3 Steps to a Healthy and Safe Workplace

In the new world of work, here’s how facilities managers can rethink their cleaning strategy.

As your organization begins its path to a new normal, your building occupants will become more engaged, and more employees will return to their typical workplaces. Naturally, there will be concerns about how safe and healthy those workplaces will be, even if your organization has not experienced any cases of COVID-19. 

Additionally, for a focused and productive team, managers will want their teams not to be distracted by health concerns.

What can you do to help make your facility healthier, safer and more productive? Neal Duffy, I.C.E., GB, C.P.T, Staples’ senior manager of facility solutions technical training, says that our perception of “clean” needs to evolve from cleaning for appearance to cleaning for health. 

Duffy recommends three ways to clean your workplace for health. 

1. Assess your facility for workplace health and safety. Compare your current state to industry best practices and guidelines to identify gaps that can help improve your facility’s health and safety. Evaluate your workplace’s:

  • Indoor air quality
  • Placement of hand sanitizers and soap dispensers
  • Restroom disinfection and touchless restroom fixtures and dispensers
  • Individual workspace cleaning and disinfection 
  • Breakroom and conference room cleanliness and sanitation
  • Scope of work accomplished by in-house or contracted cleaners
  • Employee information and training on effective cleaning and disinfection
  • Communication on steps to keep everyone heathy and safe

2. Prepare your facility for safe physical distancing where you can. By taking these measures, you’ll reassure employees and customers that your organization is taking steps for their health and safety - even where physical distancing is not a requirement.

  • Set up appropriate signage as prompts for occupants to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer and keep physical distance. 
  • Review current room capacities and create signage to communicate any changes.
  • Use floor tape to display ideal spacing in elevators, lines and other key areas.
  • Consider reconfiguring seating areas, desks and conference room chairs to create more space between employees and customers.
  • Utilize physical barriers where appropriate, such as sneeze guards or temporary plastic sheeting, that protect employees and customers. 

3. Prioritize key opportunities and develop comprehensive implementation and communication plans. Make recommendations to key business leaders, and provide communications in multiple ways, including via email, on your organization’s intranet and in broadcasts before and after employees return to work.

Once you have evaluated your current situation and identified potential improvements, you can begin to transform your facility into a healthier, safer and more productive workplace. 

Duffy says, “Reach out to your partners when you have questions. They can help by sharing resources like checklists and information on effective cleaning and disinfecting techniques.”

For more information, check out our Staples Facility Solutions