The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world. The cleaning and hygiene industry professionals are more important than they've ever been, but at the same time it is overwhelming to keep up with all the new cleaning procedures, regulations and expectations. This article, we will give more insights on how you can adapt to this new situation and how to secure a higher hygiene standard.
The impact of COVID-19 on our behaviour
COVID-19 has changed the way people live, work and interact. Environments we considered safe, like schools, restaurants and offices, have now become places where people are highly aware about the risk of exposure to the virus. In a recent survey TORK surveyed 4000 people and showed that 66% of the people feel that they are unsafe using facilities with unhygienic public restrooms. And 79% expect public restrooms to provide a safe and hygienic environment to a higher extent now than before COVID-19.
You may work in one of these environments and be familiar with the challenges that exist when it comes to running your operation safely. And clearly, with the different levels of risks it also means that you need to adapt, which is no easy task, because there is really no one size fits all. The visitor’s behaviour is shaping the way cleaning teams operate and are setting a precedent for future cleaning operations that will likely continue long after the COVID-19 pandemic.
3 tips on how to create a safer environment
It all comes down to how you can keep your employees, guests and staff safe. With the right solutions in place, you can improve your cleaning operations. Meet the needs of employees and visitors and create a safe room work environment by cleaning smarter instead of harder.
1. Encourage good hand hygiene
It may be counter intuitive, but one of the most important tools you must maintain cleanliness and safety in your building is the hand hygiene of the people who are in your building. Hand hygiene is one of the most effective and critical tools for preventing the transmission of disease. It's also important for preventing cross contamination.
Everyone should wash their hands frequently and properly throughout the day, and you can give people good information about how to do that. You can encourage them to do that by placing a sign with a set of instructions for how to wash your hands. It takes 40 to 60 seconds to clean your hands from starting to dry. The scrubbing time is 20 to 30 seconds, which is the same as singing two times happy birthday.
It helps to create an incentive to encourage hand hygiene and this starts with making hand hygiene easy and convenient. Make sure you have soap and paper towels in the restroom for example. Also facilitate people doing proper hand hygiene by placing sanitizers at strategic locations throughout the building. By placing dispensers in the right locations, you can increase usage of sanitizers by more than 50%. That is, in the traffic flow where people are meant to use them.
2. Don't forget to disinfect surfaces
Covid-19 is spread through the air, but it can also be contracted by touching a contaminated surface. Good news: the virus is easy to kill, because it is extremely sensitive to cleaning products. One method that is used by hospitals is UVC disinfection, but heat, steam, ozone, alcohol and disinfectants: it all works. Three tips to disinfect surfaces without increasing the pressure on cleaning operatives:
- Clean high traffic areas and often touched surfaces frequently
- Use disposable or microfiber cloths and change often for optimal hygiene
- Provide disposable wipers so staff can clean specific areas when needed
And remember, visitors can also be empowered to help keep difficult environments by providing convenient, accessible and disposable wipers. This way the staff can do touch-up cleaning or extra cleaning if they feel unsafe.
3. Invest in digital solutions
There has never been a greater focus on hygiene and cleaning quality than it is today. Facility managers are already working hard to create and maintain hygienic environments for visitors, staff and guests and now they are also required to provide more cleaning with the same or sometimes even less staff. This means that the industry is in need for new ways of working. Data generates new insights we didn't have before and with new insights and an opportunity to new, different and more valuable services than before and will result in:
- Improved cleaning quality, hygiene and customer satisfaction
- Enhanced operational efficiency
- Boost to cleaning staff’s engagement and lower stress
Data driven cleaning empowers cleaning staff to deliver higher cleaning quality by working smarter. They will know where they need to clean and when and what they need to bring instead of cleaning all the area’s. For facility managers this means they have access to smart analytics, so they can manage, monitor and follow up their cleaning operations optimising them for higher quality and higher efficiency.
Creating a safe environment is more important than ever
Cleaning and hygiene have never been more important than it is now. Employees, tenants and guests expect a higher level of hygiene when in public and when at work. COVID-19 creates new challenges and requires new ways of working across industries and new higher demands will continue. Therefore, it is very important to equip facilities with the right solutions to deliver a healthy environment for visitors and cleaning operators with systems that help increase quality while optimising efficiency. And Lastly, make sure to team up with a supplier who has extensive knowledge and expertise when it comes to hygiene regulations, so they can help you do a great job.
Do you want more tips on how to bring your cleaning performance to the new hygiene standard?