As businesses continue to navigate life after the pandemic, keeping a clean and sanitary workspace is more important than ever. One crucial aspect of maintaining a clean office is ensuring that high-touch areas are regularly cleaned and disinfected.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the top 5 high-touch areas in your office that need extra cleaning, why they are high-risk areas, and how to properly clean them.
What are High-Touch Areas?
Contact-intensive areas are surfaces or objects that are frequently touched by multiple people throughout the day. These areas can harbour harmful bacteria and viruses and are often the primary culprits for the spread of illness within a workplace. Examples of high-touch areas in an office setting include door handles and knobs, light switches, lift buttons, restroom surfaces, and shared office equipment.
Why High-Touch Areas Need Extra Cleaning
Frequently-accessed areas are particularly prone to the accumulation of germs and bacteria due to the constant contact with people’s hands. When someone with contaminated hands touches a contact-intensive surface, they leave behind potentially harmful pathogens that can then be transferred to the next person who touches that surface. This cycle can continue indefinitely, making high-touch areas a breeding ground for germs and viruses.
Not only can a lack of proper cleaning in high-touch areas lead to the spread of illness, but it can also impact the overall health and productivity of employees. Sick employees are more likely to take time off work, which can lead to decreased productivity and profitability for the business.
Top 5 High-Touch Areas that Need Extra Cleaning
1. Door handles and knobs
Door handles and knobs are touched by nearly everyone who enters and exits a building, making them high-risk areas for the spread of germs. To properly clean these areas, use a disinfectant spray or wipe that is approved for use on the surface. Make sure to clean both sides of the handle or knob and allow it to air dry before the next use.
2. Light switches
Light switches are another high-touch area that should be regularly cleaned. Similar to door handles, light switches are touched by nearly everyone in the office and can harbour a lot of germs. To clean a light switch, use a disinfectant wipe or spray and make sure to clean both the switch and the surrounding area.
3. Elevator/Lift buttons
Lift buttons are often overlooked but are actually one of the highest-risk areas in an office. With so many people touching the buttons throughout the day, they can quickly become a breeding ground for germs and viruses. To properly clean elevator buttons, use a disinfectant wipe or spray and make sure to clean both the buttons and the surrounding area.
4. Washroom / Bathroom / Restroom surfaces
Washroom / Restroom / Bathroom surfaces, such as sink handles, toilet handles, and countertops, are some of the most obvious high-touch areas in an office. These surfaces should be regularly cleaned with a disinfectant cleaner and wiped down with a clean cloth or paper towel. Make sure to pay extra attention to areas that may be missed, such as the underside of the toilet seat.
5. Shared office equipment
Shared office equipment, such as keyboards, mice, and printers, can also harbour a lot of germs and bacteria. To properly clean these surfaces, use a disinfectant wipe or spray and make sure to clean all surfaces that are frequently touched. It’s also a good idea to provide employees with their own supplies, such as a keyboard cover or mousepad, to minimize contact with shared equipment.
How Often Should High-Touch Areas Be Cleaned?
The frequency of cleaning high-touch areas will depend on several factors, including the number of people using the area, the level of contact, and the current health situation. As a general rule of thumb, frequently-accessed areas should be cleaned and disinfected at least once a day. However, areas that are used more frequently or by a larger number of people may require more frequent cleaning.
Cleaning Products and Techniques for High-Touch Areas
When cleaning contact-intensive areas, it’s important to use the right cleaning products and techniques to effectively remove germs and bacteria. Always use a disinfectant cleaner that is approved for use on the surface you are cleaning, and follow the instructions on the label. To properly clean surfaces, spray or wipe the surface with the cleaner, making sure to cover all areas, and allow it to air dry before the next use.
Keeping frequently Used Areas Clean
Keeping high-touch areas clean and sanitized is essential to maintaining a healthy and productive workplace. By paying extra attention to areas like door handles, light switches, elevator buttons, restroom surfaces, and shared office equipment, businesses can help prevent the spread of illness and keep employees safe. And using the right cleaning products and techniques and following a regular cleaning schedule, businesses can create a clean and healthy environment for their employees and customers.
A full glossary of cleaning terms can be found in RFM Group’s Industry Terms in Cleaning Glossary.