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Returning to work: Hygiene must be top of the business agenda according to research

A recent survey about how Covid-19 has affected perceptions of cleanliness and hygiene in the workplace shows that confidence is low in these early stages of businesses getting back to work.

The survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Kimberly-Clark Professional showed that three out of four people in the UK do not feel safe going back to the workplace, while 86 per cent said they would avoid a location if they didn’t think it was Covid secure.

“Early experiences out of the home have not met expectations, so more must be done,” said Olena Neznal, Vice President, Kimberly-Clark Professional EMEA. “Fear and uncertainty have put businesses under pressure to balance the responsibilities of keeping everyone safe and staying up to date with protocols whilst getting businesses back on track.”

As a leader in workplace hygiene, Kimberly-Clark Professional is keen to fully understand the concerns and issues around returning to work. The company commissioned Harris Interactive to discover how people really felt about returning to work and discovered that 80 per cent of consumers are now more aware of hygiene practices when outside the home.

“Only businesses which win the confidence of their employees and customers will thrive, and from this research it is clear that hygiene is now top of the business agenda,” adds Neznal.

According to the research, three out of four people (78 per cent) feel there is a moderate to high risk of germs in an office building and when asked what are the most important factors they use to gauge the safety in an office building: 69 per cent want strict social distancing policies enforcement; 51 per cent of people want masks to be a requirement when entering the office; and 70 per cent cited the provision of hygienic hand washing and toilet facilities. Interestingly, six out of seven of the most important factors listed were cleaning and hygiene related, with 62 per cent saying that seeing cleaning in action was important; and 58 per cent wanting cleaning and disinfecting procedures communicated clearly.

“Businesses are clearly not doing enough, and people are still scared, so these findings are crucial in guiding our ability to ensure we offer the best advice and solutions,” said Neznal. “There are no shortcuts to workplace hygiene – we need to cover every angle.”

When asked ‘what are the most important areas to improve hygiene in an office building’, 89 per cent said the washroom is a key area where businesses can do more. Three in four thought the condition of the washroom was a reflection of how much the establishment cares about its customers/visitors, while equally 75 per cent thought the condition of the washroom is a reflection of the hygiene standards for the rest of the establishment.

360˚ Hygiene & Protection programme

To help businesses get back on their feet and restore employee confidence that premises are safe, Kimberley-Clark Professional has introduced the 360˚ programme which identifies the need areas, through assessing a building’s level of preparedness and identifying germ hotspots. Hotspots are objects such as door handles, sink fixtures, lift buttons, tables, and stair rails that are touched by many throughout the day and need frequent cleaning and disinfection to help break the chain in germ transmission.

The next step is implementing cleaning and disinfecting protocols and introducing the correct hand hygiene and surface wiping solutions. Finally, Kimberly-Clark Professional promotes hygienic workplace practices by providing communication tools to help create awareness, which is a vital and important part of making people feel safe.

Kimberly-Clark Professional is offering a free virtual hygiene walk – bookable through its microsite https://home.kcprofessional.com/UK_PR_TTNS_0920 which can review a facility and provide expert guidance on cleaning and hygiene protocols, and the right product solutions to tackle key hygiene hotspots.

 

About Sarah OBeirne

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