Creating a Safe Office Environment for EmployeesTMAdmin
Since the pandemic a safe office environment is what employees want. To help them feel less anxious about workspace hygiene, this article looks at ways to protect your employees from many easily transmittable illnesses.
Creating a plan
Creating a plan to combat viruses starts by identifying workplace risks and completing a written assessment. Add to the program the procedures that can control the spread of infections. Consider that you aim to reassure your colleagues and reduce employees’ absences.
Add an Employee Wellbeing Programme
An Office for National Statistics report highlights that 69% of adults worry about the effects of viruses on their health. For some employees and visitors, fear of the unknown raises their anxiety levels. Be sure to show staff how their workspace processes create a safe environment.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report – in the 2019/20 Labour Force Survey – states that losing around 17.9 million days in the UK is due to work-related stress, anxiety and depression. Adding an employee wellbeing programme to your training programme could help. Employee wellbeing actively encourages staff to share their worries/doubts and concerns. Actively listening and acting where appropriate can improve office life and reduce absenteeism and presenteeism.
Review and Change Your Office
Hybrid working made its debut during the pandemic return to work. Many staff haven’t returned to the office full time and enjoy the childcare options, reduced commute and better work-life balance, resulting in many reports of higher productivity. Having half a workforce in the office helps provide the space to make a safer office environment.
We recommend talking to your employees about these ideas. Employers have a legal duty to consult staff on health and safety matters. Listening to concerns allows them time to accommodate reasonable requests and meet specific needs.
Keep the Workplace Safe
Making sure everyone knows what they need to do to maintain safety reduces potential risks. You can provide your team (visitors or contractors) with clear guidance via phone calls, video calls, live stream links on your websites, emails or printed visual signage. Training clarity ensures adjustment to new changes with relative ease. Take extra care for those with auditory or visual impairments.
Contact Time Assessments
It’s easier to keep everything clean when there are gaps between person-to-person contact times—for example, adding breaks between meetings so that tables and chairs can be wiped and dried at the end of each session. Having different entry and exit routes helps too. You might like staggered start and finishing times and keep internal doors (other than fire doors) open to reduce touchpoints.
Handwash and Sanitiser Facilities
Handwashing and sanitising safeguards employees against potential virus and bacterial infections. Communal area cleaning includes doors, walls, objects and surfaces touched often. Placing hand sanitisers in stairwells, entrances, exits, corridors, meeting rooms, and outside washrooms are good places.
Workspace cleaning and general cleanliness have never been more important to employees. Viruses can be transmitted easily, so reviewing and adapting cleaning procedures is advisable. Regular deep cleaning is a thorough cleaning of everything from light switches to furniture. Paying close attention to touchpoints has the maximum impact on germs. Door handles, electric switches, taps, appliance controls and surfaces usually feature on a deep clean procedure list.
Ventilating Indoor Spaces
We now know more about good ventilation and how to bring fresh air into all building areas. We also know that indoor spaces can be infection hotspots when there is poor ventilation, and the atmosphere is allowed to settle on surfaces for long periods after an infected person has moved away. Studies show that viruses survive in aerosol form for hours rather than minutes. Maximising fresh air helps to dilute airborne viruses. Poorly ventilated areas often have higher levels of carbon monoxide as people naturally exhale carbon dioxide. A monitor can help understand your office space’s airflow issues.
Is Your Workspace Safe? Ask for Professional Help
Ask us about supporting your business to help provide a safe workspace for you and your employees. Local expert teams of contract cleaning and professional office cleaning services help with peace of mind, knowing that you have help to keep your establishment clean and safe.
To find out more, get in touch today.