Avoid Hot-desking during the Pandemic

What is hot-desking

Hot desking is the use of non-allocated workstations. These workspaces can be used by any employee, from any department or level, on any given day. Many businesses have chosen to ban hot-desking during these times, to ensure the potential for infection is reduced. Our recommendation would be to avoid hot-desking where possible. If this is not possible due to the way your business is set up there needs to be a clear process put into place for pre- and post-cleaning and to support physical distancing and other safety practices. As a minimum in hot-desking environments providing anti-bacterial wipes which also kill viruses on each desk to allow those using the desk to wipe down the area before and after use. Everyone has a personal and moral responsibility not to infect others with an illness where they are aware of their potential to do the same.

Current (Public Health England) instructions are to maintain physical distancing of 2m, any work areas including hot desk areas need to be assessed to remove any seating that is too close.

Desktop etiquette and resources

During these times, a clear desk policy is most helpful, it keeps all not critical items clear and allows for easy cleaning. The less on the desk the less there is to clean and disinfect.
Surfaces (e.g. desks and tables) and objects (e.g. telephones -Do not share phones, keyboards) should be wiped regularly as a minimum when you arrive at work and before you leave.
There are many products on that market that can be used such as a soap and water solution (remember not to saturate any electrical items), multi-surface wipes, other cleaning products (if you are unsure please speak with you suppliers). If using disinfecting remember that you should clean only one item at a time, using enough wipes to ensure the surface stays wet for 4 minutes.
It is essential to not overcomplicate things, an example of items to be made available to staff would be:
• multi-purpose surface wipes
• alcohol-based hand sanitiser (containing at least 60% alcohol)
• tissues for blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
• bin with bin liner for disposal
Personal hygiene.
Washing your hands is still the best things you can do to protect yourself from infection. It is important to remember to do this for at least 20 seconds following the handwashing guidance. (Display posters promoting handwashing.)
If soap and water are not available alcohol-based hand sanitiser (containing at least 60% alcohol) is helpful in protecting against the spread of germs and viruses. However, handwashing with soap and water is still the best.
Wash your hands frequently especially:
• When arriving at work and home after work.
• after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
• after visiting a public space
• after coming into contact with high touchpoints (e.g. door handles, Railings, Restrooms, Counters, Tabletops)
• after touching money
• before and after eating.
• after using the toilet
• before and after eating
• after handling rubbish