Working from home has been a reality for many in the past 18 months due to the pandemic, but now as many employees are returning to the workplace, it is essential to maximise office hygiene and safety so that workers feel comfortable

Viruses (not just Covid) are a workplace hazard and should be included in your risk management planning. Cleaning, whether done in-house or by a commercial cleaning company, is a big part of putting control measures in place to enhance the health and safety of any workplace.

Communication is also a big part of office hygiene and safety. Make everyone aware of what they need to do individually to help to create a clean and safe environment for the whole team. Provide clear guidance and keep staff updated on any changes to procedures.


1. Cleaning

This will obviously be our number one tip, as maintaining hygiene and cleanliness has never been more important. As more people return to the workplace, it may be a good idea to review your current cleaning procedures to ensure that they are meeting the needs of your facilities and your employees.

The risk of virus transmission through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects is generally considered to be low. However, there should still be a priority to more regularly clean areas that are touched regularly, such as light switches, door handles, taps, office equipment, kitchen appliances and furniture.


2. Ventilation

Many viruses remain in the air or on surfaces for a long time in a space with poor ventilation. As we move into Autumn, and colder weather, the temptation may be to close doors and windows to maintain a warm inside temperature. However, ventilation is key in maximising the fresh air supply, therefore diluting any airborne germs.


3. Employee Wellbeing

Up to 17.9 million working days in the UK were lost due to work-related stress, depression, or anxiety in 2019/20 (HSE Work-related stress, anxiety or depression statistics in Great Britain, 2020) so aside from physical health, mental health is a huge consideration.

And for some, returning to the office/workplace will be intimidating after such a long time. If elements have changed, whether then be the physical layout of the office, or any processes, let employees know in advance so they can be more confident in knowing the environment they are returning to. An ongoing employee wellbeing programme will allow employees to share any worries and any concerns raised should be taken seriously.


4. Minimising Contact

One of the things many employees are likely to be looking forward to in returning to the office is the social aspect of work. Reconnecting with colleagues that they have only seen on video meetings or spoken to on the phone or via emails for 18 months.

However, whilst social distancing is no longer a legal requirement, it is your responsibility as an employer to maximise office hygiene and safety by continuing to reduce potential risks. And this may mean still implementing distancing and one way systems if that means that everyone feels safer and happier in the working environment.


5. Personal Hygiene

Handwashing and sanitising are essential, so depending on your workplace, you may consider installing additional facilities. Place sanitising stations at entrance and exit points, in corridors, near stairs and in meeting rooms. Ensure that each employee makes their own hygiene a priority to keep themselves and everyone else as safe as possible.

Need help with cleaning?

Hiring a commercial cleaning company can take the hassle away from you as a business owner and let you focus on your business, while we focus on cleanliness, hygiene and safety. If you are in Leicestershire and want a no obligation chat, please give us a call or drop us a message.