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Facilities Management tips on how to improve post covid workplace hygiene without spending more

By Grange Europe | 1 March 2021

The Prime Minister said he believed normal work patterns would resume once the lockdown restrictions are finally lifted in an Article in Daily Mail today.

Following the impact of Covid 19 on facilities, fast action is necessary much of which will come under the FM roles to ensure the effective Infection Prevention and Control policy for each building. It is essential to show at front of house and throughout buildings for staff returning to work as well as customers venturing out after lockdown that safety measures are in place.

Essential is to have a visible policy in place and monitor cleaning

  • Quality, effective hygiene products on display
  • Visibility encourages usage
  • Digitise monitoring of cleaning processes
  • BVP - best value procurement
  • Assured supply chain and price promise
  • Enhanced washroom services for more frequent use

With heightened focus for cleanliness and well being for return to the workplace is essential and onus will be on FM to provide this.

Budgets are tight but the right products in place will not cost more than the wrong ones. Contactless sanitizer dispensers are less than the cost of coffee a WEEK and a monitor will not only save time and increase effectiveness but costs around £1.80 a day including full realtime reporting.

The pandemic learnings can create positive change and give a long term plan on ensuring the health and safety of everyone in the workplace.

As we start the new phase organisations are seeing the value that workplace and facilities management can bring both to new environments and the workplace experiences staff are going to feel comfortable with.

Start with key areas; entryways, restrooms, classrooms, offices and shops

Cleaning and sanitizing stations become part of the furniture and encourage good hygiene practice with staff and customers alike.

Additionally benefits can be derived from branding or advertising opportunities through products but also a solid initial purchase leads to long term cost effectiveness.

In retail, a long term hygiene strategy can encourage customers feeling safe and lingering longer in shops, while in offices it is essential for staff to feel safe returning to work.

New environment as lockdown from April

Whilst lockdown closed many workplaces, and its clear that WFH will mean a slower return, as places prepare to reopen, there is an ongoing requirement to ensure that the Hygiene Policy is in place.

Many empty buildings did not require the same cleaning regularity, most will need a deep clean before reopening but also ongoing stringent cleaning measures in place as staff gradually return, both for the building and health and safety of staff and visitors to each building.

The long term strategy needs to be constantly reviewed as we return to ‘normal’ as a solid Hygiene Policy is developed and built on.

Monitoring Practices can now be automated and carry other benefits

Washroom priorities - data offers savings in all areas of facilities management. The future of washroom management is digital monitoring.

Hygiene360 is an innovation in washroom and cleaning management, providing a self-auditing and compliance system for any business.

It is an ideal real-time monitor that becomes responsive to building user needs.

The Hygiene 360 effectively manages clean team work schedule, reports to management in real time and enables managers to receive constant feedback from end users

The simple user friendly cleaner log area provides detailed feedback in real time.

Dynamic routing and footfall counting allows users to streamline cleaning services to the busiest areas at the right time of day.

Customisable housing, branding options and advertising options means you can make Hygiene360 part of the building or promote the service.

Hygiene360 features save time and money through features such as:

    • Counts down to the next cleaning due time
    • Sets up and generates a shift structure, including breaks
    • Counts footfall to show busiest periods enabling flexibility for resources
    • Real Time Alerts - ensure fast resolve for issues
    • Dynamic route list alerts staff to location requiring attention
    • Customers can leave specific feedback when pressing the options – whether good or bad
    • Communications allow cleaning teams to report issues direct to the maintenance team

    Saving on paper and self auditing all data is in a secure portal accessed by phone for instant updates or enabling complex downloads as required.

    Will opening with an effective and effective hygiene display increase costs?

    No. The benefits both visually, cost wise and in time saving make a cost effective strategy especially over the long term.

    Whilst essential businesses have remained open as we head to April many more will be required to return to the workplace key priority is to get staff and visitors feeling comfortable returning.

    There will be a greater requirement to monitor visitor and staff behaviour including ensuring staff and equipment are kept free of bacteria, a responsibility of both individuals and the regular cleaners.

