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The entire office culture across the UK has completely changed and most businesses will not return back to normal, instead a ‘new normal’ will have to be put in place.

Following lockdown, many businesses are gradually starting the process of getting their staff back to work and there are changes to the offices that have had to be made post-coronavirus.

Returning to work will have to happen in stages and the transition time will be stressful for all involved.

 

What returning to work will look like

Offices around the world are having to change the way they operate, it that means doing flexible working, for example, three days in the office and two days working remotely, or limiting the amount of staff in the offices completely, is something that has to be done.

Having an office presence is important for both processes and cultural practices and it’s going to be tempting to revert back to pre-pandemic. To help stop the spread of COVID-19 this needs to be watched carefully and enforced within the office environment.

There are three employee segments that can be considered:

  • Fully Remote working (All work can be completed at home, like a marketing role for example)
  • Hybrid Remote (As mentioned above, working at the office and at home on split days)
  • On-Site (For those that physically have to be in work, like tradespeople, cleaners etc)

 Get together with your employees and ask them what they’d prefer and if suitable for the type of business bring in the practices they want.

Redesigning the workplace

The pre-pandemic typical office was likely a mixture of private offices and open desks with staff sat side by side, meeting rooms and shared amenities. Well, this is not the case now as new measures have to be in place to keep your staff safe.

Businesses need to create workspaces to keep all employees safe, here are a few examples:

  1. Social Distancing measures must be put in place, meaning the staff are more spread out, although this does mean less staff will be allowed in the offices
  2. Bring in separate cubicles for all employees, protected with screens if needed, block off alternative desks in open-plan offices
  3. Staggered break times to ensure only a limited number of employees are in break out areas at any one time
  4. Introduce a one-way system around the office premises to ensure staff are socially distanced as much as possible
  5. Hand sanitising stations at entry and exit points, also if possible on all employees’ desks

Now is the time to initiate change

Employers around the UK need to start experimenting with bringing their employees back to offices if this isn’t possible then make working remotely more efficient by introducing more organisational digital software.

Experimenting isn’t going to hurt, if something doesn’t work for your company, try something different.

New cleaning measures are a must

Cleaning your office more effectively during and after the pandemic is vital and new cleaning regimes MUST be implemented to keep all employees safe.

Your new cleaning regime should include regular cleaning of high touch point areas on top of your regular cleaning, more frequent cleaning in high traffic areas should also be considered.

If there’s a case within your offices then a deep clean, disinfection and sanitisation should be considered before allowing people back into a possibly contaminated space.

Getting the right cleaning regime in place now, supported by the right professional cleaning company, offers reassurance for you, your employees and any visitors to your building.

If you have been doing the cleaning yourself or not getting the right level of support from your cleaning company it’s time to get in touch with your local ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services company, where you know you can rely on local commitment with national support and over 60 years of experience in the cleaning industry in the UK.

 

COVID-19 hit the world by storm towards the end of March and has quite literally changed the world as we know it.

With the government opening schools back up and trying to enforce normality as much as possible, there are still a few changes that need to happen in schools and nurseries to keep all children and staff safe.

Handwashing – Can you make it fun?

Teaching children how to wash their hands properly with soap and water doesn’t have to be hard and it is the main way that we can do to keep all within schools and nurseries safe.

Especially with younger children making the cleaning hands procedure fun is vital as it’s going to be the way of life for a while to come. Here are a few ways of making cleaning hands fun;

  1. Encourage them to sing a song when cleaning their hands, like a nursery rhyme for the younger ones and for the older ones their current favourite song
  2. Alternatively, you can make up a song in the classroom and get them to sing this instead
  3. Tell them something like if you clean your hands regularly you’ll become a superhero and give you the powers to bit the bad guys

Here’s a song released by the NHS to help with the cleaning of hands – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9VjeIWLnEg

School reopening: pupil hygiene and wellbeing posters

Adults – Lead by example

Making sure as an adult you are cleaning your hands as regularly as the children and joining in with the sing-a-long is vitally important, because children learn from adults around them.

