Wilmington, Mass. () – Though many of our nation’s workplaces have been much quieter and far less trafficked in recent months due to COVID-19 restrictions, National Cleaning Week (March 28 – April 4) and the gradual return to normalcy and on-site, 40-hour work weeks bring new meaning and importance to the term “spring cleaning.”
In order to “keep the lights on” and prevent businesses from closing entirely, budget cuts and reduced spending during the pandemic became a necessity for many. And often those cuts and reductions came in the areas of facility hygiene and cleaning programs, as many companies transitioned to working remotely from home with fewer (or no) employees in their buildings. Accordingly, the needs for normally scheduled services were reduced, paused, or eliminated altogether.
But as COVID-19 vaccinations are being distributed and the health of the nation continues to improve, businesses are once again reopening, and employees are beginning the slow transition from working remotely to returning back to the office. As a result, a reliable, consistent facility service supply program and diligent attention to cleaning, sanitizing, and dust control will become a necessity—perhaps more so than ever before.
The following four steps serve as a good baseline for not only reopening in as safe and clean a manner as possible, but also for maintaining a facility service program that helps ensure the overall health of your facility, your employees, and your customers:
- Prevent dirt and moisture from entering the building.
Scraper and walk-off mats placed at entrances help remove and capture shoe grime and outside dirt before it can enter the building. Over one pound of dirt and contaminants can accumulate in one square yard of carpet in just one week, and vacuuming only removes about 10 percent of the dirt. If floor mats are not regularly deep cleaned, they can become a source of facility contamination, not a barrier to it.
Soiled mats should be picked up for professional laundering service and returned on a regular schedule to help ensure consistent cleanliness throughout the year.
- Maintain the cleanliness of hard surfaces like counters, desks, walls, conference room tables, and floors, as they are proven transmission points of contact for bacteria, viruses, and other sickness-causing germs.
Sanitizing solutions like Purell’s surface spray disinfectant system and sanitizing wipes and UniFirst’s 128 E-FECTicide spray disinfectant are specially formulated to help neutralize and/or kill germs on surfaces, greatly reducing risks of transmission and employee sickness. They are also effective in helping to combat SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus).
Contemporary cotton-based and technologically advanced microfiber floor mops, towels, and surface wipers are also specially designed to clean more effectively, trapping and holding contaminants and providing a “cleaner clean” than more traditional floorcare and wiping products, thereby reducing labor time and costs. Like floor mats, these products should be picked up regularly for professional laundering by a qualified facility services provider to maintain their effectiveness.
- Equip your workplace with essential restroom and ancillary products.
High-quality soaps and hand sanitizers, hand care products, and paper towels in portion-controlled dispensers made available to employees and customers are essential to maintaining proper hand hygiene. Most products are also available with touch-free dispenser options, adding an extra layer of protection between users and potential germ-transmitting surfaces. Hand sanitizer dispensers—either wall-mounted or on stands—should also be placed in common and high-traffic areas throughout building(s), making access to effective hand care that much more convenient for users.
When combined with regular cleaning and a comprehensive offering of bathroom products, ancillary products such as toilet paper, air fresheners, trash can liners, and more, also show your employees and customers that you take hygiene, cleaning, and restroom appearance seriously.
- Contract with a qualified provider to regularly service, inspect, deliver, and maintain facility service product inventories and equipment.
On a regular schedule, a reputable service provider should pick up, launder, and deliver fresh floor mats, mops, and textiles, restock all required ancillary product inventories, inspect all dispensers, ensure that all equipment is in proper working order, and replace all items as needed.
According to UniFirst Director of Marketing and Communications Adam Soreff, “Qualified facility service providers like UniFirst take much of the guesswork out of building maintenance and hygiene and can also help businesses save money on routine product and service purchases.” He continues, “Regularly scheduled visits from a route service representative ensure that customers always have all the products they need on hand when they need them, and that all equipment is in perfect working order to help maintain the safest and cleanest work environments possible.”
Contracting services with a reputable provider like UniFirst is a big step towards providing peace of mind for your employees and customers as they return to your place of business. (Re)establishing scheduled services helps to ensure that you’re welcoming them back to a consistently clean, safe, and sanitized environment.
Headquartered in Wilmington, Mass., UniFirst Corporation (NYSE: UNF) is a North American leader in the supply and servicing of uniform and workwear programs, as well as the delivery of facility service programs. Together with its subsidiaries, the company also provides first aid and safety products, and manages specialized garment programs for the cleanroom and nuclear industries. UniFirst manufactures its own branded workwear, protective clothing, and floorcare products; and with 260 service locations, over 300,000 customer locations, and 14,000 employee Team Partners, the company outfits more than 2 million workers each business day. For more information, contact UniFirst at 800.455.7654 or visit UniFirst.com.
Communications and PR Supervisor
68 Jonspin Rd.
Wilmington, MA 01887