In our article which discusses new hygiene standards, we have mentioned various studies that have been carried out and which relate to the ability of viruses in general, and Covid-19 in particular, to survive on different surfaces and on how Messerli addresses this new threat. However, the Covid-19 pandemic requires us to reconsider our entire approach to cleanliness, to review our daily habits and to create a genuine culture of hygiene within companies.
At the start of this pandemic, cleaners, those usually silent and anonymous workers in different fields and in all sectors, found themselves in the spotlight. The essential nature of the role these personnel play in our lives has become apparent to all, where before their task might have been seen as trivial and of secondary importance. Prior to 2020, maintenance crews were expected to come in the evening to empty the trash cans and mop the floor. Their occasional absence was therefore only an occasional annoyance. Their work is absolutely essential.
This vision of cleaning services in companies must change and cleanliness must become a transversal task. Indeed, in light of this pandemic, it is important to build trust among employees and let them know that they are working in a safe environment in which cleanliness and disinfection efforts are visible. Cleaning crews need to come out of the shadows and become part of an overall process in which they will be seen as part of the overall workforce of the company, even if they are outsourced.
Secondly, it is essential to involve all of the company’s employees and make them understand that they too are a link in the hygiene chain. There are some simple things we can do that will help maintenance crews be more efficient at their job. Do not leave cups and glasses on sinks for example, tidy up your desk and workspaces in general, and tables in meeting rooms in particular; these are small things that can make all the difference. In order for people to play the game, they must be involved, made to understand that the personnel in charge of cleaning are not invisible workers, but that they are their partners in a mission which is to ensure the health security of all within the company.
It may also be useful to modify the working hours of cleaning teams. While we generally like to see them arrive when desks are empty and their presence was once more of a nuisance than anything else, making them more visible brings a tangible benefit in that everyone can appreciate the quality of their work. We can thus measure the benefit of having an orderly workspace in which they can do their work efficiently. A tidy desk will be easier to disinfect than a cluttered desk, and what better way to realize that than to witness the operation yourself!
The company also has other ways to make clean-up efforts visible to everyone. We usually post the dates and times of cleaning tasks in washrooms, why not post them in meeting rooms and gathering places?
Either way, hygiene in the workplace must become a real culture within the company and a shared effort by all. The pandemic has changed us and changed the way we approach cleanliness in this place where we spend a lot of time. She showed us that this is something that has to involve employees and that a new symbiosis has to be established between them and the maintenance teams.
You can contact us here at Messerli for advice and to discuss how we can help you implement a culture of hygiene within your organisation and to discuss professional cleaning solutions that we can offer to make your work environment a safe place.