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Making your Office a Healthier Place

Wellbeing should be a continual focus but with winter upon us the importance of maintaining the highest levels of hygiene in the workplace cannot be overstated. The transfer of germs and bacteria in an office can cause common illnesses such as colds and flu to spread, not only impacting the individuals affected, but often having a significant knock-on effect on productivity and the business performance as a whole.

High footfall environments, particularly in modern, flexible, colocation workplaces can present an increased risk for contamination, particularly in high transit areas. The increased occupier density will increase traffic and the cleaning protocol must take into account the degree to which disinfection and sanitization are necessary. Compound this with the common theme running through the evolution of the property industry, in delivering flexible, mixed use spaces, within ever more flexible tenure arrangements, and an exponential increase in occupiers.

As density increases by design, global influences are now delivering an enhanced hygiene challenge on a local level, because;

  • We now operate in a global workplace
  • As a society, we are moving to central locations, and importantly;
  • We are travelling farther, faster, and more often.

Climate change1 also plays a role, as warmer temperatures expand the range of disease-carrying animals and insects we’re exposed to.

It is estimated that the cost to employers of sick days is more than £550 per employee per year, and this only takes account direct salary costs, not lost business opportunities or the cost of reduced customer service. The increase in agile working, and the demise of individual offices and assigned desks, means that more of us are working in close proximity to each other, often utilising several different working areas during each day.

Your office environment may appear clean on the surface, but everyday objects and surfaces can harbour harmful bacteria, leading to illness amongst employees. Think of how many different hands touch the same objects every day – door handles, light switches, telephones, work surfaces and shared IT equipment. Since 80% of infectious diseases are transmitted by touch2, and the average desk has 400 times more germs than a toilet seat3, it’s easy to see how quickly illness can spread.

A number of small steps in the workplace can help reduce absenteeism and save money.

  • Define and implement your office cleaning strategy. A regular cleaning regime should be the cornerstone of a hygiene strategy, as it is a crucial step in helping to prevent illness outbreaks. With agile working spaces, flexible working and the consequent increase in the number of building users, it is vital that frequent cleaning of busy communal areas is carried out to prevent cross-contamination. Proactive cleaning involves the routine disinfection of shared contact points, such as door handles, surface tops and lift call buttons. Antibacterial wipes or dosing stations can also be made available to encourage employees to wipe down shared equipment.
  • Encourage employees to be mindful of hygiene risks. The commute to work on public transport, the route into the office and the use of hot desks and shared computer equipment all provide plenty of opportunities to pick up bacterial and viral particles during the cold and flu season. In the modern working world, where pressure is high and time is short, employees may accidentally develop bad hygiene habits, unknowingly facilitating the spread of germs around the office. Helpful reminders and tips on best practise are a useful way to raise awareness.
  • Remind employees of good hand hygiene habits, particularly regular, thorough handwashing with soap and water. This is particularly important before eating, to prevent microbes that have accumulated on common touchpoints around the office ending up as an unwanted accompaniment to your meal. When you’re in a hurry, it can be tempting not to dry your hands thoroughly, but germs transfer more easily to wet hands, so this can increase the risk of catching an illness.
  • Encourage ill employees to stay at home, to avoid bringing germs into the workplace and risking the health of colleagues. With many employees now set-up for flexible working, it is often possible for them to catch up on urgent work from the comfort of their home. If you are coughing or sneezing, use a tissue to prevent the spread of germs and dispose of used tissues immediately.

In the busy modern world, with people working in close proximity, the risks of cross contamination are heightened, increasing the chance of employees coming into contact with harmful germs. However, with a small amount of time and money, facilities managers can help to provide an environment which will encourage and support best hygiene practice, helping to improve employee health and workplace productivity.

 

1 Climate Change and Infectious Diseases, World Health Organisation, Chapter 6
2 Bean, B., Moore, B. M., & Sterner. (1982). Survival of influenza viruses on environmental surfaces. Journal of Infectious Diseases
3 Dr. Charles Gerba (2002) “Germs in the Workplace” study, University of Arizona.

London Bridge City Award for Josilaine Biaggio

Congratulations to NJC's Josilaine Biaggio, who received London Bridge City's Ambassador Award for the last quarter. 

Josilaine received the award for her contunuous effort to deliver the London Bridge City (LBC) vision and values.