So, making a habit of washing your hands, disposing of paper towels correctly etc, your children will be more likely to copy this behaviour and continue to do so.

Always make sure you’re socially distancing with colleagues and children where possible as this will help stop the spread

Keep your eyes, ears and noses out for symptoms

Making sure you’re keeping your eyes and ears out for symptoms including, a high temperature and a new, continuous cough is important for the health of your entire school or nursery. Other symptoms can include a loss of smell or taste, so it may be a good idea to potentially check the children’s sense of smell every so often.

You can also tell the children to let you know if any other child mentions any of these symptoms so that the correct measures can be followed.

Make sure to follow NHS guidance with every potential COVID-19 case.

Always outdoor play where possible

As schools have started to open new ‘social bubbles’ have been formed in order to allow children to once again play with each other outside. Most schools have adopted a class or year group bubble which includes all of the teachers associated with that class or year group as well.

Social interaction is important for the emotional wellbeing of children, therefore outside playing being prioritised in the key decisions to open up schools.

Always make sure the children are washing their hands by following the correct procedures after every break time.

Listening is important

The children in schools and nurseries are bound to be worried or concerned because of changes to their daily routines and because of certain things they may have heard or read in regards to the coronavirus.

As a teacher, or caregiver it’s important to reassure them that you are there to listen if they’re feeling scared, unsure about something they may have heard and being there for them in these different times.

If you’re unaware of what to tell the children then there are a few different websites you can head to that will help with this;

Talking to children about coronavirus (Young Minds)

Talking to children about the coronavirus pandemic (Mental Health Foundation)

Regular cleaning is vital

Regular cleaning in schools and nurseries is vital to ensure the health and safety of the children and staff on the premises.

That is why all schools must have a new daily cleaning schedule put in place, and that is where we can help, find your nearest ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services for more information today.

Workplaces, Schools and other buildings with high levels of people frequenting them can be a common place for germs to be spread, the higher the number of people the greater the risk. Bacteria and viruses can be spread very quickly from person to person either by touch or in the case of COVID-19 in droplets in the air.

It has never been more important to promote good hygiene in the workplace and reduce the risk of infection.

Every business, school and healthcare facility will have different hygiene requirements based on the size and function, some will also have specific requirements to the industry they are in. But what does apply to all, is that since16th March when most of the UK went into lockdown, and from the time we were first made aware of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most important messages has been the importance of good hygiene.

As a business, school, healthcare facility or other industry, it is important to encourage people on your premises to follow good hygiene guidance and ensure there are facilities available to allow this. Use signage to remind people at strategic locations about hand washing or face coverings, one way systems or other requirements on your premises to help encourage compliance.

There is clear advice about how important good hand wash is and how to wash hands effectively. We have been advised that you must wash your hands for a good 20 seconds and this NHS video shows you the best way to wash your hands clearly https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/.

If you, your employees and your visitors make the effort to wash their hands properly, it is also important to ensure they don’t then contaminate them straight away. Drying hands properly is also important. Businesses use a variety of methods for hand drying from normal towels to hand dryers or paper towels, the most hygienic method to dry hands is by using paper towels that can be disposed of after use.

If it is not possible to have hand washing, hand gels should be made available. These should contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective against COVID-19. You can get further information from HSE about hand sanitisers here https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/hand-sanitiser/index.htm

As well as maintaining good personal hygiene, it is also important to ensure good hygiene throughout the premises. Put in place a robust regular cleaning regime to keep high touch point areas clean as well as the usual surfaces that can harbour germs such as desks, kitchens & bathrooms. Areas that are highly frequented by people should be cleaned on a more frequent basis.

