Elon Musk recently made headlines by insisting Tesla workers return to the office or find someplace else to work. He’s hardly alone in wanting the workplace back to pre-pandemic norms. More than three quarters of CEOs surveyed by the Cleaning Coalition of America, a commercial cleaning industry trade group, stated that they’d prefer to have workers back in the office. There’s a wide spread belief that in-person work results in more, better work being done – but employees have to be on board with the idea of being in the same place as their colleagues and customers.
COVID is Serious & Employees Have Concerns
While employees are generally highly motivated to remain employed, COVID presents a real concern. This is especially true for those workers who have other health concerns, or who have family members who have other health concerns. While individuals may be continuing to wear masks and observe other prevention protocols, they’re also highly aware of the risk of contagion via factors beyond their control.
89.9% of all employees surveyed in the Cleaning Coalition research stated that office cleaning protocols were highly important to them. While surface transmission of COVID remains relatively rare, the fact is many other infectious diseases, including rhinovirus, norovirus, and the flu, can be spread when a sick person touches a surface which is subsequently touched by someone else.
This is why most surveyed CEOS stated they believe that generally stricter cleaning protocols will improve employee confidence in returning to the workplace. In fact, 20% of CEOs stated that an increased understanding of the value of facility cleanliness is one of the main things they learned from the pandemic.
If your team is having difficulties transitioning back into the office, it’s worth examining your current office cleaning practice & how it might be adjusted to create a greater sense of security among your employees. For example, nearly two thirds of surveyed workers report feeling better simply by seeing the office cleaning crew at work. Something as simple as adjusting the cleaning schedule can positively impact employee retention.