Is your workplace prepared for cold and flu season?

Antiviral and antimicrobial office products could help us stay safer this Winter

What does clean mean to you? Pre-Covid, we may have had a very different viewpoint to what we have now.

Our expectations when it comes to hygiene have changed considerably over the last 18+ months

Covid is looking like it’s here to stay, as is a new attitude towards hygiene and cleanliness. The concept of what’s ‘clean’ has completely changed; we now have considerably higher expectations with regards to hygiene, particularly in shared spaces.  

The new normal?

With more people returning to the physical workplace, we’re seeing behaviours and actions embraced as normal that would have seemed bizarre over 18 months ago.

Staggered arrival and departure times, regular sanitising of hands, increased cleaning schedules, time slots to use the kitchen areas and empty staff rooms are all standard fare in 2021.

More organisations are using Antimicrobial protection on commonly used doors to help prevent the spread of germs

Some companies have also embraced additional measures to reduce the chance of spreading infections and bacteria, such as antimicrobial office products.

All of these are extremely valuable, given the next health issue to affect work forces and schools this winter is likely to be the common cold, coughs and viral infections.

Is this cold and flu season likely to be worse than normal?

We’re already seeing a rise in the number of coughs, colds and viral infections in the UK, higher than normal for this time of year.

The easing of coronavirus restrictions mean that we are mixing in a way we haven’t done for the last 18+ months or so, which means viruses are mixing too. Lockdowns stopped the common cold and flu from spreading; now that we’ve opened up again, they have more free reign.

There’s also a concern that flu and colds will circulate in higher numbers, particularly as there wasn’t much around last year – and then there’s COVID to add into the mix.

BBC News recently reported that the ‘worst cold ever’ was doing the rounds and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down a number of weeks on.

This so called ‘super cold’ is taking people by surprise and keeping many off work; and a particularly virulent ‘Fresher’s Flu’ is doing the same to students.

All of which is a concern for employers and businesses everywhere, many of whom are already having to cope with a reduced workforce – particularly in the hospitality, food and distribution sectors.

So what can be done to reduce the risk?

Regular sanitisation and keeping interaction between people at a minimum are key ways to minimise the spread of germs and bacteria.

But keeping people apart isn’t always possible, particularly in schools and education settings.

Verantimicrobial protection provides protection between cleans and stops germs spreading 24/7

Antimicrobial protection like Door Push Pads and Basket Handles in supermarkets became a common sight during the COVID peak, but they’ve actually been around for many years.

Pre-COVID, antimicrobial protection was used mainly in healthcare settings to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria. Now, antimicrobial properties are being used in a range of items, from pens and paper to aircraft tray tables.

How antimicrobial products can help in the workplace

Antiviral door push pads give added confidence in high traffic areas like washrooms and toilets

Veraco antimicrobial products have been designed to prevent germs and bacteria spreading though high traffic areas, where lots of people are touching common surfaces.  

Think door handles, toilet doors and lift buttons as obvious places to start, but Veraco also does antimicrobial protective sheets for iPad and tablet screens.

The key benefits of Veraco antimicrobial protection are:

  • They reduce the risk of transmitting germs and viruses throughout the workplace, keeping people safer and reducing staff absences
  • They give you the potential to reduce your cleaning schedules across the day as they work 24/7
  • They give a strong visual message to your staff, visitors and customers; showing your ongoing commitment to hygiene and their ultimate wellbeing.

We have all had to adapt the way we live and work over the last 18 months and it’s unlikely that we’ll return to the way we were pre-Covid any time soon, if ever.

There are many behaviours we’ve had to adopt through COVID that we’ll be happy to see the back of, but antimicrobial office products are most likely here to stay.