5 Critical Areas FMs Should Concentrate on Before Fully Reopening

Published November 24, 2021

Categories: Safety, Employees, Facilities Management, Education, Janitorial, Bio-Pharma, Engineering, Business & Manufacturing, Outsource, Coronavirus, Reopen Responsibly, IFM, Life Science

Most businesses across the country are trying to become fully reopened and operational. However, those businesses can be at one of many stages depending on the type of business and the location of the facility.

This has facility managers and teams frantically putting together a game plan. They need to create a safe and healthy environment for staff while managing a backlog of maintenance items – all while, most likely, working with a smaller human workforce.

Team sizes have been reduced for a number of reasons. You may have facilities’ personnel that still need additional training for infection control and enhanced safety practices. And due to pandemic layoffs and the effects of “The Great Resignation”, teams may not be as robust as they were two years ago.

Keeping that in mind, Flagship wants to help FMs get a head start on their game plan and consider concentrating on these five critical areas before returning to full capacity.

For additional tips and strategies, make sure you check out Reopen Responsibly, A "New Normal" Guide for Safe and Healthy Workplaces.

Ventilation

To better manage your ventilation and indoor air quality (IAQ), apply multiple ventilation interventions, if possible. The more you can implement, the greater chance you have at reducing the concentration of virus particles in the air and reducing the risk of viral spread.

You will want to:

  • Increase the introduction of outdoor air (when possible)
  • Improve central air filtration
  • Add portable filtration options
  • Create directional airflow
  • Install supplemental air treatments

Flooring

In most business facilities, the flooring is what really stands out – but it can also be a magnet for allergens and dirt. Updating, deep cleaning and refinishing flooring can create a healthier and shinier environment for employees and visitors.

To present a fresh finish:

  • Update older or dated floor mats
  • Vacuum and deep clean carpets
  • Refinish tiled and hard-floor areas

As an added bonus, deep clean any upholstery that may have also collected dust and allergens.

Pest Control

With the facility not operating at full capacity, it’s very likely that insects or vermin have moved into the unoccupied areas. These creepy crawlers are not only unpleasant to find but can be dangerous to the safety of occupants in your facility. Many vermin can carry disease and there are many insects that are poisonous or cause anaphylactic allergic responses in humans.

Complete a walkthrough and full inspection of your facility. If you find evidence of any unwanted creatures, including holes, waste products, nests, messes, etc., eradicate the creatures immediately. Depending on what has rehomed itself into your facility, and your level of experience with pest control, you may want to contact a professional.

Filtration systems

Filtration is not only essential for creating fresh, contaminant-free water to keep our bodies healthy but is also used in almost any industrial process you can imagine. With less activity happening in your facility, damp filtration systems can easily begin to grow bacteria and mold. Particles of the bacteria or mold may now run through your pipes and into your machinery and cause equipment to not function properly. If the bacteria are able to get into your drinking water, it can make occupants ill.

Fully flush your filtration system and replace filters that show damage, smell strange or are discolored.

Pipes and sewage systems

Static water can cause a buildup of sediment and allow microorganisms to breed. This can cause discoloration, staining, damaged equipment, or even clogs if there is a large enough buildup.

Take precautions to clear the facility’s water lines and flush the systems in areas where there has been reduced capacity or where water has been able to stay static. If you notice any odd smells or discoloration coming from your pipes or your drains, you may have a larger issue and need to bring in a professional.

This may sound like a lot, especially if your facility’s team is not as robust as it was before the pandemic. But don’t worry, Flagship can help.

Great partners like Flagship can help make your transition back into the office successful. We can be a “force multiplier” that adapts with you, offers you guidance, brings expertise, and ensures your workplace runs smoothly every day.

It may go against everything you were ever taught but hiring a professional IFM team will not always cost more than doing it yourself. Flagship's experts can create a customizable approach to your facility's needs.

If you have any questions, please email a facilities expert.