LBC has half a mile of river frontage along the Thames between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, and a total of 21.5 acres of mixed-use space. The historic area, with breath-taking architecture and sensational views, includes 3 million sq ft of office, retail and leisure space, along with private residential apartments.

Josilaine is pictured receiving her award from Stuart Gilby, Estate Director for Savills at LBC.

NJC supports Green Apple Award Win

The Zig Zag building in London has been awarded the Green Apple Awards ‘Silver’ trophy and certificate for Environmental Best Practice. The award is testament to the hard work of the innovative Landsec Aspire team on site and the NJC cleaning team was mentioned as "having been a massive help, as they are usually the first ones to deal with any waste."

The recommended target for properties in the UK to recycle is a minimum of 75% of all materials on site, but the team at The Zig Zag Building in Victoria has achieved an exemplary average of 92%, with some months reaching 97%! Zig Zag can now also boast a ‘zero waste to landfill’ record and the team has reduced carbon emissions by only having one truck per day for recycled materials. For a busy site in the heart of London with a dozen floors, these are remarkable results.

Lorena Yapura, Service Support Manager NJC, oversees the work of the cleaning team on site and is pictured with the award. Lorena commented "when you have a great team, it’s much easier to be successful."

Well done to everyone involved!

NJC wins Four Aspire Recognition Awards!

The 2018 Aspire Awards, which recognise Landsec service partner team members who represent an Aspire value, were held on 11th December in London. The event was a great opportunity to congratulate those who have gone above and beyond, and to reflect on some of the best events and performances of 2018.

NJC team members were winners of an impressive 4 out of the 7 categories!

Accountability: Mohamed Jalloh

Principle: Lajosne Piroth

Innovation: Jason Edwards

Respect: Russell Southern

Many congratulations to our winners on demonstrating the NJC DNA.

 

The image shows Lajosne, Mohamed, Jason and Russell with Managing Director, Paul Crilly

Green Park Award for Richard Oppong

Congratulations to NJC's Richard Oppong for being awarded a Colleague of the Month award for showing excellent service to Green Park, Reading.

Richard won the September award for going the extra mile in helping with set ups and preparations in the Green Park Conference Centre, as well as completing his usual duties. The award winners were chosen by Knight Frank and Mapletree.

The image shows Richard, with Service Director Kevin Brady, at the Green Park end of year Service Excellence Awards.

NJC welcomes back Ana Magalhaes

We are delighted to welcome Ana Magalhaes back to NJC as Training and Audit Manager. Ana was a Portfolio Manager for nearly 4 years before leaving us in November 2017, and has more than 15 years of cleaning management experience.

Ana will be responsible for ensuring that NJC delivers excellent training, which supports high cleaning quality standards, meeting the needs of modern working environments. Her role will include encouraging front line colleagues to identify better ways of working, by ‘using our heads as often as our hands.’

Ana commented: “I am excited to be back at NJC, catching up with old colleagues and meeting new faces. I am looking forward to the challenge of my new role and working closely with the whole NJC team.”

NJC Santas support Honeypot Children’s Charity

A team from NJC took part in the London Santa Run yesterday, raising money for the Honeypot Children’s Charity. The charity does fantastic work enhancing the lives of young carers and vulnerable children in the UK, providing respite breaks and outreach support.

London’s largest santa run took place in Victoria Park, with 1000 santas participating, and celebrated its 10th Anniversary. Congratulations to Francisca Cumbicus, Jason Edwards, Charles Walden and Russell Southern for completing the run. The image shows them with the Honeypot Children's Charity mascot.

The team are part of the Aspire Harriers, a running club set up by Jason Edwards to encourage members of Landsec’s service provider community to run together. 

There’s still time to donate for this great cause, so please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/aspireharriers

NJC Nova Team goes the Extra Mile

Congratulations to members of the NJC team at Nova in Victoria for going the extra mile.

Gheorghe Luca, Andrzej Zaganiaczyk, Cosmin Boanghes and David Oliva (pictured with NJC Portfolio Manager Kevin Wilson) were awarded NJC Gratitude Awards for responding quickly to deal with an issue on site. The colleagues worked closely with team members from other service providers to resolve the problem and get everything back to normal as quickly as possible.

NJC supports the Real Living Wage

When NJC embarked upon the Living Wage in 2014 it was a natural extension of our family heritage and our values. Our company is Not Just Cleaning and our employees are Not Just Cleaners, and because our employees protect the image of leading organisations in the UK, and ensure comfortable and hygienic workplaces, they deserve to be paid a fair and appropriate wage.

