By Tim Conn
The arrival of spring often inspires people to clean their homes, garages, and office spaces ahead of the summer months. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic which began two years ago, clean spaces are becoming more top-of-mind than usual for the average individual. This is a great opportunity to reflect on sanitary environments in the workplace.
There are three components to this—which I’m calling the Triumvirate of Cleanliness—that facility managers should bear in mind as we approach the summer of 2022.
1. Set Regular Cleaning Tasks
One way to remember this leg from the Triumvirate of Cleaning is that “a cleaner in motion tends to stay in motion.” As this play on Issac Newton’s First Law insinuates, a person who establishes a successful cleaning regimen tends to stay in a mindset of dutiful cleaning on a regular basis. Identifying shared areas in your facility or office space and making note to keep them germ free and tidied up is a first step in maintaining a clean work environment. Encouraging team members to have the mindset of leaving these areas better than they found them is beneficial: This could include anything from friendly signage reminding people to clean up, to leaving out wipes to help them clean before they leave the area. An effort that will only take 30 seconds now could, if left untreated, result in a lengthy cleanup in the near future.
2. Modern-Day Problems Call For Modern-Day Solutions
The average employee in an office setting can only be expected to do so much. Having outside cleaning professionals take over where regular employees leave off is oftentimes required. Taking care of dust is one thing, doing a deep clean on germs throughout the building is another. Solutions such as Electrostatic Spraying (ESS) has been shown to be very effective in these environments. ESS has existed since the 1940s, but really gained traction globally in 2020 during the onset of Covid-19. Because it’s relatively easy to use, safe to be used around people, and effective, it’s become the contemporary solution for current day issues such as viruses and other germs that could otherwise spread throughout a facility. Once applied across a desired area, ESS has an approximate longevity of 30 consecutive days killing germs that come into contact with it. This allows those regularly in the building to not fixate as frequently on “degermifying” their workspaces.
3. People Will Be People
At the end of the day, it’s vitally important to remember that we’re all human and that people will forget to clean up after themselves and maintain the desired level of sanitation for their work environment. Human nature plays a big role in approaching how people clean: As much as cleaning is scientific in terms of the chemical solutions being used, it is also just as psychological. Encouraging people to set good habits like those mentioned above is one way to address this issue.
Because people will be people, building management should be encouraged to cede the brunt of these cleaning duties to professionals. Employees working in a facility can handle smaller cleaning tasks, while leaving the big-ticket items for facility management professionals or outside commercial cleaning professionals.
Tim Conn is president and co-founder of Image One USA, a commercial cleaning franchise that trains franchisees in all facets of the business, including sales, operations and quality control. Conn has made a career in the cleaning industry, beginning as a sole proprietor at the age of 14 when he started his first cleaning business, Tidy Tim’s Cleaning, and grew it through college before venturing into the franchising world. He is the author of the book “No New Ideas: Everything You Need to Know About Starting a Successful Franchise.” Based in Rolling Meadows, IL, Image One has nearly 100 franchise locations across the Chicago region and around the U.S.