With so many offices implementing hybrid workspaces, the likelihood of contamination is great. While there are many precautions and protocols being followed, employees, coworkers, and visitors may all contribute to the risks associated with returning to an in-person work environment. Although hybrid workspaces are a version of the traditional working model, rotating schedules, and people coming in and out of the office, multiple times per week can be problematic.
For businesses that have open environments or co-working spaces, hybrid workplace contamination expands. Frequent cleaning, good ventilation systems, and social distancing must become a part of the regular routine. There are many employees who opt to take matters into their own hands, bringing their own cleaning supplies and disinfectants. This could present false layers of insecurity, especially if their supplies are not commercial-grade or if the supplies they use are counteracting work done by professional cleaning companies.
Ways to prevent hybrid workplace cross-contamination
Here are a few ways you can help with keeping the office safe and your employees and visitors healthy:
Establish a cleaning plan
A professional cleaning team works with you to establish a reoccurring cleaning plan to ensure your areas are sanitized all day long. Every office should have a safety team or a designated safety person in place that will work to ensure all areas are clean and sanitized. This could be the office manager, or with larger businesses, the risk management team.
Hire professional cleaning services
Getting assistance from a commercial cleaning services firm will keep areas sanitized and the air clean. A team of professional cleaners has strict guidelines and protocols they adhere to, in addition to following federal regulations. They have access to the best supplies and often employ additional cleaning measures that aren’t readily available to the general public. There is a distinct difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. Professional cleaning companies do all three.
Companies that utilize a cleaning company service still have work to do on their end. By training employees on what to do to keep their areas clean and sanitized, the office will stay disinfected. Knowing how germs are transmitted and providing the right information to mitigate risk makes a difference. They should know what products can be used and have knowledge on how to use certain products if they need to.
Have a clear sick policy
One of the quickest ways employees get infected is by having someone sick come into the office. While it used to be customary for someone with a cough or cold to work amongst the other employees, those days are long gone. A study conducted in 2020 by Robert Half indicated that 90% of Americans used to show up for work sick. In today’s work environment, this is completely unacceptable. Instead, employees are already equipped with the ability to work from home if they can.
As an employer, you need complete guidelines on how to proceed if feeling under the weather, signage on hygiene policies such as washing your hands, social distancing, and communication from the management team on how they will reinforce these policies. Employees should also be prepared to indicate whether they were at an event or somewhere public where they may have been exposed and passed the exposure on to employees.
Promote good hygiene
Mitigating the risk of contaminating the office also begins with utilizing good hygiene practices. This includes having adequate soap and paper towels with reminders to wash your hands. Providing hand sanitizer at workstations and around the office, having a supply of antibacterial wipes, keeping community spaces clean, and adequate signage reminding everyone to be proactive in keeping the office safe. Employees should refrain from using someone else’s computer without wiping it down with an antibacterial. This also rings true for pens, sitting at someone’s desk, attempting to use someone else’s utensils, etc.
The breakroom should now be supplied with paper and plastic goods instead of items that must be washed. This cuts down on the likelihood of items not being cleaned properly, and no one will have to touch something someone else used. While this may seem costly, it cuts down on hybrid workplace contamination and indicates to the staff you are concerned about their health and safety.
Prevention at Your Workplace
By implementing these tactics, employees will feel as if they are a priority to the company. Additionally, the spread of any unwanted viruses may be mitigated. Everyone must work together for the plan to be effective, but you can put your best practices to use in avoiding hybrid cross-contamination as much as possible while changing the culture of your workplace.
You can help keep your employees and visitors safe by hiring a company like Pegasus for your advanced cleaning needs. Download our guide to find out more about effective Hybrid Workplace Cleaning practices.