
Many offices provide mealtime amenities to make the lives of their employees easier, especially for small things like salt that employees likely don’t want to bring from home for personal use. It’s essential, however, to check the kitchenette area for any items that fall into this category that are handled by multiple people per day, and make sure to explicitly note that in your business’s daily cleaning routine so they aren’t being forgotten. This may also be true of plastic utensil dispensers, or any other shared tools and ingredients. Take the time to assess your cooking areas needs, and document all areas that need sanitation on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis.
When something is used for the purpose of cleaning, people forget that it may need cleaning itself. In particular, bathroom soap dispensers, sink faucets, and paper towel dispensers all require proper cleaning and sanitation. These can often get skipped because they themselves are used for cleaning, but they are touched by dozens or even hundreds of hands per day, meaning they are not an area you want to neglect. Make sure to get handles, covers, and any buttons that need pushing, as well as any other similar items that might have also been neglected.
Just like the outside of the appliances need to be cleaned – most importantly, the handles – it’s also important to not neglect the inside. Microwaves, refrigerators, and dishwashers can all become dirtier over time, especially if employees don’t clean after themselves. Even so, deep cleaning is always important, especially in places food and related debris is stored and disposed of – it’s essential to make them a dedicated part of any scheduled cleaning routine.
Door handles are an important item on their own, if not the most important. However, the face of the doors themselves are all too often neglected, and they can receive a similar amount of hand traffic when it comes to employees coming and going. This is yet another site that germs and bacteria, and most especially COVID-19, can be transferred from person to person – jeopardizing their health and your business’s ability to operate.
Cleaning communal areas comprehensively is an essential part of any business’s operations, a fact that’s even more true during the current viral outbreak. Make sure to avoid these common mistakes made in break room cleaning to keep your employees, your customers, and your operations safe.