How to tackle Omicron in the workplace How to tackle Omicron in the workplace

How to tackle Omicron in the workplace

How to tackle Omicron in the workplace

Although reports currently suggest that Omicron is a milder version of the Covid-19 virus, it is also seen to be more infectious. Because of this, hygiene should still be central in tackling omicron in the workplace. Restrictions regarding office work from home are likely to be a changing requirement over the months ahead. In this way, it is important to have stringent hygiene measures in place to maintain a safe environment in the workplace.

Daily Cleaning

The key to tackle omicron in the workplace is regular surface cleaning. Maintain frequency in minor cleaning tasks to minimise viral transmission. So, which areas should be cleaned daily in order to protect your workforce?

Personal Spaces

Individual working spaces, like desks and IT equipment such as phones and keyboards should be cleaned daily. Especially if hot desking forms part of flexible working practices. Amongst daily clutter and paperwork, kit like a keyboard, mouse and phone headsets harbour on average 30,000 germs. In this way, a clean desk and IT equipment will minimise risk of transmission by touch. 

Communal Spaces

Kitchens and other shared social areas are most at risk of contact and transmission. From microwaves to kettles you can’t sanitise everything every time it’s touched. So this is why you should supply and maintain adequate hand washing and sanitising equipment. Stock replenishment can easily be rolled into your commercial cleaning contract. Maximum occupancy guidelines is also helpful to support social distancing initiatives.

Bathrooms

Washroom cleaning and maintenance is a core task for many commercial cleaning contracts. Set the regularity of your cleaning requirements and make sure you signpost the correct use of the space for employees. 

Focussed Cleaning

We have had nearly two years of tackling Covid-19 in all its different manifestations. So it is clear that cleaning strategy its just as important as cleaning regularity. In this way, you should be extra vigilant in specific areas of an office that may pose higher risk of transmission.  

Touch Points

The most commonly touched surfaces across an office building require additional hygiene attention. For example, reception areas, tables, light switches, appliance handles, toilets and door handles. These points should be sanitised at regular intervals through the day. 

Bacteria Hot Spots

Regular IT specific cleaning helps to minimise the 20,000 or so germs that typically inhabit an office desk. Surface cleans are great, but to get into the crevices of a keyboard or telephone requires rather more precision and focus. 

Communal Spaces

As a prominent viral transmission zone, you should give communal areas extra attention to tackle omicron in the workplace. Reception areas, lobbies, kitchen spaces and meeting rooms are all vital parts of office life. So in addition to hand sanitising stations, the touch points within these areas should be disinfected during the working day.

Deep Cleaning

Scheduled deep cleaning is crucial to tackle omicron in the workplace alongside regular surface cleaning. As this version of the virus is more transmissible, you should consider a periodic deep clean. This is especially important if a member of the workforce has tested positive.

Electrostatic Deep Cleaning

The thought of deep cleaning may feel disruptive to the workplace. However, the process of electrostatic surface cleaning is 50% quicker to undertake than traditional methods. The innovative process of deep cleaning sprays electrostatically charged particles over surfaces and equipment. Positively charged particles adhere to surfaces to coat and sanitise more accurately. Faster application makes this method of deep cleaning far more accessible and require fewer personnel. So it is ideal for a deep clean that does not disrupt workflow in an office.

Environmental Practices

In addition to cleaning schedules and techniques, workplace environment can help to tackle omicron in the workplace. 

Ventilation

It’s important to keep your office ventilated as this is an airborne virus. In winter, you may not want to keep windows open all day. One option is to ventilate the building for a set period. For example, even 10 minutes of air circulation is helpful. If your office uses air conditioning systems, make sure that they are drawing in fresh air rather than recirculating existing air. Alternatively you can consider air filtration units. 

Personal Hygiene

Maintain your existing guidance on regular hand washing. Regularly check and replenish your supplies of hand wash, soap and sanitiser. Ensure nothing is missed by including washroom management in your commercial cleaning contract.  

Cultural Practices

When we tackle omicron in the workplace, we’re doing so from a point of experience. Most people can now move seamlessly through different process requirements as they change depending on the transmission threat. 

Social Distancing

Your office may have moved away from social distancing in the workplace, but it is worth some measures remaining during a period of higher infection. One way routes around busy areas of the office, and occupancy limitations are key cultural practices. Maintain flexible working policies to decrease overall numbers in the office environment.

Attendance Scheduling

Strategically schedule for teams to be present in the office. This makes office visits worthwhile and productive. Regular cleaning is especially relevant for office buildings where there is a change of personnel day by day. 

Meetings

Balance face to face meetings with ongoing video conferencing. Keep sanitising equipment in meeting rooms for when in person meetings happen. Therefore, meetings need not be a high risk environment. 

You want to keep your office working productively, so it’s important to maintain hygiene practices. To discuss how we can support this in your workplace, just contact us.

Rebecca