Your office is your second home. Over time, you may get comfortable in your surroundings and not think about practicing good hygiene with your technology, but it is becoming more important now than ever.

In this time of heightened health concerns (particularly COVID-19/Coronavirus), living a more consciously clean work lifestyle is paramount, whether you are still at the office or working remotely. It’s more than just washing your hands and disinfecting your area.

Being a prepper for the worst is the best you can be, so here are 10 Tech Hygiene Tips You Should Do Now.

  1. Have your cleaning products stocked and ready. For properly keeping your work environment clean, you should have these items:
    • A lint-free cloth: Preferably a soft microfiber cloth to prevent scratching your devices. If you don’t have one at hand, many screen cleaner kits come with a microfiber cloth.
    • A screen cleaner kit and/or lens cleaning wipes: Screen-cleaner kits tend to have everything you need but be sure the cleaner included has a non-abrasive formula. Ammonia-free lens wipes that are small enough to have handy in your laptop case or pocket can come in handy for quick cleaning of smaller devices such as smartphones.
    • Compressed air: Have canned air available for cleaning your computer ports or other larger areas. Do NOT use compressed air on small tech devices such as smartphones or tablets as the pressure could damage your microphone or other components.
    • Antibacterial wipes: While great to have for everyday purposes, these are best for keeping bacteria off surfaces.
    • A soft brush or cotton swabs: For getting into the grooves and gaps of your devices, such as keyboards.
  2. Keep your work areas clean and free from clutter. Organized chaos is a real mentality, but it’s also one that can harbor bacteria and other threats. Have organization in your workstation, file your proper documents away, and keep your desk free of clutter as much as possible. Periodically wipe your workstation down with antibacterial wipes to not only stave off viruses but also wipe away dust and grime that builds up over time. Don’t forget to keep your chair clean from debris as well.
  3. Thoroughly clean your device. Cleaning your devices from edge to edge is crucial, especially if you are moving into a remote work lifestyle. Many of us use our laptops daily so here’s a simple process to clean your laptop:
    • Power your device down and disconnect your power cables.
    • Spray a small amount of screen cleaner on your lint-free cleaning cloth. Be sure not to soak your cloth and do not directly spray your devices with screen cleaners. You could potentially damage your screen! If you do not have screen cleaner, a dab of water will work as well.
    • Clean your display by wiping it in one direction, similar to how you clean a CD.
    • Thoroughly clean your keyboard by dislodging buildup out of the spaces as well as the surface. Use a soft brush to get into grooves and gaps and use compressed air in small bursts within an open space to clear the keyboard of dirt, crumbs, and other grime. Once again, do not use compressed air to clean your smartphone or other small devices. Through use, your compressed air can will become frosty so let it rest for about a minute before resuming usage. Do not heat or shake the can.
  4. Routinely clean your monitors/screens. Clean your monitors and other external screens in the same fashion as a laptop screen. These also tend to gather dust and bacteria overtime just from habitual use.
  5. Don’t forget to clean your peripherals. External peripherals such as USB Keyboards and mice also need to be unplugged and thoroughly cleaned as your core devices do, including wiped with disinfectant wipes. This also includes desk phones, scanners, headphones (especially earbuds/Bluetooth headsets), smartwatches, fitness trackers, other wearables, printers, webcams, and anything you use within your work environment.
  6. Bring touching other people down to a minimum. In lieu of shaking hands, consider other methods of communicating and saying hello or goodbye, such as a fist bump, as bacteria is less likely to travel that way versus a traditional handshake. This also applies to sharing documents or tools. Take precaution and share digitally when possible.
  7. Take precautions when working on public devices or on other's machines. Some of us may have to travel to repair or provide a service on another machine that may not be disinfected. Take caution and be sure to have some cleaning materials with you if you have to perform on-site services.
  8. Consider alternative methods with your mobile devices. By nature, we use our phones all the time but here’s a few tips to help prevent further spreading of viruses:
    • Use a headset instead of placing your phone near your face during calls. This lowers grime, facial grease, or makeup from attaching to your screen.
    • Consider using a stylus for use instead of your fingers.
    • Do NOT share your earbuds with other people.
    • Have lens and screen cleaner wipes handy. Apple recently confirmed that iPhones, as well as other Apple devices, are safe to be cleaned by disinfectant wipes such as Clorox wipes.
  9. Embrace remote collaboration. Working from home is quickly being adopted in society right now, so ensuring that you have the proper collaboration tools on your computer or mobile device is a must. Tools such as Outlook, Conference Calling apps, and one-stop collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams.
  10. Have remote access tools ready for your protection and IT solution access. In the case that something goes wrong with your workstation, having remote access apps such as Team Viewer ready is crucial just in case your company’s IT service needs to assist you with a problem while working remotely. Evaluate your cloud services such as Microsoft 365 or OneDrive are accessible, your antivirus protection is up to date, and ensure that you have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) properly implemented to ensure you are protected.

These are ten of several steps to maintain good tech hygiene in your work space, but in the end, it’s also about strongly enforcing one simple rule: wash your hands. Thoroughly wash your hands before and after you enter your work space, when you arrive at the office, as well as when you get home.

It’s better to prep, not panic.

neoRhino can help you be a prepper for remote work and transitioning into a new type of lifestyle. Fill out the form above, contact us, or call us at 281.779.4850 and we can assist your business in a cleaner, remote lifestyle today.