With businesses already putting plans in place to get people back into the office, ensuring good hygiene practices is paramount in preventing any spread of coronavirus in the workplace.
To help those heading back to the office, Martin Richards, Director of hygienic technology experts www.Smartilimited.com, has listed seven ways in which employers can make their office spaces as hygienic as possible.
1. Make it mandatory to sanitise hands upon entry
It’s good practice for everyone to use hand sanitiser when entering or re-entering the office. By placing sanitiser at the entrance of the office and notifying all colleagues and visitors that it’s mandatory to use, this should help promote a culture of self-hygiene in the workplace.
2. Reduce the number of people per desk
Not only does having too many people around one desk make it difficult for working, it’s also a hygiene nightmare. We’re not saying to keep everyone several metres apart at all times, as that’s not a viable long-term solution, but spread people out enough so that they are not frequently coming into direct contact with their colleagues.
3. Up the number of times the washroom is cleaned
Even if workers have good bathroom habits, it doesn’t necessarily mean that these areas are as hygienic as they need to be. Increase the number of times the washrooms are cleaned and also look into technology that reduces the transmission of airborne viruses, such as waterless urinals. Not only will you be improving hygiene, you’ll be reducing your own costs as well as helping the environment.
4. Get a dishwasher for the shared kitchen
There’s always one who leaves the kitchen a mess, with dirty bowls and mugs everywhere. Yes, everyone should clean up after themselves, but why not remove the task altogether by investing in a communal dishwasher? You’ll be sure that everything gets thoroughly cleaned and any nasty bacteria is destroyed.
5. Make sure the vents are regularly cleaned
Many business owners will focus all their efforts on surface cleanliness and completely forget air cleanliness. Make sure that the vents in the windows are cleaned at least every 6 months, as dirt and bacteria that is trapped can affect the air everyone in the office is breathing.
6. Address any problem areas as soon as they arise
If you’ve got a couple of dodgy toilets, or perhaps you’ve noticed things are rather uncleanly, don’t ignore it, whether you’re an employer or employee. Problems won’t go away overnight, so flag it to your manager if something needs attention. If you are the manager, consider creating a reward system whereby any employee that reports a hygiene issue is recognised and rewarded for it.
7. Avoid cross-contamination between shifts
If you work in an industry with shift patterns, make sure that anything you’ve used is clean enough to pass onto your colleague. It’s something that we’ve all had to get in the habit of with Covid-19, but certainly isn’t something that we should stop.