If you need help with creating a suitable cleaning regime, get in touch and see how we can help. ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services are already helping businesses across the UK open safely and have more than 60 years of experience providing commercial cleaning in the UK. We can help with your daily cleaning, high touch point cleaning, sanitisation and provide cleaning products and consumables. We’re here to take care of the cleaning, leaving you to take care of your business.

Were here if you need us.

One of the most important moments in containing the spread of COVID-19 is when you have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in your business. Taking appropriate steps to clean and disinfect after the possible or confirmed case is critical in keeping you, your employees, and your customers safe.

While the infection risk from a COVID-19 contaminated environment decreases over time, it is not yet clear at what point there is no risk from the virus.

Scientists know that SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted through respiratory droplets. (Respiratory droplets are the little bits of liquid that are exhaled when someone speaks.) But they’re not yet certain about infectious aerosols. (Aerosols are the smaller, much more numerous particles that people breathe out.) Research indicates that there is at least a chance that these smaller particles of breath can carry the virus. If that’s the case, then it’s possible that the virus could travel further and linger in the air for longer than initially thought. However, studies suggest that, in non-healthcare settings, the risk of residual infectious virus is likely to be significantly reduced after 48 hours.

While researchers are still figuring the details out, there are actions you can take to protect you, your employees and your visitors.

  • Close off any areas the person with a suspected or confirmed virus visited.
  • Open outside doors and windows to increase ventilation, while still indicating that people should not enter the area.
  • If you can, wait 24 hours before beginning cleaning and disinfection. If you can’t wait 24 hours, wait as long as you can.
  • Cleaning staff should clean and disinfect every area visited by the person with a suspected or confirmed virus, as well as anything they may have touched.
  • Ensure cleaning staff have suitable PPE. Use a disposable mask, gloves, and coveralls.

More information for cleaning in non-healthcare settings outside the home can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings#left-area.

Details for the Test & Trace system for employers can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-workplace-guidance

If you have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in your building, consider getting the professionals in, at ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services, we can provide a deep cleaning and sanitisation service for your building as well as ongoing professional cleaning services. That way you know you are in safe hands.

Were here if you need us.

Many businesses in the UK have now been allowed to open but, as we start opening our doors and navigating our way through the new normal, maintaining high cleaning standards is just as important as ever. COVID-19 has not gone away so maintaining high cleaning standards in the workplace should be kept in place to help reduce spread of the virus.

There are several steps available to you as a business owner to help control and reduce the spread of the virus. Where possible reducing person to person contact is the most effective method, if people don’t come in to contact with the virus they can’t catch it. Obviously this isn’t always possible, and especially difficult for some businesses. Where people are more likely to come in to contact with each other, PPE is the next preferred option but again, this isn’t always possible. If your business is open suitable cleaning and  disinfection regimes should be put in place.

COVID-19 Cleaning Tips

Here is some basic information to know and first steps to take in order to maintain the cleanest, safest environment that you can.

Know the Terms

Knowing what you’re up against is a big part of fighting it. So’ here’s some clarification:

Coronavirus is a broad category of viruses. There are seven known coronaviruses that can infect people. They were first identified in the 1960s. You may hear people call this latest one “the new coronavirus” or “the novel coronavirus” to specify which one they’re talking about.

SARS-CoV-2 is the specific name of this ‘newest’ coronavirus, which was discovered at the end of 2019.

COVID-19 is the disease that is caused by SARS-CoV-2. The name tells you that it is the COronaVIrus Disease that was discovered in 2019.

It is also important to know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting, we have shared this previously in one of our other blogs ‘’Cleaning and Disinfecting

but as a little reminder…

“Cleaning” means removing dirt and impurities from surfaces. It doesn’t kill germs, but it decreases the number of germs on a given surface, this in itself will help reduce the risk of infection.

“Disinfecting” refers to killing germs, usually with chemicals like EPA-registered disinfectants. The surface may not necessarily look cleaner, and the germs may still be present, but they will be dead.

