Back to the Office: Empower Employees to Help Fight Germs

The executive memo just hit your inbox: Your organization will bring workers back in 30 days. As head of facilities you need to prepare. Your team and contract cleaning partner are ready – but how can you empower employees to help fight germs?

That’s a worthwhile question you should answer sooner than later. The reason: Cleaners can’t be everywhere at all times. Yes, they’re prepared, trained and efficient. But with more people in the facility, germs will spread faster and farther.

One easy place to start is with the three S’s – Signage. Supplies. Sanitizer.

Signage Beyond Social Distancing

We’ve all stood on a million floor stickers reminding us to stay six feet away from others. But with more employees in the building, you need to habituate and constantly remind them to take additional steps.

Place signage throughout breakrooms, restrooms and other common spaces reminding people to wash their hands (try a sticker on a restroom mirror), disinfect the microwave handle after use (a small window cling will do the trick), and to wipe down conference room tables after use.

It may sound simple but it works. Numerous behavioral science studies show the impact of signs and messages to “train” people to take the action you want them to. This approach likely will have a much quicker, deeper impact than dozens of emails that land in crowded inboxes.

Supplies to Fight COVID-19

It’s not only your team or contract cleaning service that needs access to cleaning and disinfecting supplies.

Make sure you place canisters of disinfectant wipes in common areas. Make it easy for employees to quickly wipe down a surface. If wipes aren’t your style, provide sprays and microfiber cloths for quick surface disinfection. If you use a spray, make sure employees understand how to safely apply them. Check out “3 Steps to Disinfection Perfection”, for a simple way to teach proper technique.

Stock up on other items such as hand soaps and paper towels. Everyone is washing more frequently and you’re going to see supplies go much faster than in previous years. Our day cleaners constantly police restrooms and have already seen a dramatic increase in usage, even in offices where fewer people are working daily.

For a full range of products, check out Our distribution arm provides a full range of products and equipment from the best manufacturers. And, we only sell what our professional cleaners trust on the job – meaning you get products proven to work.

Sanitizer Remains Essential

We know, this one may be even more obvious. But employees will expect easy access to hand sanitizer no matter where they are in the building.

Make sure you increase the presence of hands-free dispensers and have adequate inventory on hand to keep them stocked. People are going to use these dispensers – a lot. And that’s OK. It reduces germs and improves your facility’s perception of cleanliness. If your budget allows, consider providing small bottles for individual work stations.

You can browse some of our team’s favorite dispensers and sanitizers, here.

About the Back to the Office series: Our experts have helped dozens of Wisconsin businesses stay open safely with cohesive cleaning and disinfecting programs. We’re sharing practical information you can implement as you start to bring workers back to the office.

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