News story

Are Offices a Greater Risk than Supermarkets?


2021 data from Public Health England has suggested that offices have had more COVID-19 outbreaks than other workplaces. This data, obtained by the BBC through a Freedom of Information request, showed more than 60 suspected Covid outbreaks in offices were recorded in the first two weeks of the latest lockdown. Whilst the roadmap outlined by Boris Johnson gives potential dates for the opening of non-essential retail, hospitality and other workplaces, the current message for office workers is work from home until it is impossible to do so.

So, will a return to the office be riskier than doing your weekly shop? And what can we learn from offices that have remained open during the pandemic?

Supermarket Vs. Office

The biggest concern for supermarket patrons is the behaviour of other shoppers, especially those who don’t respect social distancing and other safety precautions. Whilst it can be stressful avoiding others, and difficult to know who has touched your purchases before you, it is reasonably easy to avoid the crowds, minimise the length of your exposure and practise good hygiene to avoid contracting the virus. Challenges of an office environment include the length of time you are there, adequate ventilation, shared equipment and communal facilities such as washrooms and kitchens. In short, without adequate preventative measures in place, returning to the office, on the face of it, provides more risk than shopping at the local supermarket.

Lessons learned

The DVLA outbreak highlights a number of concerns that all businesses will need to consider when staff return to the workplace, particularly in offices. But what can you be doing to prepare your premises and give your staff ongoing reassurance?

  • Follow the government advice and HSE guidelines to keep your staff at a safe distance from each other
  • Minimise the risk from shared facilities and equipment by implementing risk assessed cleaning protocols
  • Take advice from the experts! Our Cleaning Contingency Planning Guide for 2021 is free to download and includes lots of helpful hints and tips.

What can Monthind do for you?

Adjusting to the safety measures that enable businesses to re-open and stay open whilst keeping the transmission of the virus at manageable levels is everyone’s responsibility. Monthind Clean can help you deliver a clean, safe, virus-free working environment through our contracted cleaning services, deep cleans or, if required, our biohazard and specialist cleaning services.

To talk to an expert about how to make your premises safe for your employees to return to work, get in touch with us today on 01206 215300.

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