Compliance with the current standards for health and safety, as advised by medical professionals and governments worldwide, is the new norm. Maintaining a sanitized, safe, and hygienic home and workplace is essential for our protection, health, and well-being. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has provided detailed guidelines on safe practices for everyday cleaning, security for cleaners, disinfecting surfaces, dealing with the situation when someone tests positive for the coronavirus, etc. The media has played a huge role in providing information.
The pandemic resulted in a huge shift in hygiene standards, and we have all had to reassess our old benchmarks. When the outbreak first happened, many cleaning services lost their clientele because there were strict rules imposed by apartment associations, condos, homes, and office buildings. However, as people became more informed about having a hygienic and germ-free environment, the need for cleaning services began to climb.
Statistics show that the demand for professional cleaners has zoomed up by nearly 75% since March 2020. Finding the perfect cleaning service during the pandemic is important.
Hiring a cleaning service that provides professional solutions for commercial and residential spaces needs more thought and research in the present scenario. Apart from offering safe services to clients, employers also need to ensure that their staff is protected. It’s a question of balancing and managing the risks so that customers get top-quality service that’s also safe, while simultaneously ensuring that the cleaning service business remains profitable.
Let’s look at some vital points to keep in mind while hiring a cleaning service during the pandemic:
1. Analyze your requirements: Most people are on a Work From Home mode, which means you spend considerable time in one space. Ensuring that this place is regularly cleaned, sanitized, disinfected, and tidied takes time and effort. While you could afford to vacuum twice or three times a week when working full-time, it’s crucial that your home remains fresh and germ-free now. Make a checklist of all that you need done, when and how, and work out costs.
2. Research: A one-size-fits-all solution wouldn’t work here as there are different types of services, with varying levels of quality and price. Ask like-minded friends/family/co-workers for recommendations. If you’re looking online, check reviews and references. Remember that the personnel have access to your home, contents, family, and privacy. If you’re looking for home-cleaners, focus on that segment, and avoid generalists. Compare prices and quality of work. Prepare a list of questions to ask, including insurance, screening, training, accreditation, experience, and if they have a street address and land-line telephone.
3. Pandemic Protocols: Check how the service has implemented and ensured pandemic protocols. Are they aware of the CDC guidelines? Are there special restrictions imposed by your residential or commercial building association or co-op? Does the service ensure that staff is fully protected and follow the basic requirements of hand-washing, disinfection, body temperature check, etc.? Here, communication is a key factor. Your cleaning service should also ensure that they comply with protocols as the situation evolves, and new guidelines are imposed.
4. Read the Contract Carefully: If it’s the first time you’re hiring a service, or if your contract has to be reviewed/renewed, make sure you go through it with a fine-tooth comb. There may be clauses regarding COVID insurance and liability, janitorial bonds, surety bonds, etc.
5. Tools and Equipment: Check whether your cleaning service uses the right tools, cleaning products, supplies, and equipment. The service should ensure that both clients and their staff are kept safe. The Environment Protection Agency has provided a list of effective and safe disinfectants to be used against Covid-19. Cleaning service staff should wear protective gear and masks inside your home/office while carrying out their duties. Ensure that the staff knows exactly what chemicals they’re using. Some of them may not speak English fluently, and they may not be aware of the risks involved. Make sure that they also dispose of waste in a prescribed manner. If you have children and seniors at home, keep them safe when the cleaning is underway.
6. Keep things in Perspective: Avoid discussing or gossiping with your cleaning staff regarding the pandemic. You could unwittingly fuel rumors or be a purveyor of incorrect information. Don’t panic and cancel your cleaning service. Your home or office needs to be kept as clean and hygienic as possible during the pandemic. A regular, professional, and thorough cleaning helps you physically and emotionally feel stronger and more at ease.
7. Seize The Opportunity: Since you’re spending more time at home, it’s a great chance to declutter, tidy up, get rid of unnecessary stuff, and things that you aren’t ever going to use. However, make sure that you don’t inhale too much dust or tire yourself out. Instead, work to a plan and get help from your cleaning service to dispose of trash and rubbish correctly.