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“The profile of cleaning staff is higher than


ever before and people will expect to see them around the workplace.”


Touchless alternatives: Consider the replacement of traditional washroom dispensers such as toilet roll holders, hand towels and warm air dryers with non-touch alternatives that reduce contact frequency.


Swab testing: Consider launching a swab testing routine that allows for an audit of workplace hygiene standards. While these can’t immediately identify traces of COVID-19 (be aware of anyone who says they can) they provide an indicative guide to the success of current cleaning and hygiene programmes. Pre- and post-deep clean swab tests can be useful to highlight their impact and reassure people.


Service provider contingency: Ensure that your cleaning partner has a contingency plan in place if staff are sick or self-isolating. The profile of cleaning staff is higher than ever before and people will expect to see them around the workplace.


Encourage a clear desk policy: Make sure that people remove everything from their desks at the end of each use. Many organisations are moving from a hot desk policy back to fixed desks to reduce the spread of the virus. While this is beneficial, it does bring in the tendency for people to ‘own’ desks by leaving personal clutter on them. This can become a breeding ground for bacteria and prevents the space being properly cleaned.


Limit equipment use:Where possible, reduce the amount of communal items that people touch. For example, perhaps dedicate one person per department to use a printer/ photocopier and avoid using whiteboards in meeting rooms.


Signage and education: Improved signage is a key part of preparing the workplace for reoccupation. Replace any handwashing signage in washrooms with bigger and bolder versions so they cannot be missed, and place these all around a building. Add labels to high-intensity touchpoints such as door handles and light switches to act as a cue for


www.tomorrowscleaning.com


building users to wash their hands or use anti-bac gel after being in a high-risk area, and remind cleaning teams that a deep clean is required at those points.


Consider regularly changing any signage so it doesn’t become like wallpaper and be ignored. To fight the virus, we need to see improved behavioural change from building users through more regular, and longer, handwashing, clear desks and reduced physical contact with other people. Consider arranging demonstrations of how to hand wash effectively and for the correct duration or make the NHS handwashing video available on all devices and public area screens.


Install sanitation stations: Install sanitation stations throughout the workplace and especially near high-risk areas to make it easy for people to stay hygienic. Consider touchless versions to avoid the spread of the virus.


Self-clean: Make virucidal sprays and other cleaning materials available throughout the building so people can continually self-clean their work areas throughout the day.


The long haul


Long term changes are needed to how cleaning is managed in buildings. Until a vaccine is found, organisations will need to work hard to protect their people against the virus and a hygiene-focused cleaning regime is a key part of that.


While the world is currently very focused on COVID-19 at the moment, this issue is not just about the current pandemic. Colds and flu are far more common than COVID-19 and are also transmitted through poor hygiene, often in the workplace. Cleaning and hygiene overall need to be taken more seriously.


www.sitemark.co.uk SPECIALIST CLEANING | 71


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