We all know that illness and infection can have a major negative impact on the performance of individuals and teams everywhere. In the workplace, it puts a huge dent in productivity as people take days off sick.
On the football pitch, it even once cost Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur a place in the Champions League. But did you know that it can also reduce academic achievement in students around the world?
A recent US-based study highlighted that absenteeism is a huge problem for school-age children, with close to one in five students aged 13/14 taking more than three days off in the 2015 school year. Obviously, missing school is bad, but the issue goes way beyond the common idea of catching up via homework. In fact, students who take more time off experience a significant disadvantage when it comes to their academic performance.
There are many complex reasons for why students are absent from school, but one issue that effects every school group is illness and infection (seasonal influenza in particular). It’s a challenge to prevent illness in a school – infections spread so quickly – but there are methods for fighting this. In maintaining surface hygiene and tackling the spread of microbes becomes part of managing the overall performance of the faculty.
How management and mobility can transform institutional infection
When it comes to infection prevention in a school setting, a key battleground is clearly the washrooms. In a place where teachers struggle to get students to follow the rules on uniforms, you can only imagine what it must be like trying to encourage better hand hygiene.
That’s why, alongside efforts to improve hand hygiene, institutional facility management teams need to be using the latest innovations in washroom cleaning. Technology is a crucial element in managing washroom hygiene; here are four ways that Management & Mobility solutions make that happen.
Avoid repeated or incomplete tasks
Efficiency is crucial when the school day dictates your own operational schedule. To get washrooms ready for high-traffic times like breaks or the beginning and end of the day, you have to help your cleaning team make the most of their time. This means avoiding incomplete or repeated work by being able to track progress in real-time.
If you’re bound by paper-based systems or have no way of telling who’s completed what task, there’s every chance that your team could be spending unnecessary time cleaning and checking to see if washrooms are clean when they’ve already been done. It can also lead to washrooms being missed when other issues arise.
With a Management & Mobility solution, your team can mark their progress as they go along, using phone apps that feed the information back to a central server. With access to up-to-the-minute info, your team knows exactly which tasks are complete and which washrooms their colleagues need help with.
Be alert to real-time user needs
Sometimes, the smallest change can make the biggest difference. Empty dispensers in washrooms can have a major impact on infection prevention – after all, how can students or teachers practice effective hand hygiene if there’s no soap for them to wash with?
The key to avoiding these situations is making sure the dispensers never run out (without having to waste time or resources on refilling them prematurely). It might sound impossible, but not when you implement smart dispensers capable of sending out automated alerts to warn your team when they’re running low.
Whether these alerts come through as an email or a phone notification, they help you reduce the effort and cost involved in providing a whole school with the tools they need to practice good hygiene.
Drive infection prevention with data
Another useful element of introducing a Management & Mobility solution is the data it generates and stores on your cleaning activities. Expanding the use of smart solutions like the dispensers above, you can gather real-time data on equipment usage – gaining insight into what’s used where and when.
As well as helping you to shape your cleaning operations around peak times (which, to be fair, you already know when they are in a school), you can manage your resources more effectively. This allows you to save money on consumables like soap and toilet roll by better understanding your needs, helping you to work proactively rather than reactively.
Influence better user behaviour
In a facility as busy as a school, it can be tough to stay on top of every cleaning need as it arises during the day. However, the ongoing maintenance of high cleaning standards in washrooms can have a longer lasting effect than the time in between each check.
When people have access to a clean washroom, they’re far more likely to visit even to quickly wash their hands, knowing that the facilities offer them a positive user experience. In contrast, try to remember the last time you bothered washing your hands when the washroom wasn’t up to standard.
The more you can inspire positive hygiene habits from washroom users through offering clean, presentable facilities, the more chance you have of preventing the spread of infection.
Digital tech for cleaning the washroom of tomorrow
Implementing a Management & Mobility solution is a simple but effective way to drive efficiency in your institutional cleaning operations. As well as saving you the time and effort that goes into maintaining manual processes, it can help you make a real difference to the students and teachers – reducing the spread of infection and doing your bit to raise academic performance. Subscibe to the Interclean newsletter to learn more about the latest washroom technology.