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Office workers taking precautions action as COVID-19 concerns persist

Employees are taking more COVID-19 precautions and changing their workplace habits as concerns begin to mount again.
Thursday, September 2, 2021

As office workers continue returning to their places of employment, concerns over COVID-19 persist, especially as new variants continue to wreak havoc.

Bradley Corp.’s latest Healthy Handwashing Survey found that in response, employees are taking preventive actions.

86 per cent are bringing a mask with them to work and 73 per cent have been fully vaccinated. In addition to masks, office workers are packing a few other personal protection items: 66 per cent have their own hand sanitizer, 39 per cent are taking cleaning wipes, and 29 per cent are coming with disinfectant spray.

The survey also revealed that, compared to the general population, office workers are significantly more conscious about coming in contact with germs and more concerned about contracting the coronavirus.

73 per cent of office workers worry about getting the coronavirus versus 67 per cent of the general population. And, due to the rise in new strains of the virus, 70 per cent of office workers have implemented a more rigorous handwashing regimen versus 59 per cent of the general population.

Changes in work interactions

The ongoing pandemic has also led to changes in the work environment – namely how workers interact with their colleagues.

At the office, 51 per cent avoid shaking hands, 42 per cent sit further away in meetings, and 36 per cent use a video call instead of meeting in person.

RELATED: Fighting germs in the era of shared workspaces

In terms of hand hygiene, approximately two out of three office workers are washing their hands more frequently since returning to the office, with half washing six or more times a day.

“Office workers are returning to the workplace cautiously—particularly now with the prevalence of the Delta variant—and are personally taking steps to avoid germs and the virus,” says Jon Dommisse, vice president of marketing and corporate communication, Bradley Corp. “The coronavirus has notched up the need for cleaner workspaces, limited contact and increased handwashing.”

Concerns boost hand hygiene

With office workers washing their hands more frequently, 62 per cent report their employers have made changes or improvements to workplace restrooms in response to the pandemic, including more frequent cleanings. And, in a sign of today’s pandemic times, 79 per cent of office workers believe touchless restroom fixtures are important.

Case in point, when using their workplace restroom, two-thirds reach for a paper towel to avoid touching restroom door handles, the toilet flusher and faucet handles. Another one-third use their foot to operate the toilet flusher.

Within the workspace, employers have added hand sanitizing stations and encouraged employees to stay home when sick. Those actions haven’t gone unnoticed or unappreciated by employees. 53 per cent of office workers say their employer’s response to the pandemic and implementation of safety measures makes them feel more valued and 35 per cent say it makes them feel more positive about the company they work for.

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