To reduce risk of infection from COVID-19 or any bacteria or virus, the best way is to use both of these processes. First, clean all surfaces to remove the bulk of the germs and to get rid of dirt. Then disinfect the surfaces to kill any germs that may remain.

Ensure you employees use suitable hygiene and hand washing procedures, especially in the workplace.

You and your employees should wash hands thoroughly, for the full recommended 20 seconds.

If hand-washing is not suitable an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol content should be used on a regular basis. Hand Sanitiser is now readily available in shops and online or see our previous blog for instructions on how to make your own. You can even download a copy of our Hand washing poster here.

If your employees feel unwell, they should not come in to work.

This should be a standard practice generally to restrict spreading any illness but, it’s especially important right now. Anyone experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 should avoid others. Make sure your employees know that you expect them to stay home if they are feeling ill.

Keep your employees aware of the current Government Guidelines that they should follow if they experience symptoms of COVID-19 and how they can get a test.

For latest advice, see the NHS website.

Use PPE where suitable

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), is an important part of preventing the spread of infectious diseases. PPE includes face masks, gowns, and disposable gloves. These items are important, but they’re only effective if used well.

Masks are most effective when everyone is wearing them. People can carry the new Coronavirus without showing symptoms, wearing a face covering is a best practice for everyone. If your staff are required to wear facemasks, ensure they are aware of how they should wear them correctly (Covering the mouth and nose).

Gloves should only be used in suitable settings, they are only effective if they are disposed of and changed after each ‘single’ use. In most circumstances, it is more effective to wash hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitiser as mentioned above.

COVID-19 Risk Assessments

You are now required to have a COVID-19 Risk Assessment in place for your business. At ServiceMaster we have a Risk Assessment for our cleaners while they are on your site, they will follow guidance within the Risk Assessment which includes information on specific COVID-19 related issues, PPE and general cleaning activities.

How to clean and disinfect your building

If you’re taking the time and effort to clean your building yourself, now is the time to make sure you do it right. Just like with washing hands, the procedures are there for a reason. If you try to cut corners or reduce costs, you could put yourself or your staff at risk. Put together a cleaning regime to make sure you take care of everything you need to.

Sort the cleaning from the disinfecting

Identify what just needs to be cleaned, and what needs to be disinfected, as well. Many surfaces and objects may be fine with a regular cleaning. But High Touchpoint area will probably need to be disinfected as well. Download out High Touchpoint cleaning poster for a list of areas that probably need more regular cleaning and disinfection.

Don’t forget to clean outside spaces too. Think about areas that people touch, door handles, handrails, tables & benches etc. All of these places can harbour the virus for hours or days even though they are outside.

Likewise, if absolutely nobody has been inside your place of business for 7 days, your normal cleaning routine will be fine upon returning. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has not been shown to survive on surfaces for longer than a week. However, once people return and begin to carry out day to day activities, regular disinfecting will be necessary.

For more information see our previous blogs or see the official guidance for cleaning in non-healthcare settings outside the home from the UK Government.

Consider outsourcing to commercial cleaning services provider

Professional cleaners already have the experience and cleaning products needed to help keep businesses and workplaces safe. They have the protective gear that they need. They come in, do the work, and get out. You can focus on your business and keeping yourself, your staff and your customers or visitors safe, while your cleaning provider focusses on your cleaning.

Help prevent the spread of this or any other virus in your business

It’s important to do everything you can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That means enforcing rules about protective gear for your employees where appropriate. It means encouraging employees who feel ill to stay home. It means strictly following appropriate procedures for handwashing, cleaning, and disinfecting. And it means keeping the environment thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

One way to reduce risk is to leave the cleaning and disinfecting to the professionals. ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services can take a giant task off your plate and a giant weight off of your mind. Whether you’re in retail, foodservice, an office environment, a School or even a GP surgery, professional cleaners have the training needed to keep you safe.

Were here if you need us.

