Coronavirus came and the whole world as we knew it changed overnight. Almost every one was affected no matter their country of origin or social status. However, today l am going to write about it's impact on the cleaning services specifically in Ireland. The changes were drastic and immediate. Cleaning became one of the most sought after service just after health. For us who are in the cleaning industry it took us by surprise. We were closed for a while but it became clear that cleaning was needed to help and control the spread of Coronavirus. So the requests from the clients started pouring in again. But the way the cleaning was going to be done has already changed. Here are the 7 reasons how corona virus changed the cleaning companies
The administration moved online
In most cleaning companies the administration side of things was moved entirely online. In our company we were already doing bookings online or over the phone for general cleaning services. We only send out supervisors to view deep cleaning jobs so that we can come up with a quote. But after the Coronavirus crisis we moved everything entirely online except the physically cleaning itself. We started to requesting building plans and photos in order to come up with quotes. we wanted to reduce the contact between our employees and the members of the public. Within our company we moved all other departments to work from home and the whole office became a storage place for equipment and chemicals only.
The cleaning staff adopted health guidelines
The cleaning staff are the ones who are in direct contact with client's homes and offices. There are more at risk than all other employees in management and support. We adopted all the health guidelines set up by the department of health and added our own internal ones as we saw appropriate. All the cleaners are now required to wear masks and gloves when cleaning. The cloths used for cleaning can not be used again in other house or properties. They have to be thrown away immediately after the cleaning. We have also introduced COVID declaration forms which cleaners have to fill every three days. It allows us to monitor the appearance of symptoms and the cleaners who were in contact with each other.
Disinfection integrated in all types of cleaning
Disinfection has always been a part of deep cleaning especially in the food industry, healthcare and other areas where existence of pathogens was a danger. In homes normal cleaning was enough without disinfection save for the bathrooms and kitchens. However now almost all companies include disinfection in all types of cleaning whether it is general cleaning, deep cleaning ,cleaning in homes or cleaning in offices. Places with high traffic like offices desk, door knobs need to be disinfected continuously.
Cleaning services are now more expensive
The Coronavirus crisis has added an extra cost to everyone cleaning companies included. The amount of PPE equipment and administration involved cost more. For companies to survive especially the small ones, the cost had to be passed to the client. Still, we understand that the people themselves are also facing an economic uncertainty, so a lot of companies are also cutting costs and taking less profits. However, cleaning services are no longer just a requirement but a necessity too.
Cleaning companies can no longer guarantee staff consistency
We all love consistency, it is good for the client and for the cleaning company too. If you have a cleaner fixed for a client , it saves the cleaning company management costs. To the client it guarantees the deliverance of good work over a longer period of time. As you can see it is good for both parties. But with Coronavirus you will never know if the cleaner will make it to work tomorrow. Since regular tests are being carried out, if the test come back positive then the cleaner has to be withdrawn and isolated immediately. If one develops symptoms again withdrawal should be applied immediately . As much as this is an inconvenience to both parties but it's necessary.
It has added administration and health requirements
Most industries have taken a lot of steps to protect their workers and the public. These steps need investment in time and resources. Safety officers in most cleaning companies, apart from dealing with physical injuries to employees are now dealing with COVID. Employees now need a training in COVID safety and it's now a requirement for some clients. In most cases the prices for the cleaning services have remained the same but as you can see the costs have gone up.
Lack of customers who can afford the services
I have firsthand experience on this point. We had a lot of clients before the lock down. When it got lifted some of them were not in a position to continue with cleaning services anymore.Most of the small businesses never opened again. Those who opened either cut the cleaning hours or they did the cleaning themselves in order to lower the the operating costs. The biggest decline was in the domestic section. Some people lost their jobs and they couldn't keep on paying for a cleaning services. There are some who are just being careful since economic news are all negative and recession is coming.
There is just a lot of changes which were brought by corona virus. I think more changes are yet to come and things will never be the same again. However some of the changes are actually good for the clients. Especially the integration of disinfection in all types of cleaning. It was something we should have done from the start. We aim to keep on improving.