England’s recent ‘Freedom Day’ saw the majority of restrictions removed throughout the country, including the gradual return of workforces to offices, as the vaccination programme continues to make steady progress. However, as case numbers continue to rise, many employees remain concerned about their safety, with over half of British workers stating they would happily never return to the office environment.
Here Zac Hemming, Founding Director of ICE Cleaning, explores the supplementary virus and bacteria sanitisation programmes that business owners should be incorporating into their cleaning routines to provide employees with the highest standards of protection and give them the confidence to return to the office.
As ‘Freedom Day’ officially ended the Prime Minister’s work from home guidance, the government is encouraging workforces, particularly those who’s offices are located in city centres, to return to the work environment as soon as possible in a safe and secure way, to support the country’s economic recovery.
However, more than half of British workers would be happy to never return to the office due to fears of germs, a lack of social distancing and being in a room with lots of other people. A study of 1,000 employees who are currently working from home, carried out via OnePoll on behalf of ICE Cleaning, found two thirds would also feel uncomfortable about going back into their workplace full time, with worries such as lack of personal space and not enough communal cleaning.
To ensure professionals fulfil their Duty of Care to employees, in line with government guidance, they must implement additional considerations, such as dedicated sanitisation stations and temperature scanners, reviews of air quality and ventilation systems, in addition to the directional flow of traffic throughout the building and how this can be successfully managed to accommodate appropriate social distancing.
However, commercial cleaning is the most important consideration that business owners should be addressing to ensure their premises are consistently safe. By undertaking a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to mitigating against the spread of virus and bacteria, professionals can successfully achieve this.
This includes additional treatments, such as monthly decontamination and sanitisation plans, which were requested by over half of those surveyed by OnePoll, in addition to daily cleaning regimes for communal areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms and lifts.
The rapid advancement in cleaning technologies is supporting business owners in successfully fulfilling these aims, with the latest chemicals and dispensing systems setting the standard for a new generation of commercial cleaning that is lightyears apart from the cleaning regimes previously delivered and expected.
Whilst some may utilise a traditional fogging machine to apply the relevant chemicals to help mitigate against the spread of bacteria and viruses on surfaces and key touchpoints, latest progressions in electrostatic technology have created a dispensing system, that, when combined with best in class chemicals, achieves a longer dwell time on surfaces.
This enables the chemicals to effectively ‘wrap’ around surfaces to guarantee protection against viruses for up to 28 days, eliminating the opportunity for the cleaning chemicals to drip off high frequency touchpoints, such as door handles, which may potentially occur with other methods of application.
The electrostatic technology features positively charged electrostatic particles, which attach themselves to negatively charged particles found on solid surfaces, whilst simultaneously counteracting any negatively charged particles within the atmosphere. This effectively destroys 99.9% of traces of coronavirus and other bacteria and viruses on surfaces within a working environment.
By applying these sanitisation plans on a monthly basis, in addition to established daily and weekly cleaning routines, business owners can demonstrate to their employees the measures that are being taken to ensure their safety and wellbeing whilst they are in the office.
ICE Cleaning’s unique ICE SHIELD® service utilises electrostatic technology to effectively destroy 99.9% of traces of coronavirus and other bacteria and viruses. By incorporating ICE SHIELD into its commercial cleaning routines, with a 28-day decontamination certificate supplied after each procedure to demonstrate due diligence, building owners can ensure their commercial spaces are adequately protected and communicate this to their employees.
As businesses continue to navigate their way through the ‘new normal’ and encourage their employees to return to the workplace, facilities managers have a responsibility to ensure their cleaning routines go above and beyond to deliver the highest standards in hygiene, cleanliness and confidence.