Commercial and janitorial cleaning services have become a much more important service since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

While a lot of businesses were forced to close during lockdown, many schools, healthcare providers and other vital service providers were required to stay open throughout the lockdown. Rachael Downer – Managing Director of ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Surrey-London explains how they adapted to the new and evolving situation to keep their staff working safely and ensure their clients could too.

Dealing with the news

When lockdown was first announced, our first thoughts were to contact our staff to reassure them that we will do everything in our power to manage our teams through this unique situation and to reassure them that we would be talking to the sites that they worked at, evaluating the situation and putting steps in place to ensure every one’s safety above all.

Following on from this, our next priority was to contact all of our clients. It was important to us to contact our clients and immediately, assess what their requirements were and what we could do to help.  We also contacted our H&S advisors to ensure that we were adhering to new legislation and guidelines and ensuring both our staff and clients’ safety.

We carried out a full review of the services we provided or would need to provide for every one of our clients initially; most of our clients were unsure about what would be needed as nobody knew what the following weeks and months would bring. The cleaning services were and continue to be reviewed regularly to meet the changing needs of our clients.

In addition to the changing needs of our clients; we had the challenge of working with our staff who also had pressures on their schedules with increased child care issues, with schools being closed.

How we adapted

To help ensure our clients sites were cleaned and sanitised for themselves, their staff and their customers or visitors, we adapted quickly to be able to provide additional services and products for our clients. These additional services on top of our regular contract cleaning included things like: Fogging, touch point cleaning, review of specifications and budgets, PPE and even Display notices. These additional services and products meant our clients could meet their own cleaning & hygiene obligations without having to source additional supplies or suppliers, making it easier for them when there is enough to deal with.

We usually hold regular meetings with our clients to ensure we are meeting our clients service expectations and with the constant changes, we found that we needed to keep in touch with our clients more than ever. Obviously with social distancing, face to face meetings were not ideal so we made the most of remote methods (as many of us have done over these last few months) and kept in regular contact using Phone, email & Zoom.

As lockdown has eased and our other clients have been able to re-open, we are pleased to say that we have been able to get our teams back in and be able to provide our usual or adjusted cleaning schedule within 48 hours of instruction from our client.

Providing more for our clients

As more clients have opened, we have seen an increase in requests for our additional services such as; Fogging, touch point cleaning, review of specifications and budgets, PPE and Display notices.

In additional to providing these services and products, we have also provided extra  training to key employees to understand the science behind the virus and how bio-fogging can help and we are pleased to say our trained staff are now accredited to give extra reassurance to our clients.

Providing exceptional levels of service is and always has been a priority to us at ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Surrey-London and to ensure we maintained our services levels through the pandemic we increased the level of communication in respect of weekly updates on recommended services and update summaries on government guidelines, if we are all informed we are all safer.

As clients are getting back to business

At the height of the lockdown 60% of our clients were forced to close their business, now only 15% remain closed, due to the type of industry they are in. One of our main concerns as our clients came back was bringing our staff back off furlough in time to resume cleaning services rapidly.

In the main, this was actually very smooth, a couple of staff were very nervous about returning and in these cases we have placed cover staff on site and regular cleaners are on unpaid leave until they are comfortable to return.

Throughout the pandemic, our employees have been amazing!  The level of flexibility and understanding to take on new methods of cleaning and new times to deliver the service has been truly impressive. Both the operations team and support teams have adapted to new methods of working and we are delivering a service that makes our clients and staff feel safe in these very challenging times.

Cleaning on clique

Cleaning historically is not that important to many decision makers in businesses but cleaning ‘the right way’ has always been our number one priority at ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Surrey-London. Since the COVID-19 pandemic cleaning has very clearly become a much more valued service and we hope to work more in partnership with our existing clients to meet their needs for their unique environments.

