When restrictions are lifted in communities across the country, many employees may not feel completely comfortable returning to work. Companies are going to have to work to gain employees’ trust through new processes and procedures in the workplace.
When employees return to work, they are going to demand a higher level of care from their company in terms of the building they work in and the way they are taken care of. The way the building is managed and cleaned is crucial to the health and safety of employees and visitors but building trust in the workforce. If employees see spaces being cleaned or disinfected, they will feel more at ease knowing someone is taking steps to keep the workplace safe.
From the way workstations are cleaned and disinfected to the frequency of cleaning break rooms and restrooms, facility management teams are going to be expected to step up their efforts to ensure the safety of their people and the people that occupy buildings everywhere. Read on to learn more about key areas of the workplace that will demand a higher level of attention before welcoming employees back to the office.
Lobby and reception areas
There are a variety of ways people get to work, and those different commutes have a variety of ways they can cause contact with germs. With that in mind, front doors, reception desks and waiting areas need to be disinfected and cleaned frequently throughout the workday. In addition, placing hand sanitizer stations near the front doors of the office with signage promoting increased hygiene techniques will support a company’s initiative in having employees take part in creating a safe and healthy workplace.
Many employees pride themselves on their workstation; how they decorate their desk represents who they are. Even though companies support individuality and want employees to feel comfortable in the office, implementing a clean-desk policy can help keep workstations clean and disinfected. Instructing employees to clear their desks of scattered notes or filing loose papers at the end of each workday will allow cleaning partners to focus on properly cleaning each station and making sure that frequently touched items at each desk are disinfected before the next workday. Cited by a recent study, the average office desk contains 400 times more germs than a toilet seat. That’s just gross. To stop the spread of germs, cleaning professionals will want to focus disinfecting the office phone, keyboard, mouse and desktop at each desk at the end of each workday.
When is the last time you saw your fax machine or printer being cleaned? These types of equipment were usually not cleaned frequently, but that will change soon. Everyone touches these surfaces, but do employees sanitize their hands after they grab their papers off the printer? Probably not. When focusing on increasing the disinfection of your workplace, be sure to include IT gear such as fax machines, copiers, printers and projectors.
With an increase in cleaning procedures comes a change in conference room policies. With many companies implementing social distancing guidelines and decreasing the number of people allowed in a meeting room, more meetings will be scheduled. To ensure conference rooms are safe for employees and guests, the rooms should be cleaned between every meeting and disinfected every night. This includes wiping down all tables, chairs, IT equipment and door handles. As part of the new procedures, companies will need to notify employees of the change in cleaning procedures and the increase in frequency.
Frequently touched items and spaces
While all parts of a workplace are crucial to creating a safe and healthy environment for employees, we can’t forget about frequently touched items and spaces throughout an office. These spaces and items include door handles, light switches, stair railings, elevator buttons, tables, chairs, shared office supplies, breakroom spaces, coffee machines and water dispensers. Regularly cleaning these high-touch areas throughout the day will cut down on the spread of germs and create awareness of hygiene and cleanliness.
The way we worked and interacted with our colleagues and partners has been turned on its head to protect all of our physical and mental well-being. Tomorrow’s offices will need to adapt to be able to bring employees back to work safely. By enhancing office cleaning procedures to create a disinfected workplace, companies like yours will be able to welcome employees back to the office while building trust and offering them peace of mind.
Read about our back to work program that provides customers with strategic advice, tactical procedures and operational delivery, Back to Work with ISS.