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Adapting to the new “normal” in office environments

Adapting to the new normal in office environmentsAs lockdown restrictions begin to ease and offices and commercial premises start to open their doors to their employees once again, we look at the safety procedures in offices, and the cleaning regimes businesses now need to put in place to help keep everyone safe. 

As an office cleaning company in York, the team at Clear Choice has seen multiple changes in the way businesses approach their operations. 

From increasing cleaning schedules and introducing one-way systems to enforcing clear desk policies, no sharing of equipment, and more! 

With various guidelines, rules, and regulations in abundance, this post looks at the new “normal” and how each business can use the combinations of the relevant information to suit their individual requirements. 

Today’s office environments 

There is no longer a standard 9-5!  With staggered start and finish times now actively encouraged to help avoid congestion, some businesses even operate a rota system for staff, i.e., one week in the office, one-week work from home.  You will also find staggered break times to accompany this. 

Inside you will find fewer workstations.  This is to help keep within social distancing guidelines.  Alternatively, if space is limited, workstations will be repositioned, so no longer can you sit opposite your favourite work colleague but instead side by side or back to back.  

This then leads on to no hot desking.  Yes, this is still a relatively new concept for some businesses, but now all companies must stop – employees are to remain at their own desk. 

There will be stricter communal kitchen rules, i.e., no sharing utensils, equipment should be cleaned after every use, and in some cases, only one person will be allowed in the communal kitchen at a time. 

Gone are the times when we’re told to share our things – everyone must now have their own stationery, computers, keyboards, telephones, etc., and not share with others – Penny, step away from that pen, it doesn’t belong to you! 

Don’t shake hands; germs can spread very quickly from one person to another this way – maybe a polite nod instead? 

Hand sanitiser should be freely available and located at various points around the office. 

It’s recommended that businesses keep meetings virtual if possible, as depending on the size of your meeting room, you could be very restricted on numbers.  Meeting rooms will also need to be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly before and after use. 

External visitors should be limited to only when absolutely necessary. For those companies who do have visitors coming or even for staff and their peace of mind, track and trace systems are put in place along with temperature controls. 

Cleaning has also increased throughout office environments, with particular attention paid to important touchpoints and communal areas. 

COVID19 has certainly changed the way we work, our safety procedures, and our overall office environment. 

However, there is now a much higher recognition that people can work from home from time to time and still get the job done! 

Flexible working for all 

Ok, so flexible working doesn’t suit, nor indeed work for everyone, but what businesses are finding is that it’s not as scary as they once thought. 

As we look at new ways and models of reopening, remote working is one of the biggest considerations. 

Helping to calm anxious staff who are still concerned about returning to an office environment, and a strategy that lets managers control the volume of people within the office at any one time – all without operations being affected – flexible working can offer the ultimate win, win. 

Flexible and remote working has also proven to increase an employee’s productivity and increase mental health and well-being, offering an essential work-life balance that more and more people are striving for. 

Remote working has also provided companies with the freedom to rethink their office space and if they really need the expense, with businesses now taking the opportunity to look at smaller, more flexible offices. 

Exploring additional hygiene measures 

This is where your professional cleaning company can help. 

When it comes to cleaning, it is essential that this is not only carried out but that it is increased throughout workplaces to help keep everyone safe.  Cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces and high touch point areas and ensuring communal areas are cleaned after every use. 

Risk assessments should be carried out with your cleaning team to identify potential risk areas and strategies to mitigate these. 

If you’re looking for office cleaning in York, look no further than the cleaning professionals at Clear Choice. 

Call us today on 01132 711432 to discuss your workplace needs. 

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