With cleaning becoming more of a priority, not only have we seen requests from our existing client to increase or adjust their ongoing cleaning service, we have also seen an increase in enquiries. We have signed several new contracts recently. There is a growing trend of businesses that historically clean the building themselves want the reassurance of a professional compliant to ensure the cleaning is done the right way as well as clients who have just not received the right service from their existing clients.

Our new clients have required services including 24 hours on site cleaners in the construction industry, communal cleaning for offices and bio fogging services and due to our structure and ability to adapt we are well placed to be able to provide these services effectively. We look forward to our ongoing relationship with our new clients.

Our clients trust us and I believe this is imperative to any relationship working and lasting. They have seen that we have risen to the challenge that the whole world has faced and we have been able to offer flexible solutions to their challenges whilst appreciating the financial struggle some have found themselves facing. I believe going forward clients will expect more but there is a new respect for the cleaning industry which benefits all parties.

Give us a call on 0845 201 1184 or email us at enquiries@servicemaster.co.ukto ask how we can help with your commercial cleaning requirements.

Tom Jackson has owned Merry Maids Dudley since 2002 and due to his success, expanded this residential cleaning service in to Wolverhampton, Birmingham South and Solihull over recent years. Tom has built a highly successful business and as his business has expanded, he has been able to employ more and more local people  throughout the area he services. Due to his success and looking at ways to share his expertise, Tom made the decision to invest in a commercial cleaning company, namely; ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Dudley.

With his ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services business, Tom will be offering contract daily & regular cleaning to businesses, schools, nurseries & healthcare providers among others.

Having owned businesses within the domestic cleaning sector for nearly 20 years, Tom’s knowledge of the cleaning industry, attention to detail and cleaning operative management means, Tom has all the experience to provide exceptional service to his commercial clients; and as part of the ServiceMaster Clean network, also has the support and back up of a national network and over 60 years of cleaning experience in the UK.

“I’m looking forward to the new challenge utilising my experience gained from my Merry Maids domestic cleaning franchises and transferring it into the commercial sector”, said Tom Jackson, owner of Contract Services Dudley.

Tom strives on figures and being at the top, and that’s exactly where he currently is within the Merry Maids network. He’s looking forward to a new challenge to start a commercial cleaning business from scratch, grow it significantly within 2 years and employ 100-150 local people.

“Having been with ServiceMaster for nearly 20 years, we know how successful Tom can be and we’re excited to see him succeed and become one of the leading ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services businesses within the network”, added Guy Strang, ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Brand Manager.

We wish Tom all the best with his new business venture and we’ll be here to help in any way we can along his journey.

It has never been more important to ensure of a clean, hygienic and safe environment for yourself, your employees and your customers.

COVID-19 has shaken up the entire world. It’s meant that businesses have had to change the way that they operate to accommodate the ‘new normal’. One particular area of business that has been well highlighted is ‘cleaning‘. What should business owners be thinking about?

Revisiting Cleaning Regimes

Are the current cleaning regimes, thorough and regular enough to ensure that premises are as clean and hygienic as possible?

The last thing that any business would want, is for an employee or a customer to potentially contract something after visiting their premises.

Many businesses are now choosing to outsource cleaning to professionals for both deep cleans ahead of reopening and ongoing, daily cleaning to ensure of a clean and hygienic environment.

Products & Processes Effectiveness

Now is a good time to check that cleaning products and processes are effective against viruses, bacteria and infections.

The manufacturer of the product or piece of equipment will also recommend the most effective way of using it. I.e. application, dwell time and other specific instructions for best use.

Employee & Customer Reassurance 

By having proper cleaning measures in place, it is reassuring for employees and customers to know that a business is doing everything that it can to ensure that the environment is clean, hygienic and safe.

Some businesses choose to have visible cleaning throughout the day for that extra peace of mind. High touch point cleaning is an excellent cleaning regime for this, ensuring the most touched places are sanitised often.

ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services specialise in daily and regular cleaning and can help with periodic deep cleaning and sanitisation. We can recommend solutions to suit your requirements whether for a deep clean ahead of reopening, or an ongoing regular cleaning regime.

