Numerous reports predict that employees will go back to offices in larger numbers between early summer and September of 2021.1 Although more people than ever before will likely work from home, nearly 75% of people surveyed still want the ability to go to an office.2 For companies, now is a great time to invest in and prepare for the future office experience. Tork is here to help your office be safe, healthy and hygienic now and when employees return in larger numbers.
The outlook for offices
While more people will be working from home, there is a future for offices. The following are highlights of what to expect.
- Office demand: A shift toward Class A offices and away from Class B and C.
- Smaller footprints: Reduced footprints which allow for quality upgrades and better amenities.
- Collaboration: Most solo work will take place off-site while offices will be the place for more collaborative work.
- Investments: Greater investments in digital technology, efficiency improvements and tenant experience.
Raising the bar on office hygiene
The definitions of “health” and “safety” in the workplace are different than they were 10 months ago. The traditional goals of minimizing physical hazards like slips and broken fingers have expanded to include goals such as neutralizing invisible threats like airborne pathogens. The bar for office employee expectations has been raised for delivering healthy, safe environments. One survey shows that 77% agree or strongly agree that they feel more unsafe using facilities with unhygienic washrooms due to COVID-19.3
Other research also shows that office hygiene is more important than ever:
- 89% of facility managers think cleaning and hygiene are more important since the COVID-19 outbreak.4
- 86% expect public washrooms to provide a safe hygiene environment to a higher extent now than before COVID-19.5
- 71% of employees expect their employer to provide extra cleaning rounds to ensure hygiene.6
Hygiene product usage increasing
The number of people working in offices has started ramping up, and people are using more hygiene products than they did two years ago. Data from Tork EasyCube®7 shows people used more hand hygiene products between April 2020-March 2021 compared to the previous year same time period:
- 86% increase in use of skincare products
- 31% increase in use of hand towels
- Approximately 1 in 4 people are visiting washrooms only for hand washing or hand sanitizing
Top priorities for facility managers
Essity survey data shows that consistent cleaning quality has risen to become one of the top two priorities for facility managers (the other being budget management). Accomplishing this includes ensuring that cleaning quality standards are upheld along with sourcing reputable suppliers and cleaning contractors. But these aren’t easy tasks. Facility managers spend nearly 25% of their time overseeing cleaning quality and cleaning contractors.
The challenge for facility managers also includes maintaining a focus on environmentally friendly and sustainable products. This even extends to achieving sustainability targets, such as LEED8 or the WELL Health-Safety Seal.
Meanwhile, facility managers must continue to ensure that all resources are optimized and operating efficiently—a never-ending challenge directly related to their budget and cost management.
Tork, you and the new hygiene standard
It’s time to get ready for the return of employees to offices and support the new hygiene standard. Tork can help you secure that new standard throughout your facility – reception, office areas, conference rooms, restrooms, and breakrooms. Our products, services, tools and support are here to help. Learn more about the Tork Office Hygiene Package at torkusa.com/office-hygiene.
1 CNBC.com: Covid vaccines: Fauci says virus could be under control in ‘back half of 2021’; The New York Times: July is the New January: More Companies Delay Return to the Office; The Wall StreetJournal: Covid-19 Vaccine Outlook Prompts Businesses to Dust Off Return-to-Office Plans
2 JLL: It’s official: Remote working is here to stay
3 Forbes: Back to Work: Designing Office Space to Help You Stay Healthy
4 Bringing the Office Customer to Life, a quantitative study done in 2020 for Essity
5 PR Newswire: People Feel Unsafe Using Public Restrooms with Air Dryers, New Study Finds
6 2020 research conducted by Kantar commissioned by Essity
7 Based on Tork EasyCube consumption per visitor data, taking into account active customers with data between 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2021. Measured by # bundles (connected dispensers) against # visitors (people counters), with 80% commercial segment customers.
8 Green Building Education Services: LEED Certification & Accreditation 101