COVID-19 caught many people by surprise. It shouldn’t have. Public health experts have been warning for years about the need to prepare for a pandemic. This is the fifth one since the start of the 20th century.
As they were not as deadly as COVID-19 and there was only one case in recent history, the memory of them was long forgotten before 2020.
But it will happen again.
The Center for Global Development organized a panel in July 2021 to discuss how to prepare for and predict the next pandemic. They believe it will come sooner than expected and may be much more severe. As people have begun to travel again, it is only a question of time before a virus spreads around the world.
How COVID-19 has changed the cleaning industry
Professional cleaners are a necessity in the post-pandemic era. They are a service that every business must include in their budget to ensure the safety and health of their employees as well as their customers. Previously, most companies hired cleaning services to come in at night after the office had closed. Some companies now opt for daytime cleansers so that people can watch the building being sanitized and feel safe. The invisible is now visible.
In the future, cleaning and sanitizing will continue to be in high demand. If they are to survive, cleaning companies must adapt to the new norm and use what they have learned from COVID-19.
Keep up with the latest CDC and EPA recommendations.
Scientists continue to learn more about COVID-19, the latest strains, and other viruses. It will also be true for viruses that could cause future pandemics. According to the newest information, the CDC has updated its guidelines to reflect the best methods to disinfect and clean to combat viruses. Cleaning services must keep up to date with the latest procedures and ensure that all employees are properly trained to follow these guidelines.
The Environmental Protection Agency maintains a list of the disinfectants that they consider to be the most effective at killing the COVID-19 Virus. This list will be updated as new viruses and disinfectants are developed to protect our health. Cleaning companies that work with scientists and chemists to create unique formulas for germ-killing will have an advantage over their competitors.
Take a look at cutting-edge technologies.
The days of a cleaning crew using only a bucket and a mop are long gone. Modern technologies help companies clean more quickly and efficiently. My company, for example, has used ultraviolet radiation to disinfect for over a decade. It’s a technology now that is gaining wide interest.
Researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara are experimenting with UV-C short wavelength light. This light is lethal to bacteria and viruses. The researchers are trying to improve the efficiency and cost of LEDs that emit UV-C light. One company uses robots with similar technology to disinfect and sanitize hospital rooms.
Drones can clean large areas, such as stadiums, efficiently and quickly. They fly over the place and spray it with a powerful disinfectant.
Battery-powered touchless cleaning of bathroom surfaces and fixtures is a great way to protect technicians. The cleaning technician is protected from contaminants by using a top-down rinse, wash, sanitize, and wet-vac to remove them.
Target the health-conscious, well-informed consumer
Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, people have become more conscientious about cleanliness. The public is washing their hands frequently and wiping surfaces with high touch, such as door handles and keyboards. They know the importance of disinfecting and demand more from their cleaning service.
In today’s climate, the cleaning industry needs to emphasize that they do more than just “clean.” They also sanitize. We must let potential customers know that our chemicals are both safe and powerful enough to kill COVID-19, as well as other viruses that are a threat to health. We need them to know that we follow the latest protocols in order to do the job correctly. Companies that don’t stay on top of the latest protocols may be pushed out of this rapidly evolving and growing industry.
When we plan for the future, it is important to consider that the next pandemic will be a major factor. We don’t like to think that we might be facing a similar situation in the future. It would be wonderful if it never happened. Cleaning companies will benefit from being ready and prepared to respond in the event of a pandemic.
Doug Flaig, President of Stratus Building Solutions, is a janitorial franchise organization. He has over 20 years of experience in multi-unit retail, having worked for Dunkin’ Donuts and Burger King, as well as 7-Eleven and Wetzel’s Pretzels. He was Chief Operating Officer at Safe Facility Services Thousand Oaks in California before joining Stratus Building Services.
- Cleaning Technology
- Doug Flaig
- pandemic reaction,
- Risk Management
About the Author
Maureen DiStefano is the Vice President of Operation at Stratus Building Solutions. She has over 20 years of experience in franchise management with national brands. She started her career with ARAMARK Corporation, then moved to various leadership positions in operations and development at Delaware North Company. Popeyes Chicken. Dunkin’ Brands/Inspire. Starbucks. Maureen was most recently Vice President of US & Canada Store Operations for the well-known GNC (General Nutrition Company) brand. Maureen knows that franchisees are champions for the company and, as a franchisor, we must provide the support and tools needed to be successful. Everyone wins when you operate this way. Her commitment to creating high-performing teams led to record-breaking results.