We understand the importance of ensuring that your premises are clean, hygienic and safe for you, your employees and your customers. Our cleaning products and processes are effective against bacteria, infections and enveloped viruses.

In the current COVID-19 pandemic, cleanliness and hygiene are more important than ever. As we all try to go back to work, keeping the work place properly clean also means helping keep it safe, so it’s important to get it right.

If you are doing the cleaning yourself here are some tips on getting it right.

Make sure common areas are cleaned regularly

All common areas such as reception areas, walkways, stairs and hall ways should be dusted and vacuumed (or mopped of a hard floor) on a regular basis, the frequency will depend on the volume of traffic. Obviously if you have a reception area that customers or visitors use the appearance of these areas says a lot about your company as well.

Cleaning and Sanitising of surfaces

Especially during COVID-19, surfaces should be cleaned and then sanitised to reduce risk of the virus, an approved cleaner should be used and full details can be found at www.gov.uk. Usually an antibacterial product should be used.

Keep kitchen & bathroom areas clean

Office and shared kitchen areas are particularly prone to bacteria. These areas should be cleaned on a regular basis with a suitable antibacterial cleaner. You should ensure you pay particular attention to sink and any appliances that employees use on a regular basis. During COVID-19 you should use an approved cleaner

Keep the office/building rubbish free

Bins can be breading grounds for bacteria and other bugs, have bins placed strategically around the office and building (more bins aren’t always better) Bins should have liners and should be emptied regularly.

Have a tidy desk policy

Messy desks can be a distraction but cluttered desks are also more difficult to clean. Desks are high touch points and should be cleaned and sanitised regularly to help maintain a healthy work place.

Have a system

Have a cleaning system that you work to, know what area you are cleaning when. This way you know that you are cleaning all of the areas when they should be and will be less likely to miss spots.

Clean high touch point areas more frequently

High touch point areas are just that, they are being touched more frequently than other areas, so they should be cleaned more frequently than other areas to help keep them clean. This is especially important during the COVID-19 to help reduce any spread of infection.

Get the professionals to do it for you

As a business owner or manager, you probably have more important things to spend your time doing than the cleaning, so outsourcing the cleaning to a professional contract cleaning company is a good choice to make. Your cleaning can be fully managed for you and right cleaning company will focus on the day to day cleaning so you can focus on your business.

 

How ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Swansea have managed our cleaning teams provided cleaning for our clients over the COVID-19 crisis….

The COVID-19 lockdown has been a challenging few months so far for most, ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services was no exception. Although fortunate enough to not have to close completely like many businesses, a lot of changes needed to be implemented to be able to continue to provide services where required and operate safely.

Jonathan Gethin from ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Swansea explains how they managed changes within their business, operations & services to enable them to continue to operate.

How we have been working

“When lockdown was first announced, our first priority was to ensure that our management team could work from home, but also ensure that we could organise and manage the company and our cleaning teams efficiently. Our next priority was to ensure that we kept in touch with both our clients and staff by sending regular communications with any legislation that may affect them or us and the service we provide.

It was important to us to ensure that our clients were aware that we were fully operational and could meet their cleaning requirements if they needed to stay open, and to convey the steps that we had taken to ensure that we could work within the government guidelines to keep them, our staff and ourselves safe, as well as prepare them for any steps that may have to be taken in the future.

We advised clients that we would do everything possible (in our power) to keep disruption of service to a minimum, but due to the ‘environment’ some disruption may not be avoidable, every client had been updated on a regular basis. Thankfully, disruption of service was avoidable due to our effective contingency planning; and redistribution of a number of staff members from sites that had closed to cover other staff who had to shield.