We recognise that our business success depends on an engaged and productive workforce that is well looked after. All our colleagues deserve to be appropriately rewarded and NJC is a Recognised Service Provider working with the Living Wage Foundation and promotes the Real Living Wage, based on the real cost of living. We submit a Living Wage bid alongside every market rate submittal to all our prospective and current clients, to encourage them to implement the Living Wage at the point of tender.

At NJC we believe that there are clear business benefits of the Real Living Wage, in terms of employee morale, motivation, productivity and retention. Paul Crilly, Managing Director commented: “We have found that in return for fair pay, employees reward us with increased loyalty, engagement and commitment to deliver a high quality service. This allows us to constantly develop our service propositions, utilising flexible working practises and innovative technologies.”

Over the last few years NJC has taken a number of customers who have not previously paid the Real Living Wage on a journey to it, and they have experienced significant benefits. Reductions in employee turnover have resulted in loyal and motivated teams, who have enhanced the quality of service. When combined with innovations in delivery approaches, this has in many cases resulted in lower costs across the contract than prior to the additional investment in salaries.

With this win-win scenario, why wouldn’t you support the Real Living Wage?

NJC DNA in action at 80 Victoria Street

When a defect within a light feature meant that the escalators at 80 Victoria Street in London had to be closed, the Landsec Operations Manager immediately contacted the NJC team to see if they could help. The light feature is above the escalators, making access to it difficult, and having to close the escalators caused inconvenience to the building users.

The NJC team quickly reviewed the access equipment available across the contact and recommended the best approach. Early the next morning the team set up the equipment and provided access for the engineer to repair the light fitting. The building security team provided access control while the work was completed.

The prompt action by the NJC team minimised the disruption to the building users and was a great example of going the extra mile for our clients.

Well done to everyone involved in demonstrating the NJC DNA!

NJC Colleagues complete Aspire Peak District Challenge

Congratulations to the seven NJC colleagues who completed the Aspire Peak District Challenge on 21st and 22nd September 2018. Team members from Landsec and its service partners participated in a 25km or 50km challenge, building team spirit and raising money for The Honeypot Children’s Charity. The money raised will go towards phase 2 of the Honeypot House and Campus Enhancements Project.

The NJC colleagues who completed the challenge were: Greta Dvarvytiene, Francisca Cumbicus Jaramillo, Aminata Balde, Russell Southern, Andrienne Bodo, Amanda Heppelthwaite and Nicole Wade.

A special mention goes to two of the NJC team members, who were nominated for Aspire Player of the Month Awards for Teamwork, for their contribution to the challenge.

To achieve the 50km challenge, the team knew they would need to average 5km per hour but after several kilometres of walking some people had begun to fall back from the pack. Russell Southern and another team member went to assist, carrying rucksacks and helping to motivate people, which ensured that everyone completed the challenge.

When one of the participants in the 25km challenge pulled a muscle at a relatively early stage, Nicole Wade stayed with him to support him for the entire walk. The pair fell some way behind the main group, but everyone was able to complete the challenge.

Well done to everyone who participated.

The image shows Russell Southern participating in the challenge.

5 Minutes with Wayne Smith

My name is Wayne Smith and I am Service Director Vertical. I have worked for the company for 18 years, starting out as a weekend operative. During that time I have had the opportunity to work closely with the owners, to learn the NJC DNA first hand, and to progress into roles of increasing responsibility.

What does your role involve?

As the Service Director, I have a team of managers who support me in managing all the NJC vertical cleaning activities. This includes all window cleaning services, rope access (abseiling) work and exterior building cleaning/ maintenance. Customer service is at the forefront of our service activities and my other key priority is looking after and developing my team.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

I have two favourite parts to my job: helping to find access solutions to problem areas and secondly getting the opportunity to work with clients and architects on access strategies at the design stage of new developments.

What are the biggest benefits you bring to your customers?

The NJC can-do attitude and giving customers solutions to their access problems, together with the reassurance that we have a zero tolerance to harm and drive a positive health and safety culture throughout the business. Working at height has risks and it is all about following the rules and procedures to ensure we all stay safe.

What is the most challenging aspect of what you do?

