Uncertainty. That’s the key word when it comes to managing COVID-19 and the complex task of returning employees to the workplace. Resuming “business as usual” means something different for every company – and may never look the same as it has in the past. Most companies have adapted new ways of working over the past year and are now contemplating “what’s next?”
There are so many factors to consider when determining when and how employees will return to offices, factories, and other facilities. Currently, there are more questions than answers: When will restrictions be lifted? How will office spaces be transformed to maintain social distancing? Will there be enough PPE to bring employees back safely? Are employees willing to return to workplaces? And the list goes on.
Peace of Mind in Uncertain Times
Mathematician Claude Shannon said, “Information is the resolution of uncertainty.” As you grapple with when and how to bring employees back into the workplace, it helps to focus on what we do know, rather than the unknown. For instance, OSHA’s Guidance on Returning to Work has provided basic guidelines for employers regarding health screening, social distancing, basic hygiene, workplace training and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting.
As it relates to cleaning, the guidelines state: “Identify high-traffic areas, as well as surfaces or items that are shared or frequently touched, that could become contaminated. Target them for enhanced cleaning and disinfection using EPA registered disinfectants and adherence to CDC guidance for controlling the spread of COVID-19.”
At New Image Building Services, we can help you with that. In fact, we’ve been helping companies reopen safely and stay open – in some cases, we’ve been servicing companies “deemed essential” that have remained open during the past year. We have already experienced a drop in reported sickness (including flu, bronchitis, and the common cold) in these essential workplaces where we’re performing enhanced cleaning services.
In these uncertain times, we provide peace of mind with our comprehensive cleaning services, disinfecting protocols and personal protective equipment (PPE), including:
- Touch point cleaning scopes of work
- Enhanced janitorial scopes of work
- Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) systems to verify bacteria levels on surfaces have been reduced to safe levels
- Remediation services in response to presumptive or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19
- KN95 and surgical masks
- Hand sanitizer and dispensers – While the supply chain of hand sanitizer is severely disrupted, we have a reliable, safe and cost-effective solution. Our hand sanitizer and dispensers are made in the USA and do not require expensive, labor-intensive cartridge replacements, saving you both time and money, with less waste.
- Disinfectant wipes
- Disinfectant in ready-to-use spray bottles
Now is the Time to Plan
Many companies are taking a “wait and see approach” as it relates to bringing employees back into the workplace. According to a recent article in the New York Times, “many companies have not committed to a time and strategy for bringing employees back. The most important variable is how long it will take for most employees to be vaccinated.” But, with vaccination rates rising rapidly and COVID cases decreasing, there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel. This light is a signal to start the planning process.
In a survey of more than 350 CEOs and human resources leaders, 70% said they plan to have employees back in the office by fall of this year. Recently, several major U.S. companies announced plans to bring employees back into the office. For instance, Google announced that it is accelerating plans to get back in the office ahead of the September 1 deadline. Bloomberg employees are expected to return to the office as soon as they are vaccinated.
While fall may seem like a long way off, it takes time to prepare and put protocols in place. In a survey by PWC, executives said it could take up to a month, if not longer, to ramp up once they get the green light to bring employees back into the workplace. The PWC report goes on to state that “The health and safety of the workforce should be management’s top priority as it considers how to bring operations back to some semblance of normal…employees are counting on their companies to help them get back to work safely.” And, of course, once businesses reopen, management faces the challenge of keeping them open. That requires a plan.
Rely on Experience
New Image Building Services has over 33 years of experience cleaning for health and helping companies maintain a safe environment. Our number one goal has and always will be retaining our clients. In fact, we excel at client retention by making continuous improvements, proactive management systems and simply being accountable. That hasn’t changed during the pandemic.
We also know how to outline a plan to bring your employees safely back to work. Whether your offices are empty and covered with a fine layer of dust, or you’ve already brought most of your employees back and require regular visible deep cleaning and disinfecting, to everything scenario in between, we can help you plan the next steps.
Best of all, our solutions are scalable, which means wherever you are in the process, we can adapt our services to meet your needs. Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare your facilities. Not only will it take time to get your workspaces ready, but due to the current labor shortage, our company will need time to plan for appropriate staffing.