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The Impact of Return to Work Policies on Facility Maintenance and Sanitation Teams

A recent study from Resume Builder indicates that by the end of 2024, 90% of companies are expected to have return to work policies in place. These policies are not just about transitioning employees back to the office; they encompass a range of challenges and considerations, particularly for those responsible for ensuring that workplaces remain clean, safe, and operational.

Where to Access Information on Developing Safe Return to Work Policies

As you’re developing a safe RTO policy, the best resources for creating guidelines are the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The pandemic has redefined what “clean” means in the context of the workplace, and these changes are set to become the new norm. This blog post delves into the implications of return to work policies for facility maintenance and sanitation teams, focusing on areas such as enhanced sanitation protocols, redesigned facility layouts, personal protective equipment (PPE) management, and employee communication.

The Influence of Return to Work Policies on Facility Maintenance and Sanitation Teams

As companies formulate their return to work strategies post-pandemic, much of the focus has been on talent acquisition and recruitment. However, the critical role of facility maintenance and sanitation teams should not be overlooked, as they are integral to a successful transition.

Consider these four key areas when implementing return to work policies that will affect your facility maintenance and sanitation teams:

Enhanced Sanitation Protocols

With the return to work policies in place, sanitation is more crucial than ever. Facility maintenance and sanitation teams are tasked with:

  • Increasing Cleaning Frequencies: Surfaces that are touched frequently, communal areas, and restrooms now need cleaning more often to mitigate virus spread.
  • Investing in Specialized Equipment: Teams might need advanced cleaning tools like electrostatic sprayers or UV-C light devices for effective sanitation.
  • Adhering to Health Guidelines: It’s vital for sanitation practices to be in line with the latest health recommendations.

Adjusted Facility Layouts

Return to work policies may necessitate changes in office design to support employee safety, which includes:

  • Reducing Seating Density: Workspaces may need reconfiguration to ensure proper distancing.
  • Installing Protective Barriers: Partitions may be required in areas with high foot traffic.
  • Upgrading HVAC Systems: Enhanced ventilation systems could be important for better air quality.

PPE and Supply Management

Ensuring that employees have access to PPE falls to the facility maintenance teams, which involves:

  • Stocking PPE: Keeping a reliable supply of masks, gloves, and sanitizers.
  • Educating on PPE Use: Teaching proper use and disposal of PPE is also part of their role.
  • Managing Waste: Sanitation teams must handle the disposal of used PPE effectively.

Employee Communication and Collaboration

Clear communication with facility maintenance and sanitation teams is crucial. They need to:

  • Coordinate Cleaning Schedules: Cleaning times should be planned around office hours to reduce disruption.
  • Encourage Reporting: Employees should report any sanitation issues immediately.
  • Educate on Cleanliness: Guidance on maintaining personal and communal cleanliness is essential.

Return to work policies significantly influence the strategies for talent acquisition and recruitment, but the role of facility maintenance and sanitation teams is just as critical in ensuring a safe and welcoming work environment. Their diligent efforts are key to the well-being of employees and the overall satisfaction within the workplace. Returning to work is more than just reopening office doors; it’s about doing so with a commitment to safety, responsibility, and the utmost care, with facility maintenance and sanitation teams playing a pivotal role in this endeavor.