Home & Office

COVID-19 coronavirus: Changes I've made to my home office to make it cleaner, healthier, and safer

With the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak threatening to become a pandemic, I've made some changes to my workspace to help make it a little healthier and safer.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Coronavirus numbers continue to grow, and many companies are taking the sensible precaution of getting people to work remotely from home. I've been remote working for most of my adult life, but over the past few days, I've made some changes to my home office to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Note that these aren't huge changes, and they're not things that take a lot of time and effort. No, I'm not working inside a bubble, and I'm not bleaching the walls every day. In fact, a few days into these changes, and not only does my office feel nicer, but I'm also more productive.


So, what are the changes I've made?

Reduce clutter

Clutter, especially papers and wiring and stuff, get in the way of giving the surfaces I touch a wipe down. It also gives cough and sneeze droplets a place to land on and fester.

My solution has been to pack away stuff I don't need into boxes, put essential papers and books on shelves, and have clear surfaces around me. It's all a bit novel, to be honest, but not only is it cleaner, it's also made me feel more productive. No, it's actually made me more productive.

Tissues and a bin

For the first time in my life, I've put tissues on my desk, and I have a bin nearby dedicated for them (so that they don't end up in with the recycling, and I end up having to paw through them like a raccoon).

Hand gel on my desk

Another new feature. I don't use it a lot, but it's there. It's hard to buy hand gel in the UK, but it's relatively easy to make from the raw ingredients. Here is a good video that explains the process (however, do note that messing with chemicals is not without risk, so follow the precautions, and if in doubt, don't do it).

Must read: Coronavirus, flu and other nasties: What if your job involves handling other people's dirty gadgets?

Wiping surfaces daily

I use Lysol wipes over my desk, keyboard, and other devices daily. I do this less because I worry that there's a cesspool of coronavirus on my desk, and more because it makes me clear the surfaces at the end of the day and it keeps things tidy.

My screens have never looked cleaner, and my iPhone doesn't have bits of random schmoo trapped between the case anymore. It's nice!

Anker PowerConf Bluetooth Speakerphone, in pictures

Air purifier

I used to be a fan of fans because I'm the sort of person who likes being cooler. But fans, even the high-tech fans with built-in filters such as those sold by Dyson, blow a lot of dust about. A good solution to this is to have a way to purify the air.

There are two ways. First, you can use a spray such as Ozium glycol spray. A quick one-second spray into a room helps sanitize the air, killing airborne germs and bacterial and freshening up the place.

Another option is to use an ozone generator. These are commonly used in hospitals and hotels and are a great way to get all the dust and debris in the air to settle out.

I'm not making claims that either of these directly as an effect on coronavirus, but they help me keep my allergies under control, which overall helps to keep me healthier and in a better state to fight off nasties.

Spending time outside

Don't spend your entire day in the office. Get outside. This doesn't mean spending time with other people. You can go for a walk in the woods or a trail, or find some secluded paths or side streets. Walking is a great way to destress, and that helps contribute to keeping you healthy.  

Any tips for keeping your office healthier and cleaner? Let me know in the comments below.

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