What Cleanliness Concerns Do Americans Have This Fall?

An infectious disease expert discusses America’s views on cleanliness and what FMs can do to help stop the spread of infectious diseases.

  • Aligning cleaning and disinfection programs with infection prevention and science.
  • Ensuring the ability to convene with confidence everywhere in their facility.
  • Supporting health and building wellness while building trust and resilience.

Can Cleaning Protocols Have A Negative Impact On A Business’s Bottom Line?

Certainly, the cleanliness of a business has an impact on a business’s bottom line. When a business, hotel, restaurant, airline, etc. is not clean, people often take their business elsewhere or write bad reviews.  In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by ISSA the majority of Americans (82%) would do or say something if a business wasn’t cleaned to their standards.

  • More than half (54%) wouldn’t visit that business again.
  • One in three (33%) would complain to friends/family.
  • Nearly three in 10 Americans (29%) would speak to a manager.

Cleaning for appearance is no longer sufficient. The public now understands that a surface can look and smell clean but still harbor harmful pathogens. Facilities must adopt a “cleaning for health” approach to restore confidence, uphold brand reputation, and minimize the spread of infectious germs.

The first thing businesses can do is make cleaning visible. Our study also showed Americans want proof businesses are disinfecting. Over half (51%) say they’d be more likely to frequent a business if it provided evidence their facility has been properly disinfected.

To increase confidence and peace of mind, they have set cleaning schedules that enable employees to clean while visitors and occupants are in the building. This is one of the simplest ways to prove that an organization is committed to protecting public health. When people see the process of cleaning, they trust that the facility is taking the necessary steps to prevent transmission of infectious germs. In addition to making cleaning visible, frequent cleaning also a must. Facilities need to prioritize use of effective products and technologies to improve cleaning performance.

Facility managers have brought cleaning practices to the forefront in places such as airports, hotels, convention centers, schools, and supermarkets. Consumers have seen with cleaning procedures posted in public spaces and certifications like GBAC-STAR. Organizations can also engage with other businesses, providers, suppliers, etc. who strive for a higher standard of clean.

What Was The Most Interesting Finding From The YouGov Survey, In Your Opinion?

One thing I found interesting is that there has been a shift in public perception of cleaning and its role in protecting health and safety. People are more aware of the importance of cleaning, appropriate use of disinfection, hand hygiene using soap and water or hand sanitizer, and that facilities need to demonstrate how they clean.

By focusing on cleaning for health, facility managers in commercial offices, retail stores, airports, convention centers, schools, hotels and more can significantly reduce the risk of infectious germ transmission, uphold the well-being of employees, and protect building occupants and visitors.

ISSA through our Rethink What Clean Means campaign is helping the public and organizations effectively implement cleaning products and technologies, train, certify, and safeguard their cleaning staff, and improve the overall approach to cleaning surfaces and indoor air.

ISSA is the world’s leading trade association for the cleaning industry.

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