Sharing an office can be challenging under normal circumstances. Your coworker may leave the desk a mess, adjust the chair without putting it back, and constantly walk off with your favorite pens. Working during COVID-19 presents a new problem: how can you safely share a desk when you don’t know if your coworker is taking proper precautions? Here are three tips for protecting yourself in a shared office space, especially if you work a different shift, and you share a desk with another coworker who works an earlier shift.
1. Keep Your Office Space Sanitized
Get into the habit of wiping down your desk, chair, computer keyboard, and other surfaces with Clorox wipes or disinfecting spray as soon as you arrive at work and before you head home at the end of your shift. These cleaning products will kill the vast majority of potential germs in your office space, which can significantly lower your fear of contracting COVID-19 at work. If you know your building’s custodian or the coworker you share your desk with well and trust them, you might consider working out a cleaning schedule to share responsibilities, but it’s usually a good idea to handle it yourself so that you know it was done right.
2. Purify Your Air to Reduce the Spread of Germs
Because little is known about how long COVID-19 can live in the air, investing in a small air purifier can provide an extra layer of protection from viruses, especially if your shift begins immediately after your coworker’s. HEPA filtration is capable of blocking nearly all particles that are the size of the COVID-19 virus.
3. Bring Your Own Office Supplies
Rather than trying to sanitize every pen, marker, and stapler in your desk, now is a good time to avoid sharing office supplies altogether. Consider storing a small bag of inexpensive personal supplies in your briefcase or purse to reduce the number of items you have to touch that may be harder to clean than larger surfaces.
Sharing a desk doesn’t have to be unsanitary. Follow the Avidity Medical Design blog for more tips for managing COVID-19 risk.
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