Offices and COVID-19: What Does Your Business Need from Your Office?

An office team working in a socially distanced format to manage COVID-19 safety in the office

 

In order for businesses to thrive and remain positive during uncertain times, offices require adequate attention to create a safe and hygienic working space for employees. Not all businesses can transition towards more remote working conditions; many require employees to work on premises to keep the business going. This means excellent hygiene, security and safety is needed within the workplace to keep staff proactive, healthy and comfortable at work.

In this blog we share what your business needs from your office, how you can create a safe space for workers and the important roll good hygiene standards play in the prevention of illness. This can be achieved, not only with professional cleaning and disinfecting but also, by encouraging your staff and visitors to take necessary hygiene precautions to help maintain a germ-free space. Building a COVID-19 secure and safe workplace involves education and team effort.

 

Office Hygiene – Scary Truths You May Not Know

Did you know a computer mouse has 3 times more germs than a toilet handle?

Employee wiping her computer keyword with an antibacterial wipe

Did you know a computer mouse has 3 times more germs than a toilet handle and the average computer keyboard contains around 7500 bacteria? That’s not even the scary part, 11% of office workers never clean their keyboard and less than half only sanitise their keyboard less than once a month.

Viruses and flu thrive off office surfaces and can survive for up to 24 hours, or more. With around 10 million bacteria living on your office desk it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why good hygiene in your office space is essential.

 

The Importance of Office Space Hygiene for Businesses

Office space hygiene minimises the risk of bacteria and stops the 80% of common infections that are transmitted within the workplace from spreading. It allows employees to rest easy, and stops your business risking serious setback with staff sick days, less productivity and inevitably less business. Every organisation requires full attention from employees to deliver best results for their clients and, in light of the pandemic, the importance of office hygiene for businesses has never been so apparent.

 

What is a COVID-19 Secure Office?

A COVID-secure office space confirms your office space is following Government guidance and ensuring best hygiene practices to create a safe environment for employees and visitors: An office which takes measures to avoid risks of spreading the virus and implements good hand hygiene habits amongst employees to ensure every surface and work area is kept clean. A secure office space isn’t only dependant on whether your office is germ-free but also relies on staff and visitors sticking to recommended protocol to help stop further spread of illness. Protocols include practicing social distancing, regular handwashing and keeping equipment and surfaces clean.

Read the latest government guidelines to work safely during COVID-19.

 

Safe Practices Towards a COVID-19 Secure Office

What does your business need from your office?

Regular Office Cleans

Employee using antibacterial hand sanitiser while she worksRegular professional cleans are advised for your office space so you can rest assured the job has been done correctly. You should also ensure you’re providing disinfecting products; desk and office wipes and other necessary facilities, to encourage staff and visitors to practice good hygiene and regular sanitation.

Touchless Hygiene Automation

Hygiene stations are an essential part to every office environment and hand sanitiser dispensers should be placed all around your offices to encourage good hand hygiene. By implementing high quality sanitising stations where touch is reduced to a minimum, the risk of cross-contamination is lowered. Touchless dispensers can be the optimal solution to offering hand sanitisation in your office.

Space for Social Distancing in the Office

There are effective ways to go about finding space and avoiding contact within your office space. We have written a blog and laid out social distancing measures your office should take in order to successful maintain health and hygiene standards, helping employees work safely in the workplace.

Space for Separating Desks

Making effective use of space is one of the most important steps that you can take to keep your office safe and operational. Ensuring safe space between desks may limit the amount of people able to work in the office at one time however it’s a great way to adhere to social distancing and keep employees away from any potential cross-contamination. By changing the layout of your office and separating desks accordingly, perhaps in a zig-zag alternating format for example, you can allow staff to work comfortably without their desk being too close in proximity to others. Desk screens can also provide protection for your staff as they create a physical barrier and remind staff to stay within their section and adhere to social distancing.

Space and Limiting Staff in the Office at One Time

In order to maintain social distancing, be wise when considering how many staff should be working in the office at one time. Implement a maximum office capacity rule that allows for safe distancing, work around meetings on zoom wherever possible and consider using outdoor spaces where meetings need to be in person. Perhaps create a A/B rota where your staff can alternate weeks they come into the workspace. In each group have a mixture of key managers and workers to maintain a solid working structure.

Keep Visitors to a Minimum

Keeping the number of office visitors down to a minimum can reduce the risk of spreading the virus and can help keep your staff in-office safe. Taking into account when guests visit and how many staff are working at that specific time can also help reduce risk. It’s best to keep meetings virtual where possible which helps avoid any additional risk of the virus being brought to your office space.

Signage to Reiterate Good Hygiene

An office team working in a socially distanced format

Coronavirus signage and posters around your offices will keep staff and visitors within the premises mindful of good hygiene standards including equipment hygiene, social distancing measures and symptoms checks. They can be displayed alongside hygiene stations and facilities to keep staff and visitors aware.

Air Ventilation for Better Hygiene Standards

Good air ventilation and fresh-air opportunities can decrease the risks of the coronavirus spreading within the workplace. Your office should have an adequate supply of fresh air circulation through the building, for example using open windows or doors. Air conditioning can also help however it’s best to use a fresh air supply as opposed to recirculation.

Did you know almost 40% of office workers spend a maximum of just 15 minutes outside, excluding their commute to work, and an additional 22% spend a maximum of 30 minutes outside. Risk of transmission is reduced outside, and a lack of fresh air and insufficient natural light can be detrimental to employees’ mental and physical health. Why not consider encouraging taking lunch outside, local walks, or even outdoor or walking meetings.

Encourage Safe Travel to Work

Reducing contact during commutes is key to lowering the risk for your staff and of transmission in your office. Staying away from public transport where possible, particularly in congested areas and at busy travel times can reduce exposure risk for your staff. Driving to work is usually the best way to reduce exposure risk, so why not encourage this within your team and accommodate to needs where necessary, for example, invest in more parking spaces around your offices.
Encourage your employees to carry hand sanitiser to maintain good hygiene and to be vigilant wearing facemasks whenever they travel.

Relocating if Your Office Doesn’t Provide a Safe Environment

Do you feel as though your office facility isn’t providing a COVID-19 safe and secure environment? If so, consider relocating to a workspace where you have the space and facilities to operate safely and where hygiene is put first. It’s important to base your business in an office space you can trust and where your employees feel safe to keep business going.

Keep Staff Updated

Keeping staff updated with latest business news during the pandemic is essential to feeling united as a team. We’re all currently facing difficult times therefore solidarity within your team will help build resistance against COVID-19 setbacks. With this you can ensure staff are being encouraged to follow government guidelines, stay safe and work together to thrive throughout the pandemic.

 

COVID Checklist for the Office

Use this office checklist to ensure you are creating a COVID-19 safe and secure space for employees and visitors entering your offices.

COVID Office Hygiene Checklist

COVID-Safe opportunities at Tanshire Park

Tanshire Park have always made hygiene a priority offering spacious offices away from busy environments and with regular professional cleans. We are currently going above and beyond to give our tenants everything they need from an office space in order to cope under coronavirus circumstances, enabling businesses like you adapt to a ‘new normal’.

Our stunning country side surroundings allow for clean air and keep tenants away from busy cities. We are also lucky enough to be located within minutes from accessible transport links enabling employees to travel to and from work safely. Tanshire Park provide you with top-quality office facilities so you can focus on the rest.

If you’d like to build a strong base for your organisation, even through troubling times, why not take a look at our workspace availability and virtually view our A-grade office space solutions. We’ll be here to support you every step of the way.