Meeting the ever-changing demand of clients and the expectations they have. As time has gone on, specifications have got more detailed, and knowing that the solution for one client isn’t always the same for another, makes for a challenging situation. It’s just as important to build relationships and develop trust as it is to deliver on the promise of service.

Being a challenge isn’t necessarily a bad thing as this allows us to keep on our toes and at the forefront of our service and innovation.

In 2020, we’ll all be talking about?

Our success at becoming the market leaders in the vertical industry, and how we can improve on the robotic equipment available on the market, to help reduce the risk to individuals when working at height.

Where will we find you when you are not at work?

Spending time with my family and friends, and on a golf course whenever the opportunity is there!

NJC and partners launch Window Cleaning Training Academy

The UK’s first aerial window cleaning training academy has launched today at Her Majesty’s Prison & Young Offender Institution Isis, in a move to tackle the ongoing UK skills shortage, while helping to reduce reoffending.

The Aerial Window Cleaning Academy trains people serving their final six to twelve months of their sentence at HMP & YOI Isis to scale and clean high-rise buildings. With a focus on rehabilitation, the Academy provides the opportunity to obtain a qualification that can be transferred into employment following release.

The first of its kind across the UK, the Aerial Window Cleaning Academy is a result of a partnership between Landsec, London-based charity Bounce Back and cleaning services company, NJC (Not Just Cleaning Ltd), and is backed by the Ministry of Justice.

According to the Ministry of Justice, rehabilitation initiatives like the Academy will help to cut the £15 billion annual cost of reoffending; ex-offenders in employment are up to nine percentage points less likely to commit further crimes. At present, however, only 17 per cent of offenders are employed one year after release.

Bounce Back has helped over 1,000 people through its programmes across five London prisons and local communities. The charity’s programme has a re-offending rate of less than 12%.

Fran Findlater, founder and CEO of Bounce Back said: "At Bounce Back our objective is to offer an end-to-end service of skills training, bespoke support for individuals and employment in order to reduce re-offending and support the government’s rehabilitation strategy. Working with partners in the industry such as Landsec and NJC in this new venture will help to address a skills shortage in response to employer needs, while giving people a second chance to fulfil their potential."

NJC reinforced the role rehabilitation has in supporting the UK job market.

Paul Crilly, Managing Director at NJC said: “As the UK approaches the threshold of full employment, NJC is committed to helping those groups furthest from the jobs market, including ex-offenders, into mainstream employment, and we are delighted to have developed this training academy.”

Miles Webber, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Director at Landsec, commented: “Breaking down barriers that prevent people from finding employment is a core part of our sustainability programme. We’re proud to be joining forces with our partners to continue to create opportunities that help get more people back into work, building a stronger future for them, our customers and our communities.”

Prisons Minister, Rory Stewart said: “We know that offenders who secure employment upon release are much more likely to turn their backs on crime, making our society and communities safer. That is why earlier this year we launched our employment and education strategy to harness the power of work to change lives and cut reoffending."

“This academy at HMP Isis is an excellent example of delivering on that pledge – it will train prisoners in key work skills needed by local businesses and give offenders the chance they need to begin a new chapter.”

Landsec will continue its work with Bounce Back and Not Just Cleaning as they look to open a new construction academy in HMP Leeds in the next financial year.

Businesses that are interested in finding out more about supporting ex-offenders should visit https://offenderemployment.campaign.gov.uk/.

NJC’s Lajosne Piroth receives Player of the Month Award

Congratulations to Lajosne Piroth, NJC operative at 80 Victoria Street London, on receiving a Landsec Aspire Player of the Month Award.

Lajosne showed integrity when she came across a Rolex watch in the building. She ensured that it was quickly returned to its owner, who was very appreciative as the watch had great sentimental value, in addition to its monetary value.

The image shows Lajosne receiving her award from NJC Portfolio Manager Charles Walden.

NJC Gratitude Award for Mohamed Jalloh

An estate penetration test was recently carried out at New Street Square in London, to assess how an external person might gain entry to the estate, and to identify the steps that were needed to prevent this going forward.

The tester, from the security service provider, initially tailgated a member of  the service partner team to get through a cycle gate. He than waited at another cycle gate for a tenant employee to pass through and gained entry. Following this he attempted to gain entry into one of the buildings from the car park, but was stopped and questioned by Mohamed Jalloh from NJC. Mohamed then escorted the gentleman to the security control room, where he was detained.

