Over the last year many organisations have been compelled to move employees to remote work. With the exception of workers carrying out sensitive or essential jobs that cannot be done remotely and have continued to work from their usual workplace. During this time cleaning regimes have been enhanced to reduce the spread of communal disease with a main focus on reducing or eliminating the spread of COVID 19.
With workers set to steadily return back to offices over the course of the year many workers may feel apprehensive to sharing space and equipment and coming into contact with more people. Businesses will undoubtedly want to ensure that everybody feels safe coming back to work.
Although the spread of the virus may feel unavoidable the fact is that a good cleaning and disinfection routine can greatly reduce or even eliminate the risk of a viral count of COVID-19 on surfaces and objects around the workplace.
Employees should be advised on how they can personally contribute towards the reduction in the spread of bacteria - harmful or not. All employees should be committed to keeping their hands clean and sanitiser should be available throughout the workplace. Disinfecting wipes should be readily available and employees should be encouraged not to share equipment such as pens and notepads as these are easily mixed up. Other equipment such as keyboards and telephones are not as easy to avoid sharing so employees should be regularly encouraged to sanitise the items after use. Employees should also be aware that by keeping their work area tidy, cleaning will be more effective.
You may need to increase how often and how thoroughly you normally clean your office as well as cleaning surfaces that you do not normally clean and scheduling more frequent “Deep cleans” of your workplace.
Preparation for the potential event of an enhanced clean being required at short notice is essential. This is likely to be because of a known or suspected case of COVID 19 in your workplace and as an employer you need to ensure that you know exactly what is required to manage the risk and how to work safely to protect employees.
Maintaining a professional cleaning and disinfecting procedures will also assure employees that their employer is committed to keeping them safe and compliant within COVID 19 guidelines. Carrying out a risk assessment can help you to identify the kind of cleaning regime required. Frequently touched communal surfaces such as doors, bannisters and buttons that may be touched by lots of people will need to be cleaned more often.
Boosting periodic cleaning of communal areas throughout the day and encouraging and equipping workers with the tools they need to work safely is key to a clean and safe workplace.
Whist a clean workplace has many obvious benefits and regularly cleaned and sanitised surfaces help in reducing the spread of bacteria. A clean workplace has also been proven to boost productivity and morale amongst employees. When employees feel safe in the environment that they are working in, that is also clean and tidy they are found to be happier and less stressed which is also beneficial to the employer.