Businesses across the nation and around the globe are taking steps to ensure that their employees can conduct business remotely. However, some companies are seeing their business grow, especially those who play a critical role in keeping communities safe. Cleaning companies fall squarely into this category, with many of the aforementioned now-temporarily-remote businesses calling in cleaning crews to deep clean and disinfect their office spaces while they’re vacant.
Although businesses are keen to clean their offices amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, this double-edged sword is not good news for cleaning companies. The sudden increase in demand is good for business. ZipRecruiter projects a 75% rise in cleaning services this year compared with last year. However, managing this sudden interest can prove difficult in a climate of panic and prevention.
How can you prepare your cleaning company to handle the coronavirus situation quickly and efficiently?
Obviously, this is a common theme, but it is important to ensure that your staff are well-trained and ready to deal with sudden cleaning demands. It is important to ensure that all staff are fully informed about the virus, how it is transmitted, how it can be prevented, and how to clean up potentially contaminated areas.
Most likely, your cleaning crews are already familiar with using gloves and masks when cleaning. However, now is the time to review these measures and ensure everyone follows the rules in the field.
Also, make sure you review your policies on sick leave. Ensure your crew knows not to report to work if they feel unwell. This can be difficult, especially for employees who believe reporting to work when sick is a sign of a “toughing it out” attitude.
It is crucial to contain any illness that spreads rapidly and easily. You are doing the best you can for your employees, customers, and team by trying to keep them safe and healthy.
Know what you’re up against
It’s always easier to clean up a mess if you understand what you are dealing with. Knowing the source of a stain allows you to properly approach the problem the first time and make it manageable. Understanding a pathogen is crucial to properly addressing it.
SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19. Researchers in many fields are working to understand the virus better so that it can be dealt with as safely as possible. A cleaning company needs to know where the virus can linger, how long it can survive and how to eliminate it.
Recent results from an unpublished report by Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Montana, in association with the U.S. National Institutes of Health, corroborate with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) earlier estimate that the virus can survive anywhere from a few hours up to a few weeks. Rocky Mountain Laboratories discovered that the virus could survive for 48 to 72 hours on non-porous surfaces like plastic and stainless steel, up to four hours on cardboard, and up to three hours after aerosolization (a common method of preventing a person from coughing or sneezing). Although there were no findings for soft surfaces, previous research suggests that hard, smooth surfaces are the most dangerous.
The main message for your cleaning company is that viruses can survive on hard surfaces such as tables, railings and desks for several days. It is important that all cleaning crews wear personal protective equipment (PPE), adhere to best practices, and take precautions when they enter vacant offices.
It is important to discuss the differences between cleaning and disinfecting with your team. SARS-CoV-2 is best treated with ammonia- and alcohol-based cleaners. This will eliminate the virus from hard surfaces and ensure that your customers are in a clean environment.
Be ready to adapt
It’s important to create a strategy to deal with the virus directly. It would help if you also planned how to deal with the indirect effects on your cleaning business. You need to understand how your customers view the situation and are ready to adjust as necessary. This is essential for weathering storms and being prepared for when normalcy returns.