[Note: This post was written before the latest lockdown measures were put in place. The guidance is to work from home if you can, and to only work from an office if you have to.]

Our work routines and workspaces changed dramatically in 2020. For some of us, our homes have become our full-time offices. For others, our time in the office has become carefully controlled, with new hygiene practices in place to protect ourselves and others.

If you’ve made use of coworking spaces or shared desks during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ll know just how important it is to ensure that you take steps to ensure your workspace is sanitised before you get to work and after you ‘down tools’. But just how clean is clean enough? Is a quick swipe with an antibacterial wipe sufficient? Is a total deep clean going too far? Read our guide to sanitising desks in co-working spaces…

1. Unplug the electronics

Before giving your coworking desk a thorough cleaning, make sure that you turn off and unplug any devices in your workspace. This will protect your equipment while you get scrubbing.

2. Remove and sanitise surface items

The items on a desk can be hotspots for germs and bacteria. Pens, pencils, coffee mugs – all of these items can come into contact with your mouth, face and hands. Removing or sanitising these items is – therefore – very important before you handover your desk to the next user. As you remove each item, carefully wipe each of its surfaces with an antibacterial wipe. Once clean, place the item it in a sanitised space away from your desk to dry for five minutes. Items which are difficult to wipe should be washed with warm water and antibacterial soap.

3. Clean any permanent fixtures

If your coworking desk includes a monitor, keyboard, mouse or other ‘tricky to move’ electronics, these will need to be sanitised before you swap desks. Keyboards and mice are germ hotspots especially. This stage can be tricky, as electronics can be sensitive to sprays and scratchy cloths or paper towels. Read up on the best cleaning methods for your devices. For example, compressed air can be a helpful tool for thoroughly cleaning keyboards. Meanwhile, glass cleaners are not the best products for use on laptop screens or computer monitors – not only can they damage your screen, they also rarely include antibacterial ingredients. A mixture of 70% isopropyl alcohol is recommended by The Next Web.

4. Dust the desk

Before sanitising your desk surface, remove any dust present by wiping the desk with a clean, dry cloth. This will improve the overall standard of sanitisation at the end of the process.

5. Sanitise the surface

Next, use an antibacterial wipe (or antibacterial spray and clean, damp cloth) to clean your coworking desk. Wipe down the entirety of the desk and its surrounds, making extra sure to thoroughly clean ‘high touch’ areas, such as the space immediately in front of your seat and the edges of the desk.

Tips for employers

If your offices are operating a shared desk policy, it’s important to equip your staff with the equipment and information they need to keep workspaces safe. It may be helpful to:

  • Equip your office with extra microfibre cloths which are cleaned after each use.
  • Provide antibacterial spray, wipes and isopropyl alcohol-based spray for monitors.
  • Set up a ‘cleaning station’ for desk items (to be cleaned after each use).
  • Reduce shared equipment (encourage staff to bring their own devices and stationery).
  • Ban food and drink at desks. If staff require hot drinks or water, ask that they bring their own and do not make use of office crockery.
  • Arrange regular professional cleaning to keep your workspace as safe as possible.

Enhancing your cleaning protocol to protect your employees during the pandemic? With over four decades of professional cleaning experience, The Abbey Cleaning Service can help. Speak to a member of our team today on 029 2067 9323 to find out more about our commercial office cleaning services.