The State of Workplaces and Commercial Cleaning
December 4, 2021 | AUTHOR: Tammy Wright
“Are you back in the office yet?”
That not-so-simple question was very likely the most frequently asked work question in 2021. This year, “watercooler” talk was largely virtual. There’s nothing like grabbing a fresh cup of coffee from your own kitchen before your third Zoom call of the day, right?
The overhaul of the workplace has also led to an overhaul of the commercial cleaning industry. Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services has dodged every curveball the pandemic and the changing workplace have thrown.
Returning to the office has been more complicated than most of us could have imagined:
- In June, with vaccines widely available and COVID-19 cases dropping, many corporations announced a return date – only to have those dates pushed back when COVID cases spiked in late summer.
- Many American workplaces have eased back into office life with hybrid schedules that bring employees into the office two to three days per week. Others haven’t stepped foot in their offices since March 2020.
- Most corporate leaders are ready for a return to “normal,” although most workers aren’t so sure. A poll released by Slack in October showed that 75% of executives want to be in the office at least 3 days per week, while 34% of non-executives wanted to return to office 3 days per week.
- A YouGov poll for the BBC showed that 70% of workers predicted they would never return to offices full time.
Those who are back in the office may find comfort in less-crowded break rooms and the pleasant smell of a freshly cleaned workspace. Commercial cleaning companies like Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services are staying busy, as employers try to communicate that they are trying to keep employees safe by investing in professional cleaning and disinfection services.
Cleaning for Health
Office Pride has always cleaned with customers’ health and safety in mind, and during the pandemic, Office Pride’s franchisees and local cleaning teams really stepped up their game.
It’s important to note the difference between “cleaning” and “disinfecting.” Cleaning lifts dirt from surfaces, keeping them sanitized and looking good. Cleaning also paves the way for disinfectants to work effectively. Disinfecting kills the germs that can make people in your office sick.
Long before any of us had heard of COVID-19, cleanliness was important to employers, employees and customers. Lost productivity due to illness cost U.S. employers $530 billion in 2018.
Restrooms had to be sanitized and paper goods had to be replenished at least once per day. Carpets had to be vacuumed and floors had to be mopped to keep them looking good. Office kitchens and breakrooms had to be literally clean enough to eat in and be kept looking tidy. During flu season, especially, employees expected extra attention to be paid to common areas and high-touch surfaces.
With COVID-19, employees’ expectations increased exponentially. In many offices where people still had to report for work, disinfection wipes were stationed strategically around the workplace, and desks were equipped with hand sanitizer dispensers.
To avoid putting their own staff at risk, employers were careful to hire professional cleaners, who are trained in best practices and in handling the chemicals necessary for disinfection and sanitization.
Additionally, employers began to request “visible cleaners.” In the past, cleaning crews were asked to clean after hours to minimize the disruption to workflow. But now, Office Pride franchises are asked to schedule cleaners during the workday, sometimes multiple times throughout the day, so that employees are aware of the efforts being made to keep them safe.
With more requests than ever for disinfection services, Office Pride franchise owners have changed service plans to include sanitization and disinfection of high-touch and common areas. They have invested in electrostatic sprayers, which are effective in disinfecting common areas, personal spaces and hard-to-reach corners and crevices and which are safe for use around electronic equipment like computers. Electrostatic sprayers are vital in the fight against the spread of germs that cause COVID-19, flu and other respiratory illnesses.
No matter how many days of the week your team is back in the office, Office Pride can help you keep them safe and productive. Office Pride’s professional cleaners provide high-quality cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting services to help keep your workplace clean and healthy in the coming year. Contact an Office Pride franchise location near you to request a free custom quote for your cleaning and disinfecting needs.
And if you are anxious to return to the office, take heart: 2022 just might be your year.