Tuesday 12th of May marked the end of a 56 day lockdown on all ‘non-essential’ workplaces with members of the public being informed that ‘if they cannot work from home, they should return to work’. In most cases this meant that individuals were now legally, once again, expected to return back to their place of work and begin trying to get back to normal.
There have been many restrictions and guidelines put in place by the government on these working environments such as staggering start/finish times, carrying out COVID risk assessments, increasing hand washing stations and maintaining social distancing to the best of their ability. In most cases employers have even gone one step further, using screens and barriers to separate people, marking 2m out in tape on the floor and only bringing people back into work who are essential to the survival of the business. One of the biggest challenges workplaces all over the UK will face is office cleaning because, from what we have seen, companies are not changing their procedure to align with the new requirements resulting from a global pandemic. What is the point in staggering start times if the environment is not being regularly cleaned and disinfected? What happens when the screen isn’t cleaned properly? Do your staff feel safe and protected coming into the office? How will Covid change the way we all look at hygiene and cleanliness?
We want you to consider the following question as you read on throughout this article. ‘How often should your office environment be cleaned in light of recent events?’
Let’s start with the facts.
- When outside of the body COVID-19 can survive on some surfaces for up to 9 days, with it being at its most contagious for the first 24 to 48 hours.
- Most notably this applies to door handles where the virus can remain contagious for 2-3 days.
- It has been reported that the bacteria from one doorknob could spread across an entire business within 2 to 4 hours, contaminating 40%-60% of people in that timeframe.
- The average surface, such as a photocopier, may be touched over 300 times a day.
Now in the above example we have only considered the Coronavirus, but it is a very similar story for all other bacteria and infections, such as the common cold and e-coli, which you may encounter in your day to day life. In a post COVID world you know as well as we do the emphasis which will be placed on a clean working environment and when considering this do you still think cleaning your office once or twice a week is enough?
By cleaning your working environment at the end of every day you are essentially hitting a ‘reset’ button for all the bacteria. If you allow these bacteria to fester over 2 or 3 days before someone comes in to clean and disinfect the office you are allowing 2 or 3 day’s worth of contamination to take place whilst the virus is still at its most contagious. Not only this, there is a monumental difference between giving the desks a quick wipe over with some antibacterial spray and actually having a professional, who understands how to safely and effectively kill these bacteria, come in.
In our opinion we would strongly advise you to have a professional cleaning company come in at the end of every working day to thoroughly, effectively and safely, clean, sanitize and disinfect the entire working environment. In our case we would look to do this on a daily basis, in addition we would recommend at less a monthly application of our electrostatic spray technology which can continue killing bacteria, even that associated with the coronavirus, up to 30 days later.
The benefits of a clean office
- Staff feel safe, protected and therefore happy knowing that the office environment is as clean as possible at all times and that you are looking after their health and wellbeing.
- Less sick days taken which means more work can be done.
- It may potentially allow you to bring more people back into the office at once as you are able to show and prove you are making this safe to do so.
- In general, a clean environment reduces clutter, stress and anxiety and has been directly related to increased performance in the workplace.
- Gives a great first impression to clients and anyone else visiting the office.
It is the people within a company that makes the company exceptional and will determine your bottom line. If you look after the people who are in charge of looking after your company, you can rest easy. Keeping the work environment clean, safe and happy is a sure-fire way to keep hold of your best team members, attract the best new people and ensure the long-term success of your business.
So we turn the question back to you for the final time, how often should your office environment be cleaned?