September 8, 2020
Significant workplace changes came in from Saturday 1st August across the UK with employers able to request that employees come to the office to work.
Boris Johnson said in his announcement on the changes to people returning to the office, “We are going to give employers more discretion.”
However, firms must ensure that their offices are COVID-secure and the UK Government has released clear guidelines on what that means – including increased frequency of office cleaning.
The guidance published on Gov.uk states that offices should “enhance cleaning for busy areas” and that firms should be “frequently cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly.”
High-touch areas include door and cupboard handles as well as keyboards – and the guidance also states that you must make sure there are adequate disposal arrangements for cleaning products. This is in addition to increased handwashing and clear policies on hygiene and use of washrooms.
Employers are being asked to make their COVID risk assessments publicly available so that staff can see what measures and policies are being put in place in line with this guidance. According to the UK’s largest union UNISON, “Employers are legally required to do everything that they reasonably can to make the work that you do and the place where you work safe – and should consult staff and union safety reps on any proposals before you return to the workplace.”
In addition to a daily office clean, hiring a daytime janitor (or full-time office cleaner) to clean and disinfect surfaces and busy areas – including washrooms – throughout the day will play a key part in maintaining a hygienic and COVID-secure office.
Swift Office Cleaning Services provide full-time and part-time daytime janitors to offices across London – and have done so for almost 40 years.
We provide daytime janitors for London offices for as little as two hours a day – up to full-time cover. Combined with early morning or evening daily office cleaning, we will help you ensure that your office is cleaned regularly throughout the day.
Further to keeping important areas clean throughout the day, a daytime janitor (or full-time cleaner) is able to help you deal with any emergencies or needs that arise during their day.
As well as COVID related tasks, their responsibilities can also include checking and replenishing consumable items such as stationery, soap, toilet paper, tea and coffee; keeping toilets clean and fresh; setting up meeting rooms and front of house support.
Daily office cleaning is not a luxury during this difficult time. It’s important to remember that if employees are unhappy that their employer is not providing a COVID-secure office, they are being encouraged to contact their local authority or Health and Safety Executive, who can force firms to take action.
Since August, 34% of UK white collar workers have returned to work whereas 83% of French office staff have returned, followed by 76% in Italy according to analysis from Morgan Stanley’s research unit AlphaWise.
The benefits and productivity discovered from remote working across the UK may be starting to wane. A study conducted by the London School of Economics with over 500 staff and managers found that positive effects of flexible and home working receded over time – with many returning to previous levels of productivity and behaviours once they no longer viewed home working as a novelty or privilege.
The research also showed that due to poor communication and limited face-to-face interactions employees felt less loyalty to the company, and actually resented their employers for the lack of support and professional development.
In an interview with Atlassian, one data scientist who has returned to the office shares their experience, “I was really enjoying working from home but found the days slowly blending together and becoming indistinguishable from one another. I missed having a space to just focus on work.”
Many London firms have stated that September – when the schools go back – marks the time when they will be requesting their staff to return to the office.
Contact us today if you’re looking to make your London office COVID-secure and increase the frequency of your office cleaning with a reputable office cleaning firm with nearly 40 years experience.
Call 0203 405 8442 or fill out the form on our website to receive your free quotation.