As long as a place looks clean, it must be clean… right?
The good news is, most people now see cleaning for appearance as what it truly is – an outdated, unhealthy practice. Instead, companies should be cleaning and disinfecting for health, not aesthetics.
There aren’t many positives we can thank the pandemic for, but one of the few pros is a newfound emphasis on better cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing practices for public spaces.
No more sweeping the dirt under the rug and calling it a day. A deep, thorough clean should be the norm, not a once-in-a-blue-moon activity.
We Know That Killing Germs is Important… But Why?
Another silver lining from COVID-19 is the record-low number of influenza cases. In the 2020-2021 flu season, the United States reported approximately 700 influenza-related deaths. The season prior, the CDC estimated around 22,000 deaths and 34,000 two seasons ago.
Why did the flu stop in its tracks when COVID came into the picture?
It wasn’t the coronavirus itself that impacted influenza. Rather, it was the way people changed their behavior.
Lockdowns kept more people at home. Consumers resorted to online shopping and at-home grocery deliveries rather than going out in public.
Those in public wore masks, practiced social distancing, increased their usage of hand sanitizer, and washed their hands more frequently.
Companies also became more serious about commercial cleaning.
Germs are often spread from person-to-person contact or from touching an infected surface and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes. We inadvertently escort germs straight to the doorway and invite them inside our bodies. Sometimes, we’re even infected through breaks in the skin we didn’t know about, or we breathe the germs in.
That’s why we need to eliminate them before that happens.
COVID-19 has shined a spotlight on the importance of cleaning for health rather than appearance.
Business owners and facility managers have an obligation and moral responsibility to protect not only their customers and visitors but also their employees. Poor cleaning practices can be a direct cause of short-term outbreaks as well as long-term respiratory problems and illnesses often referred to as “sick building syndrome.”
3 Reasons Commercial Cleaning and Proper Disinfection Practices are Crucial to Public Health
Cleaning used to be about perception. If a place smelled like synthetic lemons, the floors weren’t dirty, and surfaces were smudge-free, that was enough to satisfy most consumers.
But now, people are conscious of whether a place is truly clean or not. Cross-contamination is a significant issue that can make a place look clean, but in reality, the dirt and germs were transferred from one area to another. For example, cleaning a toilet seat with a rag that’s then used to wipe out a sink.
Gross… but it does happen.
And while consumers used to find ignorance is bliss, they aren’t settling for that low level of hygiene anymore.
The benefits of proper disinfection and thorough cleaning far outweigh basic aesthetic appeal.
1. Reduced Risk of Infection Spread
Surveys have shown that if bricks-and-mortar stores hope to attract consumers again in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, cleaning and sanitizing has to be a priority.
The International Council of Shopping Centers conducted a survey that found:
- 66% of consumers ranked frequent cleaning and sanitizing as the #1 measure to make them feel comfortable returning to public spaces
- 62% wanted to increase the number of hand sanitizer stations and/or disinfecting clothes for shoppers
- 48% would like to see staff take extra training on hygienic protocols
- 41% wanted stricter government regulations, inspections, and health standards
- 31% would prefer to use technology that minimizes directly touching surfaces or having human-to-human contact
That same survey also found that most consumers would be more likely to purchase from businesses that acted responsibly during the pandemic than those that did not.
Reducing the public spread and taking proper care of employees can have long-lasting impacts on a business’s reputation post-COVID.
2. Improved Short-Term Health
A sudden outbreak at a workplace can cause extreme challenges.
What will you do when half of your customer experience team is homesick and the phones are ringing nonstop? Or orders are backing up in your distribution center during the holiday season because most of your team is home with the flu?
One of the most obvious benefits of proper commercial cleaning is the prevention of outbreaks within a confined community, such as a school or business. It’s good for your employees, your business, and your bottom line thanks to:
- Fewer sick days: In 2020, an average of 5 million people per month missed work due to illness. Improving the overall cleanliness of a workplace means fewer employees will become seriously sick.
- Higher productivity: Healthy employees are able to work faster and more efficiently.
- Happier employees: Being healthy does more than just give us all a physical boost of energy – it gives us a mental and emotional boost as well. We feel happier when our bodies feel good.
3. Improved Long-Term Health
Lower respiratory infections are still the most deadly communicable disease in the world. Cleaning for health is one of the best ways to eliminate viruses, bacteria, and fungal spores that can otherwise circulate through the ventilation system and become a silent, invisible hazard wreaking havoc on immune systems.
Students, hospital patients, nursing home residents, employees, and other groups of people who spend a lot of time in a single building can experience serious long-term effects if they’re all recycling the same contaminated air for hours and even days at a time.
Invest in Commercial Cleaning to Make the World a Healthier Place
Cutting corners on cleaning for health may have worked for some places in the past, but with both the government authorities and consumers being more scrutinous these days, that isn’t the case anymore.
We at Clean Advocate believe in meeting every current health guideline and requirement, which is why we employ GBAC-trained technicians. We’re locally owned and operated in Austin, Texas, and we always take a personalized approach to ensure your facility and needs are receiving proper care and attention.
Investing in responsible commercial cleaning is an investment in your health, as well as the health of your employees and the public. Contact us to discuss your commercial cleaning needs.