    Whilst difficult to predict the cost of infection prevention and control policies may increase overheads, this should balance out with potentially smaller numbers attending workplaces and less requirement for space.

    Long Term Measures should ensure cost effectiveness
    BVP - best value procurement - not just most value at the lowest cost, but best quality available for the best price. Also sustainability should be considered from the product point of view as well as from the supply chain which should ensure service level agreements.

    Cleaning stations become visual merchandising

    As we are coming out of the latest stringent lockdown measures we have more time to prepare now than many businesses did back in March 2020.

    Following the initial ‘gold rush’ then shortages for sanitiser and other hygiene products when the first lockdown hit, the market was flooded with various products and dubious cleaning practices by retailers that previously only had to worry about aesthetic cleaning.

    Unlike the US where entry hygiene products such as sanitizers and wipes have been customary for many years, this was rarely seen in UK retailers - with the exception of garages and other places where ‘mess cleaning’ required.

    It is now clear in the UK customers really want to take care of themselves and their families, and it is important to message how this is being done when they enter a retailer premises

    Images branded for illustration purposes only

    The big learnings for the Covid 19 pandemic

    • Germs and viruses can be spread - including using sanitizer that itself may carry infection through packaging - hence contactless and auto dispensers essential
    • Germs needed to be killed and removed - which is why antibacterial wipes have to be part of a hygiene plan.

    According to The Hygiene Company, sanitizer alone isn’t enough to keep you safe. Ideally you should be using hand and surface antibacterial wipes made specifically for your hands or your surfaces to kill and REMOVE all germs that could be lying dormant in any germ-breeding space.

    Whilst Covid-19 has affected businesses across the world, as we move towards the new ‘normal’ it's clear that Infection Prevention and Control measures are in place for the foreseeable future.

    Its essential for retailers to encourage Browsing to increase impromptu sales

    Images branded for illustration purposes only

    Long term cost effectiveness

    The speed at which the pandemic altered the way we shop and the shortage of hygiene products lead to an influx of substandard products and some unhygienic santising offers.

    Showing that you care about your customers and staff is the first step to opening after lockdown, or to reordering for retailers that have been open as essential shops is best achieved by having a clear infection prevention and control strategy in place.

    This also helps building loyalty through trust, goodwill and community is essential for retailers looking at the longer-term game

    Following the massive increase in online sales, it is essential to ensure customers not only feel comfortable entering a store, but that retailers can encourage browsing safely and thus make sales.

    Whilst visual merchandising to entice customers into a retail premises with a view to engaging shoppers and boosting sales has always been part of a marketing strategy - Hygiene Products can enhance this.

    Built for Purpose

    Images branded for illustration purposes only

    As the UK leader in antibacterial wipes, The Hygiene Company pioneered the WipePod Surface Dispenser, which has become a standard hygiene measure in many public spaces. It can be wall or surface mounted but also portable.

    “We have developed antibacterial wipes which are built from strong materials suitable for the purpose. 99.9999% of all germs are killed thanks to the incredible effectiveness and they won’t damage your equipment either” says Bradford, “Whether it’s in the office, or visiting someone else's, prevention of infection and controlling germs is a must these days, which is why we recommend contactless sanitizer and antibacterial wipe dispensers for all offices.”

    Long term policies for In Store Hygiene

    The Hygiene Company have been in the hygiene business for two decades now and understand better than most why hygiene should be an ongoing concern.
    As Britons continue to try and maintain hygiene standards at work, home, in their cars or outdoors, The Hygiene Company is poised to offer dispensers fit for every space and purpose.

    “The way I see it, it’s up to businesses like us to ensure that we maintain the supply and quality of cross contamination products, but the public need to be aware of this to ensure continued use,” concludes Bradford.

    They Hygiene company currently hold stock for all distributors of antibacterial wipes, sanitiser and dispensers all of which can be customised or branded.

    For further information or PR enquiries, please contact:
    Kate Bradford 07957 597128

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