There’s always been the question of how employers can preserve their offices in a way that leaves them clean and presentable for employees whenever they enter the building for the day. However, looking after an office isn’t something employers should do just to make a good impression.
After all, it would have health implications, too – especially right now, with many people potentially returning to a traditional office setting for the first time since early 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began. So, how can employers take care of their offices without disrupting workers?
Are you about to leave the work-from-home life behind?
Evidence suggests that you could be. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already ended his government’s work-from-home guidance.
Furthermore, Kathryn Evans, partner and head of employment at law firm Trethowans, has explained to the Daily Mail: “Fundamentally, a person’s place of work is governed by their employment contract. If an employee was stationed in the employer’s premises pre-COVID, then it is likely that their employer could require them to return to those premises.”
Nonetheless, Evans has also warned: “Employees are protected by law if they refuse to return to a place of work that they reasonably believe presents a serious and imminent danger to them.” In short, if you are an employer, the onus is on you to make sure that your office is a genuinely safe and healthy place for your workers to be – and keeping it clean can be a key part of this.
Keep it clean, keep your employees keen
A recent study from the Cleaning Coalition of America (CCA), an organisation supporting and celebrating America’s cleaning professionals, revealed that 43% of survey participants remained worried about the prospect of returning to the office, as CNBC reports.
In this survey, COVID infection rates were found to be the biggest deterrent to an office return, with 35.2% of the survey respondents citing them. Of 1,600 US workers, 62% said they now classed cleaning practices in the office as extremely important.
As an employer, you are probably already accustomed to arranging for cleaning professionals to sanitise the office at night, when your own staffers are unlikely to be there. This move would still make sense when you are eager to minimise disruption to these workers.
However, your company might be set to relocate itself soon – perhaps because its existing office doesn’t sufficiently suit its post-pandemic priorities, or you want to reach out to a new market you wouldn’t easily be able to from your current office.
In this case, you could consider moving your workers into an office where daily night-time cleaning is included as part of the package – for example, if you will be relocating your business to part of the UK, a serviced office from BE Offices.
This would have the advantage of also giving you on-site access to daytime cleaners. According to 62% of employees in the CCA survey, they would feel safer even just regularly seeing sanitation professionals at their workplace. Not such an inconvenient presence after all, then!