10 Questions You Need To Ask Before Returning To Work

It seems that as each week passes, across the state, coronavirus restrictions are being lifted and government websites are bursting with guidelines and recommendations to prepare businesses for a return to work.  Facilities Managers are scrambling to find a clear way to implement these guidelines and to navigate the balance between government recommendations, personal sentiment, pressure from business owners and business operations.

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As businesses start to return to work, commercial cleaning businesses may find that they are bombarded with ever-changing and sometimes conflicting requests from supervisors and building managers.

We have compiled a list of 10 questions you need to ask your clients so that you can implement a thorough cleaning plan and also protect your cleaning teams.

What is the risk appetite of the business?

This may seem a strange question, however, some businesses will want to follow guidelines to the letter, others may be more relaxed and others may be more conservative depending on the type of business you are cleaning for.  Asking this question first will underpin the tone for the entire back to work cleaning plan.

Have your clients carried out a back to work survey for employees?

If they have, ask to see the results or a snapshot so that you can ascertain areas of concern for staff so that you can work to alleviate those concerns. If they don’t have a survey, encourage them to do so to understand employee sentiment.

What is your client’s communication plan?

Do they have coronavirus posters promoting good hygiene practices in the building? It’s important that all employees take personal accountability for health and hygiene. Not just for the protection of employees, but for your cleaning teams.

Do your clients understand that green cleaning may not be anti-viral?

Become the expert in cleaning and hygiene champion for your client. Educate them on the difference between cleaning chemicals and recommend any changes.

Offer to take care of sanitisation stations and PPE

Add value to your business and theirs by offering to re-stock sanitising stations and purchasing hand size sanitiser and other PPE for staff. One less job for your client to worry about and a few extra billable hours.

Are your clients operating with staggered starts and rotational groups?

If your clients are moving away from the normal day to day and trialling staggered start times to avoid peak travel, or operating an A/B team scenario, it’s important deep cleans are carried out after each staff change.

Are temperature checks in place?

Ask your client what their policy is on entering the building. Are temperature checks in place and disclaimers about health and travel signed by employees, visitors and contractors? You have a duty of care to your teams to ensure they are heading into a safe building to clean.

What reporting would clients like to see?

Cleaning schedules are likely to be more frequent, and with extra procedures in place, there can be a lot of information to capture.  Set the expectation with your client about what they would like recorded and reported. Ask them how they would like incidents or observations recorded.

Would your clients like to see a different uniform?

One of the biggest pieces of advice for businesses returning to work is to make the entire building look and feel different. Why? Because the working day will be different for the foreseeable future. If you have a cleaner assigned to meeting rooms, they may want to wear a more visible uniform or vest. Coloured uniforms are also a great way to identify different teams.

What is your clients plan if they were to get a confirmed case of coronavirus?

If a confirmed case happens in the workplace will you know what to do? Your cleaning teams will need to work at short notice and be very clear on how to proceed. Agree to this plan with your client so you are ready to clean the moment you receive a phone call.

There you have it. Ten really helpful questions to help you and your client before returning to work.



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