The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we live and work. Millions of Australians – and billions across the world – have experienced massive disruption to their everyday lives, with the evolving nature of COVID-10 continuing to create considerable uncertainty.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new form of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections, ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) are other coronaviruses that have caused outbreaks in recent years.
Across Australia, businesses have been asked to support their employees to work from home wherever possible. Most commercial offices are currently close to empty, operating with skeleton staff while the bulk of employees work remotely. Manufacturing facilities and logistics companies are establishing new ways of working, with social distancing and preventing contamination top of mind. As restrictions are lifted, retail businesses are beginning to reopen with a renewed focus on cleanliness and hygiene. Hand sanitiser stands have quickly become the norm.
It’s unlikely we’ll ever return to the way things were before the coronavirus. While nobody can predict what the “new normal” might look like in months or years to come, what is certain is that a focus on cleanliness and infection control is likely to remain.
So, what does COVID-19 mean for the future of commercial cleaning?
- More regular, more intensive cleaning
The days of office cleaners providing a cursory clean once a week or fortnight are behind us. In a post-COVID world, a quick vacuum, mop and wipe-down of kitchens and bathrooms is completely inadequate. Workplaces large and small are facing into government and employee expectations that maintaining a safe workplace now includes regular deep cleaning designed to protect outbreaks of the coronavirus and other infectious diseases.
- Mandatory two-step cleaning: clean, then disinfect
Traditional all-purpose cleaners lift dirt from surfaces and may physically remove some nasties, but they don’t kill bacteria and viruses. Following the coronavirus pandemic, providing a sanitised workplace has become an essential part of OH&S. To achieve this, your cleaning company must perform a two-step deep clean – first cleaning to remove any physical impurities from surfaces, then thoroughly disinfecting that surface with a chemical disinfectant.
- Special attention for high-touch areas
Office cleaners have always paid attention to high-traffic, high-use areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. COVID-19’s ability to infect via contaminated surfaces – and survive on surfaces for more than a week – means that high-touch areas are now firmly in the spotlight. Today, professional office cleaners must have a keen eye for high-touch objects including door handles, light switches, access control and alarm system, phones and bins.
Quality commercial cleaners will create and work to a site-specific checklist that means all high-touch areas are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected on every visit. When completing a warehouse clean, they’ll clean and disinfect forklift ignitions and roller door controls; for a courier company, all vehicle touchpoint (keys, steering wheel, door handles, centre console, etc.) will be sanitised.
- Hand sanitiser absolutely everywhere
Almost overnight, sanitiser went from an occasional-use item that you might carry when travelling or caring for young children, to something to have on hand at all times. Now, you’d struggle to find a business that doesn’t have a pump pack of hand sanitiser on the front desk – or even being forcibly dispensed on all visitors by an employee. However they’re configured, sanitising stations are the way of the future in a post-COVID world – and savvy cleaning companies are offering hand sanitiser stands or stations (and their replenishment) as a handy add-on to their services.
Bettie’s Cleaning Solutions can work with you to create a tailored commercial cleaning package that includes a COVID-focused deep clean on every visit. Visit www.bettiescleaning.com.au or call 0458 007 178 to get started.