Employees left having to clean their workplaces

New research is ringing alarm bells, revealing that 59 per cent of employees surveyed admitted their organisations have asked them, or their colleagues, to clean areas of their workplace.

The independent survey of 1000 Australian employees, commissioned by commercial cleaning company Cleancorp, also found that 55 per cent of workers were asked by management – or think they will be asked when they get back to work – to take responsibility for sanitising their own workspaces so that it becomes a normal part of their workday, avoiding companies bearing additional cleaning costs.

The study noted that 73 per cent of those in the media and entertainment industry surveyed and 64 per cent in healthcare and retail have been tasked with such responsibilities.

On the other hand, 44 per cent of respondents say their workplace is being cleaned more regularly, while 15 per cent say their workplace is being cleaned more thoroughly, and 20 per cent reveal it is being cleaned more regularly and more thoroughly.

The report also noted that larger organisation clean their workplaces are more regularly, with 54 per cent of respondents in organisations of 501-1000 employees and 51 per cent of respondents in organisations of 51-500 employees say their workplace is being cleaned more regularly. This compares with 44 per cent of those in small organisations (15-50 employees), and 34 per cent micro-businesses (up to 15 employees).

Despite Safe Work Australia advising workplaces clean frequently touched surfaces – such as counters, door handles, light switches, elevator buttons and taps – at least once daily, 34 per cent of respondents have admitted their workplaces are not cleaned that often and 22 per cent say they have not seen any additional cleaning efforts to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection in their workplace.

“It is concerning to see that such a high number of workplaces are asking their own employees to do the cleaning work and that many are not implementing daily cleaning practices,” Lisa Macqueen, Co-Founder and Director at Cleancorp, said. “Given the current climate, cutting corners by using untrained staff and failing to enforce appropriate measures in the workplace can have a devastating impact on your organisation, as it not only opens staff up to the risk of contracting COVID-19 but to injury as well.

“Organisations have a responsibly to keep their staff safe and it is extremely important to hire a professional anti-viral cleaning service to undertake the cleaning of the workplace on a regular basis,” Macqueen added. “If budget constraints hinder your organisation from accessing a daily professional cleaning service, consider flexible work arrangements that allow staff to work from home on the days the workplace goes without a clean.”

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