The significance of cleaning and hygiene must remain central topics when tackling coronavirus in the long term, according to the head of cleaning for a support services firm.
Lauren Kyle, head of cleaning at Sodexo UK & Ireland, was speaking about the topic at an ISSA (worldwide cleaning industry association) virtual seminar on the impact of coronavirus on the European cleaning industry that included a discussion around the key findings of a recent ISSA white paper on the subject.
Kyle also told Facilitate: “The ISSA white paper has highlighted that although cleaning and hygiene became central topics at the beginning of the pandemic, it has since tailed off. It is really important that the importance of these services doesn’t just slip back under the radar.
“The coronavirus pandemic has focused the minds of clients across all sectors on the provision of cleaning services. Cleaning is still seen very much as a cost, but the dialogue needs to change so that professional cleaning services are seen as an investment in supporting the health and wellbeing of building users.
“While there is – rightly – ongoing focus on technology and innovation, the pandemic has also highlighted the need to maintain ‘brilliant basics’. Well-trained, well-equipped, appropriately resourced and managed cleaning teams are intrinsic to the delivery of effective FM services as cleaning providers work with their clients to support their changing requirements.
“It is important that all parties recognise the importance of investment in training for cleaning teams on disinfection and infection control measures, not just in terms of financial cost, but also allowing time for appropriate training to take place.
“There is, at last, some more recognition that cleaning for health is really important. Service providers and clients need to work in collaboration to invest in cleaning as a service that is key to public health. Long-term, sustainable investment in the delivery of effective cleaning services will help people to feel more confident in returning to the workplace – whatever shape it takes in the ‘new normal’.”