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Posted by Seyi Onadeko, January 13, 2021
For years before the rise of COVID-19, experts were warning us that a massive pandemic like it was just a matter of time. And even after Coronavirus is effectively managed, health risks related to poor hygiene won’t be going anywhere.
From dust allergies and asthma to E. coli and the next flu season, let alone the threat of a new pandemic outbreak, this newfound awareness for solid office hygiene shouldn’t be pushed aside just because lockdown restrictions are lifted and a vaccine is made available.
That’s why this pandemic presents an important opportunity to reconsider your workplace and how it can be made cleaner and safer for everyone, reducing staff sick days that harm your business. With this in mind, here are some of the most important lessons we can all learn from COVID-19.
There’s no question about it: COVID-19 will continue to impact how our workplaces function for a long time after a vaccine is rolled out to the general public. Masks and physical barriers are already used everywhere, but even once contracting Coronavirus becomes less and less likely, it’s unlikely this new-found awareness about office layouts and proximity between coworkers will disappear.
When it comes time to replace things like carpeting and desks in your office, it’s a good idea to keep in mind how porous these surfaces are, how easy they are to clean and how they will handle frequent cleaning. Meanwhile, automatically-opening doors and self-flushing toilets will help people avoid some of the biggest germ hotspots in the office. Additionally, the importance of a good air filtration system and greenery for cleaner office air can’t be ignored.
Large, open-plan offices and hot desking, having grown increasingly popular in recent years, now present a health risk if workstations aren’t thoroughly disinfected after each use or if people move around too much. You need to either rethink your office layout or enforce strict hygiene policies in order to keep everyone safe.
Many people have been calling this pandemic the end of the traditional office, but this isn’t necessarily the case, as many tasks benefit from close collaboration with coworkers and since people are starting to find themselves missing the social aspects of a shared workspace.
However, flexible working will be a welcome change, both so that people can keep on reaping the benefits of remote working for their personal lives and in order to limit the number of people in the office on any given day, as this will help curb the spread of nasty bacteria and viruses.
Every office needs a comprehensive code of conduct for keeping the workplace hygienic and safe, and as a facilities or office manager, you’re in an important position to make your work environment a more hygienic place.
A solid handwashing policy is a good place to start since about 12% of people admitted to still not washing their hands after every time they go to the toilet despite the pandemic. Posting reminders to wash your hands when coming into the office, before and after eating and, of course, after using a restroom is an easy thing to do but will help to keep this at the top of everyone’s minds.
A clean desk policy will not only help to make your office cleaners’ job easier, but will help employees remember to clean things that are known for having a high concentration of germs. Wiping down keyboards, work phones and desk surfaces with an antibacterial wipe takes almost no time at all and will help to cut down on some of the bacteria between visits from your cleaners. Just make sure to provide wipes and hand sanitiser throughout the office.
The kitchen is another area that can cause serious health hazards if it doesn’t have its own cleanliness etiquette. From spoiled and spilled food in the fridge to grimy microwaves and coffee pots, your cafeteria can present a fertile breeding ground for bacteria and viruses alike. It’s important that everyone cleans up after themselves and that appliances like the office fridge are cleared out and deep-cleaned regularly.
Your well-researched and detailed cleaning and disinfection policy is only as effective as the professional cleaners who carry it out. While things like reminders to wash hands and keep desks clear and clean can be very helpful, at the end of the day, your commercial cleaning service will have arguably the biggest impact of all on the hygiene levels of your workplace.
An unprofessional cleaning company may cut corners if they find themselves short on staff, leading to surfaces that are not as clean as you may think. They might also reuse the same cloth for several types of surfaces, helping germs spread faster.
This is where Glenn Cleaning & Support Services comes in. Our cleaners receive a high level of training and we have a comprehensive quality monitoring system in place to ensure your office’s cleaning meets our high standards. Our disinfectants are compliant with BS EN 1276 regulations and we’re ISO9001 and ISO14001 certified.
We continue to be virus-aware in the long-term to help you feel better about returning to the office and to make sure you and your team stay healthy and can avoid the risks associated with an insufficient cleaning job. Get in touch with us to discover how our contract cleaning services can help make your workplace cleaner and safer.
Set up your cleaning contract or simply ask a question. We’re here to help.
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