How to Prepare Your Office for a Safe Return to Work

November 25, 2020
prepare your office for a safe return to work for facilities managers

Prior to 2020’s coronavirus pandemic, employers were already seeking to transform their workplaces to become more efficient and to meet the evolving needs of their employees. Due to the high-cost expense of office space, and the reduction of demand for them created by stay at home orders, many businesses are looking at ways to reduce the number of workspaces and allow employees to select a new desk each day — a practice known as hot desking or hoteling (read about the difference here).

Proponents of hot desking boast numerous benefits. But as local governments across numerous nations begin the process of opening back up, businesses are turning focus to the logistics of the situation in which numerous employees could be using the same workspace multiple times per day. One may think that the pandemic prompted the end of hot desking, however, with adequate cleaning measures in place, you can find a solution that protects your employees and keeps your business productive. Read some of our tips for the different components of office life below:

Employees

Helping your employees to feel safe and secure returning to the office will assist with their productivity and help your company preserve efficiency in the midst of change. A few changes may be needed to help keep your employees safe:

Workstations

Now, more than ever, good cleaning habits are essential for the health of your employees. If one is not already in place, you should create a policy of cleaning office spaces before and after every use, prioritizing the use of high-quality cleaning products and disinfectants.

Hygiene stations are additionally a useful tool to encourage consistent cleanliness; this means providing cleaning supplies in high traffic areas and encouraging employees to utilise the free products as they come and go.

Further, if your hot desking workspaces were previously a free-for-all before the pandemic, you may need to set up a hoteling system where employees can book desk space at least one day ahead to allow proper cleaning overnight. You may also need to mark every other station as unavailable to ensure social distancing measures are being followed (for information about your region’s regulations, you can download our free Covid-19Safe Back to Work Guide here).

Cleaning

Because hot desking spaces can be shared by several employees in a single day, it is essential to supply EPA-approved cleaning products for employees to use. As per the CDC’s guidance, cleaning surfaces in common areas and high-touch surfaces should be done routinely (such as tables, doorknobs and light switches); this is one of the most essential ways to keep your employees safe.

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