If you aren’t in the habit of sanitizing your workspace, now is the time to get serious about getting clean. Whether you're working from home or spending time in a shared office space, protect yourself and others by properly disinfecting the space and any shared tools. Here’s how!

Focus on fingers
To disinfect your office space, think about what items your fingers touch multiple times every day. The items that get touched the most need to be disinfected regularly. In addition to wiping down your own phone, keyboard and mouse, pay special attention to shared spaces.

All kitchen handles need to be wiped down, including cabinet doors, the refrigerator, and coffee pots. Make sure to disinfect the keypads on the microwave. Tables and countertops will need to be treated with a disinfecting wipe. Because newspapers and other reading materials will likely be handled by many people over the course of the day, be ready to put them in the recycling bin before you go home. Once you've handled them, don’t forget to wash your hands.

Door handles and light switches
Take the time to wipe down at least the exterior door handles of every office and any light switches in the hallway. Take out a fresh disinfecting wipe and wipe down the push button on the water fountain. If you've got a spot near your desk where people like to lean and chat, hit it with a disinfecting wipe as well.

Don't forget about foot traffic
Shoes can track many nasty substances across the office floor. If you can take rugs out of the office to wash them, make sure to wrap them in a trash bag to protect yourself before you leave your workspace. Wash rugs in the warmest water they can tolerate using a color-safe soap (preferably with bleach). For larger rugs, you may need to bring in a professional carpet cleaning team.

Choose the right cleaning products
Make sure you use cleaning products that are designed to work on viruses. There are many anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners on the market, but the current risks in our environment will require a more specific product. For example, while misting plain white vinegar on your carpet will provide some antibacterial protection, it's not effective on viruses. If you can't take the rug out of the office, bring in a professional to do the job.

Words matter
There's a big difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Just because something has been wiped down doesn't mean it's safe to touch or handle. Use a virus-killing disinfectant on any surface you tackle to make sure you and your co-workers are well protected.

Know when to get help
There might be cleaning projects you don’t have the time or skills to manage. If you feel that shared spaces are beyond your ability to address on a regular basis, outsource the job to a company that offers biohazard cleanup. If your office is dealing with a more serious situation, you may need to find crime scene cleaners in your area. Set up a schedule for the company to come and clean so you and your coworkers can function in safety.