Congratulations to Mo for his vigilance and courage in taking actions that ensured the safety and security of the estate.

The image show Mo receiving his NJC Gratitude Award from Russell Southern, Portfolio Manager.

NJC supports The Honeypot Children's Charity

NJC is an active supporter of The Honeypot Children's Charity and, together with our Landsec Aspire partners, we are raising funds for a very special project.

The Honeypot Children’s Charity offers both respite breaks and outreach support to young carers and vulnerable children aged 5-12, many of whom would otherwise have nowhere to turn. At their two residential sites, children can enjoy a respite break of fun activities, away from the stressful responsibilities that they face at home. They are able to choose from a range of ways to spend their time and have fun, including swimming in the pool, playing on the adventure playground, riding bikes, visiting the pets corner or baking special treats. 

NJC and our Aspire partners are raising money to refurbish the New Forest Honeypot House residential site, to allow these children an opportunity to be children and to ensure that it is a fantastic place for years to come.  

If you would like to help us with this special project, please donate at our Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/njc3

NJC wins with Metrus

NJC has announced its contract win with Metrus, one of London’s leading independent property advisors. The 3 year contract covers buildings at 123 and 151 Buckingham Palace Road, and Exchange Tower in London’s Docklands. NJC will self-deliver services including communal area cleaning, specialist cleaning, estate cleaning, rope access and cradle window cleaning, and consumables supply.

Richard Goudie, Associate Director Metrus commented: “Metrus is pleased to announce the appointment of NJC at these key sites. We were impressed by NJC’s service reputation, passion and technology and we are pleased that they are already improving working practices to drive service quality whilst delivering efficiencies.”

Paul Crilly, Managing Director NJC commented: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract, which builds on our strength in the London property management market. We look forward to delivering the high quality services required to support major brands and to building a strong, collaborative relationship with the Metrus team.”

NJC becomes IRATA member

NJC (Not Just Cleaning Ltd) has announced that it has passed its recent audit to become an IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) member.

IRATA is recognised as the world’s leading authority on industrial rope access and its techniques are used in a wide range of repair, maintenance, inspection, cleaning and access work. IRATA’s code of practise, audits and training focus on all aspects of rope access management and ensuring safe systems of work.

Paul Crilly, Managing Director NJC commented: “We are delighted to have become a member of IRATA, whose standards lead the way in safe working at height, ensuring excellently trained rope technicians and supervisors. NJC is one of only a few UK rope access cleaning providers to become a member, illustrating our continued focus on moving our health and safety standards beyond compliance.”

Rapid Response from NJC at New Street Square

During a fire evacuation at New Street Square it was found that the contractors completing a fit out on the 16th floor had caused a sprinkler activation. This flooded the immediate area and caused water to start to leak into the floors below.

Landsec’s General Manager sent out an emergency communication for all available staff to attend and assist. NJC employees from New Street Square immediately attended with wet vacs and started the clean-up and NJC Portfolio Manager, Russell Southern, contacted other team members. Within 10 minutes, NJC colleagues from Ludgate Hill, and one of the vertical team were also working on the clean-up and managed to clear all the water away within 45 minutes.

The quick reaction of the team, and the assistance from all colleagues, meant that the damage to the lower floors was limited to a few drips.

Landsec's Building Manager commented: "I had feedback that the cleaning team were excellent and very efficient in dealing with the problem on the 16th floor. Thank you all for your help."

NJC Good News from Eastbourne Terrace

Congratulations to our team at Eastbourne Terrace, London, for being given an NJC Team Gratitude Award for their excellent work on an important client walk around the buildings. The image shows the team being presented with their awards by Service Support Manager Francisca Cumbicus.

In a second piece of good news, the Eastbourne Terrace team were commended on their performance by our Landsec client. Francisca was called to a Property Health Check at very short notice, due to an oversight. The team's cleaning and safe working performance, plus NJC's audit process and health and safety culture, combined with Francisca's thorough knowledge of the building, resulted in an excellent review.

The Health, Safety and Security Business Partner at Landsec was very impressed and said: "The NJC team are always great with their site documentation and in carrying out and recording audits."

 Well done to all the team!

Contact NJC

Our team are here to help with any questions, and to show where NJC can add real value to your colleague and customer experience, so why not get in touch.

Telephone: 0203 984 4450

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