Australians facing a return to work are most worried about catching coronavirus from open-plan offices and shared facilities. Nearly half of all respondents (47%) in a recent survey feared catching the virus from shared spaces such as meeting rooms, hot desks, toilets, and kitchens. The same percentage were worried about picking up the virus from colleagues as they leave the safety of working remotely. 

Concerns also ran high about “touchpoints” such as remote controls and security buttons, and contact with customers and visitors.

Asked how management should respond, 50% of those surveyed favoured a ban on anyone with the slightest symptoms coming to work.

And 49% said they wanted to know that their workplace was getting anti-viral cleaning and being cleaned more frequently.

The survey found that anxieties about workplace transmission of COVID-19 were higher among staff at large companies. More than half of them had concerns, compared with only one-third at small businesses.

In contrast, only one-third of all workers were worried about the risk of commuting on public transport, according to the poll commissioned by commercial cleaning company Cleancorp.

The survey results, published in the Daily Mail, were revealed as a major office block in Sydney’s George St was closed this week for deep cleaning after being linked to two new confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Of nine new cases recorded by NSW on Thursday, August 27, two had visited the building, three attended a gym in the CBD and one was an employee of the food court at David Jones city store.

Cleancorp director Lisa Macqueen said companies could be hit hard by workplace coronavirus transmission, according to a story by Nic White in the Daily Mail Australia.

“This could lead to Work Cover claims, negative publicity, and other significant financial costs,” Ms Macqueen was reported as saying.

Companies across a range of industries from hospitality to healthcare are turning to CoolGard to give staff and customers an extra layer of protection.

Used alongside COVID safety measures such as social distancing and high-grade sanitation, the Australian-developed system uses data capture, facial recognition and automatic temperature checks to detect possible viral infection and aid record keeping.