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A cleaner and safer return to office work
People will be concerned about cleanliness as they return to post lockdown work-life but observing some simple steps goes a long way to ensuring a smooth and safe transition, says Jim Roberts, product manager at visual communications specialist, Beaverswood…
“As we ease out of lockdown and restrictions are relaxed, more and more of us will be able to return to our offices and workplaces. And as we return, and confidence grows, we will see an inevitable cultural shift - a new attitude and awareness to infection control.
This is completely understandable; after all, thousands of workplaces have been operating at much lower occupancy levels, or completely unoccupied, for months and while efforts have been made to maintain cleanliness during this time, there will be parts of the premises where dirt and germs still linger.
Indeed cleanliness - and maintaining high levels of hygiene - will be paramount as people pick up the pieces of their working lives and settle back into the rhythm of using communal areas such as kitchens and washrooms; occupying shared desks and open plan workspaces and generally working within close proximity of colleagues. Business owners and their employees will need to feel supported and protected so the importance of effective cleaning and infection control will never be higher.
There are some simple tips that can be implemented to keep our workplaces safer and minimise the risk of infection in the workplace…
* Keep it clean
Touch points, or those areas you or colleagues come into contact with the most, will be the places where germs gather. So target these places with effective measures to keep on top of cross-contamination as people come and go between the workplace and their homes. There are new antimicrobial adhesive vinyls available that protect people and surfaces, which can be applied to any high contact surface such as door handles, door plates, trolley handles and work surfaces, preventing the transfer of germs and bacteria.
* Assess the risk
A risk assessment will identify areas more prone to infection and advise your employees accordingly. Clarity is key: explaining to staff your health and safety plans will nurture greater cooperation and reassure colleagues that you are doing all that you can to keep everyone safe and risk-free. Consider how you can implement effective segregation solutions in the workplace, such as pedestrian and traffic barrier systems in the warehouse; floor signalling, signage and screen partitions.
* Tell people what you are doing
Explaining to employees what's happening will always be helpful. You should use posters to keep them abreast of your plans and what they can do to co-operate as much as possible for everyone's benefit. Where you expect people to use equipment as part of a cleaning regime, make sure they can locate and use products such as shadow boards and workstations that improve better management of tools to get rid of harmful bacteria and viruses.
* Every little helps
Keeping things clean to improve infection control doesn't have to be hard work. Think about what people can do to help - after all, it's been a tough time for us all, so incremental gains can contribute to cleaner, safer environments. For example, try to keep your workspace as tidy and efficient as you would your own home.
The one-size fits all approach to workplace cleanliness and infection control isn't always where the balance between maximising productivity and people's wellbeing is important. Consider your requirements in terms of quality, reliability and performance, and look at how your supplier can add value in facilitating your understanding of the role that visual communications solutions play in a safer post lockdown world.”
15th July 2021