Hygiene and cleanliness have always been a vital factor in the business world – they’ve just been in the spotlight for the past few months more than ever due to the ongoing pandemic. However, you should keep in mind that the following recommendations are actually very helpful for companies even after this health crisis is over. They are valuable for reducing the contagiousness of any viral or bacterial disease and crucial for keeping your workplace a safe and healthy one for all employees, as well as visitors.
While the visual appeal of your office space is certainly important for making a powerful first impression, it’s those extra steps you take that will truly help someone remember your brand. As for the current state of things in the world, if you’ve been allowed to go back to the office instead of working from home exclusively, you need to make sure that you’re doing your best to reduce hygiene risks across the board.
Reducing and even eliminating these risks will keep your employees productive, reduce the levels of stress they feel when they go back to work, and of course, grow your reputation as that of a business that takes precautions seriously.
Create unique hygiene policies
Before you even notify your staff that they can come back to the office, you need to create a set of hygiene policies that all of your employees will need to abide by. Following your government’s guidelines and recommendations, build a step-by-step guide for your employees, send it out to them via email or share it via the cloud for their review.
Managing expectations from the very beginning are crucial. Plus, you will make sure they know what their responsibilities are, what they can do to stay safe, and how they can contribute to your business-wide hygiene protocols.
Introduce contactless tech
Tracking attendance in your workplace can be difficult on your hygiene policies if your employees are required to sign in manually every time, and you increase their risk of exposure to viral infections. To eliminate this particular risk, you should use touch-free time and attendance systems to help your employees sign in and sign out with the help of facial recognition technology and geo-fencing.
Contactless attendance tracking is perfect for small and large companies alike, and it allows you to automate the entire process, alleviating some of the greatest hygiene risks at the office. Such a tech-based approach increases your safety and security in one go.
Keep your surfaces as clean as possible
As much as you can reduce contact through touch-free devices and technology, certain equipment and surfaces will still need regular cleaning. Your employees will use their computers, phones, but they’ll also touch door handles, chairs, and desk surfaces to do their work seamlessly.
You should make sure that you have dedicated cleaning stations with wet wipes and sanitary products that are appropriate for all of these different surfaces. You can even empower your employees to regularly clean their phones, keyboards, and other tools they use and touch dozens of times every day.
Elevate bathroom and kitchen hygiene
So far, most companies have already had very thorough cleaning schedules for each of their offices and individual rooms. Now, you need to take your cleaning plan up a notch or two for specific spaces where people are most at risk to spread or contract the virus. This, of course, refers to your office kitchen and dining area, and your bathroom.
First of all, make sure that your cleaning staff comes at least once in the morning and once in the evening to thoroughly clean your entire office with hospital-grade disinfectants. Remind employees to wash their plates, utensils, and mugs regularly, and to use sanitizing products whenever using the kitchen or the bathroom.
Hand sanitizers at every turn
Sometimes, we cannot help but touch our face, despite being fully aware of the risks. You cannot expect anyone, yourself included, to go about the office policing people to not touch their face, that is for certain. What you can do, however, is provide ample hand sanitizer for all departments and desks. By putting hand sanitizers in plain sight and reminding people of your new hygiene policy, you will reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
Make sure your meetings are hygiene-friendly
In addition to online meetings, video calls, and digital communications in general, you’ll also use your workspace to go back to those weekly meetings in person. Why bother coming back to the office if you eliminate all interactions? However, hygiene and limitations should be applied when you’re organizing your meetings, so that everyone keeps their distance and uses proper sanitation products.
Instead of one, large-scale meeting, you can divide your meetings to be department-based to have fewer people in the room and respect social distancing measures.
Send out regular, but polite reminders
We can all agree that there’s enough stress in the world as it is. There’s no need to add to the existing tension in the workplace and make your employees even jumpier than they’d be due to the circumstances. It’s vital to keep a positive outlook on things and provide ample support to your staff.
One helpful way to guide them during these trying times without being overly imposing is to send out weekly or bi-weekly email reminders to your employees. Sum up the most important hygiene precautions they should take, such as using their contactless roster sheets, video calls, practicing social distancing, and of course, using company-provided sanitizer. A gentle reminder can go a long way in helping keep the morale up and everyone safe.
Your workplace hygiene is a reflection of your brand’s attitude towards your employees, your customers, as well as your own standing in the community. Today, when people feel overwhelmed with stress and health troubles, your office needs to be a role model of hygiene and prevention, and your brand an example of following the recommended guidelines, in the best interest of your staff. Such simple, cost-effective changes in your daily routines can make all the difference in the world to protect your business reputation and keep your staff engaged and healthy.