A survey of workers has revealed that three out of four people believe there is a moderate to high risk of germs in UK offices, leaving them feeling unsafe and unwilling to return to the workplace
The study, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Kimberly-Clark Professional showed that there is little confidence during this early stage of trying to get employees back into business premises, offices, and workplaces, according to the FMJ.
75 per cent of UK workers said they do not feel safe returning to their offices, and 86 per cent stated they would avoid a location if they believed it wasn’t COVID-secure, with 80 per cent of consumers also indicated they are now more aware of hygiene practices when outside the home.
Additionally, 78 per cent of employees surveyed as part of a sample of 1,097 adults felt there was a moderate-to-high risk of germs being present in office buildings – with 69 per cent identifying strict social distancing policies enforcement as an important indicator of safety in an office building.
51 per cent indicated they wanted wearing masks to be made mandatory when entering work premises. 70 per cent also cited the provision of hygienic hand washing and toilet facilities as hygiene requirements, confirming cleaning and hygiene-related factors as being of the utmost importance for six out of every seven people surveyed.
Six of the seven most important factors listed were cleaning and hygiene-related. 62 per cent said that seeing cleaning in action was important and 58 per cent wanted cleaning and disinfecting procedures clearly communicated. 89 per cent said that the washroom is a key area where businesses can do more to enhance hygiene and cleanliness.
Three out of four people said they thought the washroom reflected how much the organisation cared about its employees and visitors, and an equal amount of people thought the condition of the washroom reflected the hygiene standards of the rest of the business.
Commenting on the findings, Olena Neznal, Vice President of Kimberly-Clark Professional EMEA, says: “Early experiences out of the home have not met expectations, so more must be done. 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.”
“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.”
The multiple changes in the official guidance from the government in terms of working from home and socialising has created a sense of confusion over the rules, which could be why many people are reticent.
Measures such as the rule of six, whilst not applicable in office environments, are affecting employee confidence. When this rule came into force, many questioned its logic when they were still being actively encouraged to return to work and other public spaces such as shops and restaurants.
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