The impact of COVID-19 continues to reshape office space.  Workplace trends are for agile, hybrid, social offices for use as hubs for collaboration and communication rather than the traditional desk setting.  With so many workspaces fundamentally changing their design, this blog looks at cleaning collaborative spaces and the 3 things you need to know.

Hybrid Working and collaboration – the new office role

Hybrid working allows staff to work flexibility, splitting their time between working remotely and the workplace, and allows them to choose where best to complete their work.

The office still plays a key role for face-to-face meetings and training.  As collaborative hubs, office are places were people gather to solve problems, create solutions and discuss opportunities.  And collaboration plays a crucial role in productivity.  Collaborative energy, getting together to brainstorm ideas on whiteboards, leads to innovation and improvements.

Cleaning collaborative spaces – 3 things you need to know: Visibility, Flexibility and Efficiency

Cleaning is no longer about visible dirt, and it requires a very different approach to provide the levels of assurance that returning staff demand and expect.  To make staff feel confident, keeping collaborative spaces safe and hygienic is vital.  Here are three things you need to know:-

  1. Visibility in office cleaning – daily presence to give confidence

Cleaning is changing post COVID.  Previously schedules were focused on cleaning desks and other fixed locations, and this generally took place out of hours.  Requirements now are for daytime visibility with cleaning staff regularly sanitizing touchpoints and busy communal areas.  Where budgets allow, some workspaces are insisting on a continual daytime cleaning presence to ensure that spaces are always safe and ready for use.  Typical flexible working spaces include:-

  • Collaboration zones
  • Break out, chill out and social areas
  • Formal meeting rooms
  • Informal meeting spaces
  • Work pods incl acoustic pods
  • Team working benches
  • Kitchen and café areas
  1. Flexibility in office cleaning schedules – matching cleaning to office usage

Changing space needs a change in cleaning approach.  Having flexible cleaning schedules which can adapt to office usage is essential.  The new hybrid office interior layout differs from the traditional one in many ways, below are some examples:-

  • Booths and work pods instead of desks.

May require additional time to fully clean and sanitise as this includes the walls, floor, door, desk and seating area

  • More soft seating and upholstery

Upholstery can quickly become stained and dirty and this does not give a welcoming impression.  More frequent cleaning of soft seating is necessary to match the increased usage and maintain a healthy, fresh environment.

  • Storage lockers

In traditional office spaces, even in open plan areas, individuals had their own assigned storage space eg pedestals with cleaning scheduled weekly.  Storage is evolving and shared solutions are now more common. There is a requirement for daily sanitisation of handles, keypads or manual dials to maintain surfaces free from germs and give staff peace of mind.

  • Benches and screens

Informal spaces with benches mean that many people may use the same space so these need to be frequently cleaned in-between use.  Where traditional desk seating remains unchanged, safety is provided with screens or dividers to reduce the risk of any cross infection.

  • Meeting room booking system screens

To ensure touch screens are safe, the cleaning teams will schedule regular wipe downs with sanitizing solutions

Cleaning hybrid workspace

  1. Efficiency with office cleaning materials and equipment – the right products at the right time

Daily cleaning and sanitizing materials need to be effective anti-viral proven to kill coronaviruses and conforming to EN14476. Touchpoint cleaning is the regular sanitisation of frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, entry screens, shared switches and kitchen appliances.

Investing in mobile fogging machines on site will enable quick reactive sanitisations of areas.

Finally ensuring sufficient stock of hand sanitizer, wipes and PPE provides further reassurance for staff.  In addition, ensuring good supplies of soap and regular checks to ensure they don’t run out should be a daily task for office cleaning teams.

TemcoUK Facility Services has experience of cleaning collaborative workspaces

Many of our clients are adapting or refurbishing their workspace to accommodate the new requirements post COVID.  We have a lot of experience of cleaning collaborative spaces, managing the changing cleaning requirements and working in close cooperation with the FM team to understand the individual daily demands and amend our schedules accordingly.

If you would like to discuss your cleaning or are considering a change of provider, please contact Temco today 01895 520370.