As the world slowly recovers from the setbacks of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are beginning to see the shift from virtual work back to the physical workplace. This return has occurred, in part, because of a national decrease in cases and increase in vaccinations, yet accompanying this progress are variants of the virus

In response to this concern, it is important to conduct the return to the physical workplace as safely as possible. At Able Services, we have performed extensive research and written articles that delve into specific safety measures. From safety protocols in tenant spaces and hotel operations, to maintenance of machinery, to everyday safety measures for employees, we cover what is most important to companies returning to the physical workplace.

To learn more about what will help you most, read the articles below. 

Working Safe in Tenant Spaces 

Although the light at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic tunnel is in sight, it will still be important for tenants of buildings to abide by the standards established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Able Services engineers and janitorial staff remain committed to safety measures including social distancing, working on staggered schedules, taking temperatures before entering a building, participating in contact tracing and ensuring building operations run smoothly, even when the buildings aren’t fully occupied. 

To learn more about working safely in tenant spaces, read here. 

Hotel Operations Post COVID-19

Although many industries experienced significant setbacks because of COVID-19, few suffered as much as the hotel industry. According to the National Hospitality & Lodging Association (NHLA), travel is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, which greatly impacts this industry. Regardless, the hotel industry is resilient and occupancy is gradually improving. As business increases, hotels have established protocols to keep their employees and guests safe by adjusting housekeeping protocols, deep cleaning, embracing new technology and promoting safety manuals. 

To learn more about hotel operations post COVID-19, read here. 

Priorities for Building Engineering Staff During Low Occupancy Periods

Even in the beginning of the pandemic, when it seemed every building occupied by office workers closed down, facility engineers stayed on duty to ensure that building operations ran smoothly. As employees return to work in increasing numbers, facilities will need to change to accommodate recommended safety measures, which means engineers will also need to tackle unique pandemic-related projects, determine the differences between preventative maintenance and reactive maintenance, and cross-train for continuous development. 

To learn more about priorities for building engineering staff, read here. 

Facility Readiness for Increased Occupancy

As tenants begin to return to their places of work, building and facilities managers have labored to establish best practices beyond the CDC’s basic implementations. Part of this safe transition means making sure facilities are ready to be safely occupied by tenants. To do this, we recommend management:

  • Conduct a survey of fixed assets
  • Review the HVAC system
  • Look for signs of pest control issues
  • Prepare water heating and cooling systems

To read more about testing building facilities for employees’ return to work, read here.

Lessons Learned from Return-to-Work Initiatives 

As companies launched their return-to-work initiatives, we consolidated the lessons we learned from other professionals so that we could improve upon our own initiatives. The three most important lessons we gathered include the following: 

  • Restoring water quality
  • Finding the right HVAC balance 
  • Reestablishing pest control 

To learn more about lessons learned from return-to-work initiatives, read here. 

HVAC System Upgrades

Evidence suggests that COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets in the air, which makes an upgrade to your HVAC system one of the most important steps in the return-to-work initiative. By upgrading your HVAC system, your office space cycles in air from the outside so that the air in the office space never stays stagnant. An upgrade to the HVAC system includes the following:

  • An upgrade to the air filters
  • Installation of UVC systems 
  • Installation of a bipolar ionization system

To learn more about how to upgrade your HVAC system, read here. 

Consideration of UV Light Disinfection

A lot of the responsibility of keeping workplaces safe from the virus will fall on the individual employees returning to work spaces. Wearing masks, using hand sanitizer and social distancing are the most common practices. However, ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection is a resource that is less popular but nevertheless powerful. UV light disinfection is a fast-working technology with a high rate of effectiveness and, unlike many liquid surface disinfectants, UV light has no residue or odor. 

If you choose to use UV as a disinfectant, consider the potential downsides. UV light can cause skin and eye damage with prolonged exposure. The light rays need a direct line of sight to surfaces, which experienced facility service providers must handle. Finally, UV light technology can be costly.

To weigh the pros and cons of UV light disinfection, read here. 

PPE for Disinfecting Offices 

Personal protection equipment (PPE) varies by industry, but because disinfection of workspaces often needs to happen in bathrooms, elevators and break rooms, your janitorial services team needs proper gloves, aprons, coveralls, safety goggles, glasses and face coverings.

To read more about PPE for disinfecting offices, read here. 

Our Focus Is on Your Facility 

At Able Services, we stay up to date on the latest trends to ensure our clients’ building operations run smoothly, so they can focus on their work. As part of our promise to stay knowledgeable in our industry, we conduct extensive research to provide thought leadership to our community. 

To stay up to date or to start working with us in one of the 30 cities where we provide services, request a quote today.

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