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The True Cost of Covid Security

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15.09.2020, 19:25

The True Cost of Covid Security

Over three-quarters of UK businesses are reporting increases in operating costs following the introduction of safety measures to curtail the spread of Covid-19.


The figures collated by the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the percentage of businesses within each industry that has reported a rise in costs as  result of implementing PPE, hygiene measures, routine COVID-19 testing, social distancing, shift working, temperature checks, and other measures.

Industry operating costs


The Transportation And Storage industry have seen operating costs increase the most. 73 per cent of businesses in this sector saw costs rise a little, whilst just 51 per cent of Information And Communication businesses saw the same increase, according to the figures for August which are taken from from the latest Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey (BICS) results published by the ONS for the period, 27th July 2020 to 9th August 2020.

Accommodation And Food Service Activities – 34 per cent of businesses within this sector say that operating costs have substantially increased, the highest of all industries, whereas this level of cost increase was seen by just 3 per cent of businesses in the Information and Communication sector.

The full BICS results show in full businesses’ responses on how their turnover, workforce prices, trade and business resilience have been affected in the two-week reference period.

Social distancing 

With many businesses reopening the doors to employees returning to work, the risen expenditure of operating costs is mandatory to enable a safe working environment.

In England, the current rule of six that is enforced today by Boris Johnson exempts workplaces. All office spaces are preparing for a 2 metre distancing operation for staff as well as the possibility of Covid-19 tests to be carried out.

Coworking management platform, Nexudus, has released the first product of its kind allowing coworking members and workspace users to pre-book their preferred seat and desk space with a new “floor plans” tool. 

To prepare for distancing measures in the workplace, see the floor plans tool here.

PPE by region

The ONS~ report also includes a regional breakdown of businesses planning to or currently implementing new measures for the safety and wellbeing of staff.

73 per cent of businesses in London are using PPE and 9 per cent are routinely testing employees for Covid-19.

However, just 81 per cent of businesses still in operation in London report they are increasing hygiene measures – the lowest figure for all UK regions.

Just 87 per cent of businesses in the capital say they are implementing social distancing measures, compared to a figure of 95 per cent for the East Midlands.

Return to work

The report also shows 23 per cent of those furloughed in the Accommodation And Food Service Activities industry returned to the workplace in the period of 27th July to 9th August. For the Information and Communication sector who again came in with the lowest percentages, this figure was just 4 per cent of staff.

Workspace operators can now set up their floor plans and include resources such as offices, dedicated desks, hot desks, meeting rooms and board rooms. They can also list the amenities and features included in each resource. Users can see availability for those resources, together with the amenities for all available items and book one or more resources from their member’s portal to keep a safe and organised environment when returning to work. 

See Nexudus’ latest feature to find out more. For the full industry figures on returning to work and safety measures in the workplace.

Visit the full ONS report here.


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Staff Reporter

FMIndustry.com covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

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