Despite the hope that that the end of restrictions is in sight, it appears that because of lax social distancing, overcrowding, and fear of infection from germs, over 50% of workers in Britain would happily not return to the office – ever.
A recent study of 1000 employees who are currently working from home also suggests that over 65% would also feel uncomfortable about going full time back to the workplace.
Their main concerns are not enough space for themselves, the unsatisfactory cleaning routines of other employees and inadequate cleaning in communal areas.
In fact, when asked, around 45% thought that their office was not kept satisfactorily clean before the pandemic.
The simple, straightforward use of restrooms, coffee runs, staffrooms, and hot-desking in the pre-covid era appear to have become sources of concern for many, which means that cleaning takes on a high priority when it comes to returning workers’ peace of mind in an attempt to ameliorate their anxiety so that it does not get to the level where it inhibits their productivity.
Of course, individuals are able to make their own decisions regarding hand sanitiser, masks and cleaning of the desk they are using. But, areas not under the control of employees such as socially distanced desks, screens, frequent deep cleans, plentiful and easily accessed sanitiser pumps, antibacterial wipes and daily cleaning for communal areas, are also important to them – and these are likely to be things they hope their employers would provide.
In addition, the idea of staggered starts and finishes, lift number limits and open windows for air circulation were considered to be reassuring.
The key, it seems, is clear communication of procedures – the why and the how, clean workplaces, flexibility of both location and time for staff, and maintenance of social distancing.