Wednesday, October 27

PHOTOS: Check out this skyscraper office kitted out with pandemic tech like ultraviolet lasers and cleansing torpedoes

  • Some companies are going the extra mile to reassure workers that their offices are hygienic.
  • Mitie, a UK outsourcer, equipped its headquarters with ultraviolet light sprays, stickers, and flippable coasters.
  • Scroll on to take a tour.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The battle over the office return is not only about remote work. Living through a pandemic has fundamentally changed how many see health and safety in the workplace.

According to a Glassdoor-commissioned poll of 1,042 US workers in July 2021, 89% of respondents said they had concerns about returning to the office. Many of their worries centered on commuting and a lack of privacy, but 35% of these were directly concerned that they’d catch COVID-19 from their colleagues.

Some companies are mandating their workers are double-jabbed before returning. But others are adopting whizzy gadgets to reassure their staff.

Mitie is a UK facilities management company that provides outsourced services across multiple sectors including security, office management, healthcare, and logistics.

Since April 2021 it has spent £1 million ($1.4 million) fitting out its sites with COVID-19 safety measures after internal polling suggested workers wanted to feel safe before they returned to the office.

As the company manages serviced offices, it was also thought the the HQ could act as a test case for its wider network, Daniel Guest, chief operating officer of Mitie Technical Services, told Insider.

All the devices had their uses before the pandemic, but have been tailored for use during COVID-19 and beyond.

Insider was given a tour of Mitie’s HQ, located on the 12th floor of the UK’s tallest building, the Shard, to see what workers can expect.