Hygiene specialist warns that hot-desking in offices will 'ruin' chance of stopping coronavirus spread

By Sarah Wilson
Tuesday, 1st September 2020, 3:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st September 2020, 4:31 pm
Experts have warned that hot-desking could make controlling coronavirus more difficult. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Experts have warned that hot-desking could make controlling coronavirus more difficult. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Leading hygiene and cleaning firm Inivos has warned that hot-desking in offices does "not make sense" in the age of coronavirus.

Currently, government guidance on making workplaces "covid secure" advises against hot-desking, a practice whereby certain desk spaces can be used by any worker.

However, the government have also recently launched a campaign to get employees back in the office, encouraging employers to get their staff to return.

The move has raised concerns that a return to the office could accelerate the spread of coronavirus, with hot-desking a particular concern.

Tautvydas Karitonas, research and development manager at Inivos, has warned that hot-desks at work will "ruin" the ability of employers to track the spread of coronavirus.

He told PA news agency that environments where hot-desking is taking place risks complicating cleaning and infection prevention if a staff member tests positive for the virus.

Since the pandemic hit Britain, Inivos says it's seen a huge surge in demand for deep cleaning and infection control services from its commercial clients.

The company works with health authorities to ensure infections don't spread, protecting various facilities with its services.

It has received more approaches from different sectors since the pandemic began.

“It makes it very hard to put in place the measures needed to stop infection if you have hot-desking,” said Mr Karitonas.

“If people are using a desk, people should know what happened there before them, who was using that last, what cleaning has been happening there.”

He added that staff also have a responsibility to act within government guidelines and to "ask questions" about what their employer has done to help stop the spread.

Mr Karitonas also said: “In the office environment, people need to be more self-aware when they are back, keep that hygiene to a good level and should be asking questions so they know what is happening.

“If you have an issue you have to deep-clean the whole thing, so obviously this is something companies don’t want to see either.”