It goes without saying that COVID-19 has dramatically changed the world.
For one, many industries have had to adjust how they conduct their operations. A good example here is how remote work became the norm for office-based jobs. All jobs also had to be classified as “essential” or “nonessential” to minimise person-to-person exposure in case of infection spikes.
The pandemic also changed perspectives regarding cleanliness. During the early days of COVID-19, when little was still known about the virus, people obsessively cleaned and disinfected every surface for fear of droplet transmission. As research continued and the virus was found to be airborne, the focus shifted to proper masking and ventilation.
Speaking of cleanliness, COVID-19 also had drastic effects on the commercial cleaning industry that are seen to persist long after the pandemic is over. Here is a look at some of these changes:
Increase in Demand for Cleaning Services
Before the pandemic, most businesses availed professional cleaning services for simply that: cleaning. If something needed a little more attention, then deep-cleaning services were booked.
During and after COVID, however, commercial cleaners have seen an uptick in requests for additional cleaning from their existing customers. In addition, even those businesses that didn’t use to hire cleaners found themselves looking for providers.
Some of the most in-demand services include preventive cleans, including disinfection and deep-cleaning. The latter sees a significant rise in demand areas and individual offices where there have been confirmed cases of COVID.
This is definitely a good thing, business-wise, but commercial cleaning companies need to ensure that they are still able to provide quality services despite the high demand. If not, then their reputation can suffer along with the health and safety of their clients’ workplaces.
Increase in Demand for Cleaning Products
As more and more customers request services, cleaning companies must ensure that they always have cleaning supplies in stock. Thus, companies that manufacture and/or sell detergents, disinfectants, and other cleaning products saw a significant rise in their sales volume.
Another segment that saw an increase in sales is personal hygiene. In particular, hand soap, hand sanitisers, alcohol, home disinfectants, as well as cleansing wipes practically became necessities. It’s expected that these products will continue to enjoy high sales, as the COVID pandemic highlighted the importance of cleanliness and proper hygiene to prevent the spread of disease.
On the commercial end of things, specialised equipment such as industry-grade UV disinfection systems and thermal cleaning machines saw an increase in demand. HEPA or high-efficiency particulate air filters have also become more popular, both in commercial and domestic settings.
The Development of Specialised Services
In order to meet the demands of customers in the healthcare sector, many commercial cleaning companies have developed COVID-specific services. This is especially important in facilities where COVID-positive patients are being treated.
These cleaning services are also ideal for non-healthcare premises with a high concentration of people, such as schools, offices, hotels, and restaurants. Often, COVID-specific cleaning is requested after a case of COVID-19. However, it’s also useful as a precautionary measure to stop the virus and other diseases from spreading.
Some of the measures implemented in COVID-specific cleaning include:
- complete cleaning and disinfection of touchpoints such as doorknobs, switches, and elevator buttons
- complete cleaning and disinfection of surfaces up to 2 metres high, including walls and windows
- deep-cleaning using EPA-approved chemicals
- proper disposal of biohazard waste
The Demand for Commercial-Level Cleaning in Homes
Because COVID is a new disease, some people are naturally afraid. This has brought rise to a phenomenon in which homeowners are seeking commercial-level cleaning in their properties. Of course, most homes don’t see the same level of foot traffic and concentration of crowds compared to public spaces. This makes intense cleaning practises rather impractical.
What cleaning businesses can do in these cases is to deliver the same high-quality home-cleaning services, and then help educate the homeowners. It can also be a good idea to recommend products for cleaning and disinfection and then teach customers how to use such products effectively.
More Attention to Science
Last but not least, COVID-19 has brought about the rise of scientific awareness. In the cleaning industry, this means researching products and ingredients, as well as technologies that can help provide efficient, effective cleaning.
This is not to say that cleaning services pre-COVID aren’t based on science. Rather, COVID has made cleaning companies more aware of the science behind the products and equipment they use. With a better understanding of their tools for the trade, commercial cleaners are therefore able to provide better services.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the world will never be the same again after COVID. With its far-reaching and long-term effects, it’s impossible to go back to the so-called “normal” pre-pandemic. COVID is something that we have to live with from now on.
The bottom line? The commercial cleaning industry should be able to evolve and keep up with any change, no matter what happens in the future.