Over the next several weeks and months, as areas stabilize from the pandemic and stay at home order restrictions are lifted, organizations like yours will begin to bring employees back into the physical workplace and open businesses to customers. No doubt about it, our “new normal” will be different, complete with masks, updated cleaning protocols and proactive sanitation and disinfection measures to keep everyone safe while simultaneously slowing the spread of this vicious virus. In the months to come, the government anticipates ebbs and flows with this pandemic, forecasting spikes in cases as the world tries to finally come back together. Once confident employees will feel anxious about leaving the safety net of their homes and will undoubtedly have concerns about what measures are being taken by your business to keep them safe. Ultimately, they are putting their lives in your hands as they go back to work. That’s a scary and profound thought, isn’t it?
We’ve talked to many Human Resource Managers and members of upper level management over the past several weeks who are scrambling to find ways to make their staff feel at ease about coming back to work. While there are many essential steps that need to be taken to prepare your building for their return (and we will cover these in depth in our webinar next week), three points in particular should be at the top of the list from the employee perspective.
1. Create a cleaning plan – Now is the time to take extra measures to clean – and we mean really clean. Pay special attention to any surface employees touch, like light switches and doors, bathrooms, break rooms, water fountains, copy machines, and any system that circulates air. Provide antibacterial gloves for your team, especially if they handle mail or any other supplies that can be shared from person to person. Consider utilizing UVC technology such as the UVC Sterilwand. For less than $700 each, these wands are easily transportable and ideal for use in your office, patient rooms, warehouse, IT rooms, and virtually any other areas that need surface disinfection. UVC lighting is in the news quite a bit these days and is 99.9% effective in destroying COVID-19 without the use of chemicals. If you don’t feel comfortable providing cleaning services yourselves, utilize an environmental cleaning company like ours to come in and provide EPA approved disinfection and sanitation services. You’ll have the peace of mind that you, and your employees need, by doing so.
2. COVID-19 Surface Testing – Hughes Environmental can verify that certain areas of your facility are clean with our specialized COVID-19 hard surface testing. A member of our environmental team can swab high-touch areas around your facility like door knobs, water fountains, breakrooms, elevator areas, or any other area that could be potentially infected with the virus. The testing is available as a complete package, which includes the complete disinfection cleaning processes or via a stand-alone service. This test platform can detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19 or coronavirus) on surfaces based on the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel protocol. Turnaround time for results are 24-48 hours from receipt in the laboratory.
3. Provide Proof – Upon completion of the steps above, let your employees know that you have prepared for their return. If you have utilized Hughes Environmental to perform cleaning, we will provide you with a media kit that includes a certificate, a press release where you can let employees, building patrons and the media alike know that you have taken the steps to prepare for your reopening. You can share your “Sterilized” by Hughes Environmental seal of approval on your website, you email footer, employee or customer newsletters to let everyone know you have taken those extra steps to keep employees safe and healthy.
This is also time to consider what your facility cleaning plan and strategy is moving forward. With more people in your facility, you’re bound to see an uptick in positive cases. Be sure to have a plan in place for how you handle it if any of your employees get sick and make sure decontamination cleaning is at the top of your list. With a solid plan, you can help slow the spread and do your part to keep your business open in the weeks and months to come.
Companies all across the nation are scheduling facility sanitization and disinfection services with us right now in preparation for their employees finally returning to work. Book your cleaning now to make sure you are ready when your governor gives you the green light to open yours.