As your employees return to the office, their safety and overall well-being become your responsibility as their employer. Given the predictions for this winter, it has become more important than ever to take the necessary steps to safeguard the health of your employees.
While some workers have returned to their offices already, many remain apprehensive in the post-COVID context. However, if you commit to creating a clean, healthy, and hygienic workspace, it is likely that your workers will feel more comfortable and will want to return.
In this article, we will outline various things you can do to create a workplace that will guarantee the health, safety, and well-being of all your employees.
Start a Conversation
Reach out to your employees, and ask them to open up about their concerns. Listen to what they’re worried about. For example, some of your staff might be uncomfortable with sharing a workstation with others. Or, perhaps your workers are worried about commuting to work on crowded public transport. When you know what your employees are thinking, you can formulate a cleaning plan to address their concerns.
This is important if your office is located in a large building and has multiple entry and exit points. Identify all such entry points, and create checkpoints or mini-stations. Ensure that everyone has their temperature checked before entering the building. Additionally, you can stock the checkpoints with an adequate supply of face masks, hand sanitiser, face shields, tissues, and other cleaning materials.
Regular Cleaning and Disinfection
Every workplace is chock-full of surfaces that can put your employees at the risk of infection, such as doorknobs, file cabinets, shared stationery, and washrooms. That’s why you must arrange to have your office deep cleaned and disinfected at least twice a day: once before the employees arrive and once at the end of the workday. From individual workstations to the windows and filing cabinets, every nook and cranny should be disinfected regularly.
Have a Top-Notch Waste Disposal System in Place
You don’t want used sanitiser bottles and face masks to be strewn around carelessly. Invest in equipping your office with enough rubbish bins, so that every employee can access one easily. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to ensure that all waste is regularly collected and disposed of, in line with all health and hygiene guidelines.
Improve the Office Ventilation Systems
Proper ventilation is essential for keeping your employees safe and healthy. It is a good idea to contact heating and ventilation professionals to identify any improvements you can make to your office’s ventilation systems.
For instance, you can start by doing the following:
- Keep windows and doors open to allow fresh air to come in from outdoors
- Use windows and exhaust fans to regularly eject indoor air
- Fit strong air filtration systems
- Ensure that all the existing ventilation systems are in good working order
Furthermore, it is a good idea to have all windows, blinds, and ducts cleaned to prevent the accumulation of dust and germs.
Create Segmented Workstations
This system will work well if your office follows a hybrid work plan. Let’s say that on any given day, only 50% of your staff reports to work in the office, while the rest work from home. Therefore you will have fewer people on site and more space – so make the most of it.
Assign individual workstations to each worker, and provide them with supplies to keep their stations clean. Restrict access to the areas in the office that aren’t being used. In short, do everything you can to prevent overcrowding!
Follow all Regulations and Protocols
In addition to the national health and safety regulations, you should ensure that your office’s cleaning policy is also in line with the local protocols. You can even send emails to your employees informing them of the guidelines they will have to comply with, so that everybody is on the same page.
Hire Professional Cleaning Services
Your office likely has its own cleaning staff. Nevertheless, given the frequency and thoroughness that the current situation demands, you should consider hiring professional commercial cleaners. These services can provide you with specialist cleaning teams comprised of professionals well-versed in current health regulations and safety protocols. What’s more, they have access to sophisticated cleaning products and tools.
Even as an increasing number of workers have started returning to offices, the threat of flu, respiratory diseases, and the pandemic continue to loom large. However, by formulating and following a strict cleaning schedule, you can take care of your employees.
Establishing checkpoints, setting up a proper waste disposal system, improving office ventilation systems, following guidelines, creating segmented workstations, hiring professional cleaning services and regular cleaning and disinfection are just a few examples of the steps you can take to keep your staff safe.