With many sectors feeling the economic impact of the pandemic, it is natural and prudent for organisations to closely manage their costs. However, cleaning is now more important than ever and is an area where cuts should not be made where staff are still present in the workplace. In some cases, to ensure their premises are Covid-19 secure, it may even be necessary for organisations to increase their spend on cleaning.
Organisations should regularly review their cleaning arrangements to be sure they are getting the best value and meeting their duty of care to protect employees in the workplace. A professional cleaning contractor should be well equipped to meet the cleaning requirements of organisations and offer value for money.
So how should professional office cleaning companies be helping their customers to minimise Covid-19 risks and what should customers be expecting in general from the service their contractor provides?
How office / commercial cleaning providers should help customers minimise Covid-19 risks
- Cleaning contractors should support their customers in identifying areas of potential cross contamination in their premises, with particular focus on high footfall areas and common touchpoints. These areas should be prioritised for cleaning and this should be reflected in the agreed cleaning plan and schedule.
- The service provided should also offer the flexibility to respond to any short notice requirements a client may have, such as additional cleaning when a case (or suspected case) of Covid-19 infection has been identified.
- During the current Covid-19 pandemic, staff should also take personal responsibility for touchpoint cleaning and workstation cleaning in between contractor visits.
General service expectations
- Professional cleaning contractors must be reliable. They should understand that their customers need them to clean their premises at the agreed times and frequencies, without fail. They should be as meticulous about managing cover for sickness or holidays as they are about their cleaning.
- They should also be trustworthy. If a contractor needs to clean when staff are not in the premises, they should treat customer security as paramount. Their recruitment policies should include, where applicable, additional security checks for safeguarding people, processes and premises.
- Service consistency is also key. Procedures and monitoring systems should ensure that cleaning is done to the same exacting standards during every visit. However, contractors should also understand that the needs of an organisation can change. Regular cleaning reviews are important in ensuring they clean premises to match these changes.
- Professional contractors should be supportive of their staff. Cleaners should be well trained and ideally be supported by dedicated field and office teams, allowing customers to focus on their day-to-day business with the confidence that the cleaning is in capable hands.
By choosing the right contractor, a regularly and professionally cleaned workplace will help create a welcoming, safe and productive environment for staff and visitors alike. Organisations will also benefit from cost efficiencies (for example minimising infection risks through efficient cleaning will help reduce the cost of staff absence) and potentially have access to additional cleaning services such as washroom services and consumables from a single, reputable supplier.