In the week leading up to and the first weeks of lockdown, we were contacted by many of our clients to discuss their contracted cleaning provision going forward. It was inevitable that some requested to temporarily suspend their contracts; others wanted to ensure we could fulfil their ongoing cleaning needs, some clients that had to remain open, even wanted to increase their cleaning hours to ensure increased levels of cleaning and hygiene could be maintained.

How we have helped our clients

Many of our clients that stayed open have added additional ‘touch point cleaning’ to ensure the sanitation of touch points throughout the building. We also altered the cleaning time for some clients so that our cleaners would be on site out of working hours to avoid unnecessary contact with others and help with social distancing.

To meet the needs of our existing clients we purchased extra SaniMaster 6 products (SaniMaster 6 is ServiceMaster’s antibacterial and virucidal cleaning solution), and distributed to all cleaning staff to ensure sanitizing of work stations – we also instructed all cleaning staff to pay particular attention to touch points during the clean.

We provide cleaning services to over 20 doctor surgeries/medical facilities and a couple of these have required ‘deep cleaning’ of Covid-19 Testing Hubs. We have managed to service these areas additional to the regular cleaning by either working closely with another company offering ‘fogging services’, or by providing PPE and deep cleaning consulting rooms with suspected COVID-19 patients.

On occasion we have provided additional services on top of our standard contract cleaning; as mentioned above we have been working closely with another company who has been providing a daily fogging service to one NHS contract in particular. On another NHS site we have provided deep cleaning for a COVID-19 testing hub.

Additionally; we have provided products and consumables such as antibacterial sprays, wipes and hand sanitizers as well as source dispensers and hand sanitizers for clients who have been open and clients who had closed and are now preparing to reopen. We sourced 50 dispensers and hand sanitizers alone for a car dealership group ready for their reopening.

It was important for us to be able to stay in regular contact with our clients. With almost all of our management team working from home, a skeleton team remained office based to answer phone calls and redirect them to the relevant person. It also allows us to keep on top of cleaning products and consumable deliveries with a delivery driver coming into the warehouse twice per week. This has allowed us to continue as business as usual for all of our clients.

We did suspend all contracts managers visits to fall in line with the only travel when necessary guidance. Instead our contracts managers have been contacting customers via telephone/email instead.

As the country has been allowed to reopen and for our clients, we have been able to restart their cleaning contracts almost immediately.

We have also found that although some clients have decreased cleaning hours due to financial constraints, many have actually increased their hours; all have requested extra consumables such as hand sanitizers and wipes etc.

To meet this returning and additional demand swiftly, we brought cleaning teams back from furlough as and when their sites have reopened. We also have several cleaners who were not put on furlough and were able to cover additional sites.

Customer service

At ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Swansea, we always pride ourselves on our customer service. We have been in constant contact with our clients who have not only remained open but also those that had to close, so that they knew we were here to help when needed.

Our contracts managers have been working tirelessly to ensure client’s needs are met and as little disruption has occurred as possible. Just one of our supervisors has been furloughed to ensure that we can continue to offer full supervision to all of our open sites. As more of our clients open, each supervisor assesses which staff need to come off of furlough to ensure that we can deliver the required service levels.

As more industries have started to open, we have had enquiries from many new prospects looking for a cleaning service after lock down, we are slowly starting to take on these new clients as our current workforce and supervisors capacity allows.

Many of our new enquiries are coming from companies that have been managing the cleaning in house or did it themselves, they are now looking for a professional company to manage the cleaning so that they can reopen and put their staff minds at ease.

In summary

The knowledge and contacts that we have within the cleaning industry is a big positive. We have managed to outsource cleaning requirements where necessary whilst managing it all for the client, such as the fogging service. We have also been able to obtain mass numbers of consumables required, which our clients would have struggled to obtain without our supplier base.

The cleaning products that we use such as SaniMaster 6 and the bespoke and detailed cleaning regimes that we put in place has given our clients the peace of mind that their building is being cleaned and sanitized on a daily basis and keeping them, their staff and their customers or visitors safe.

It’s a common misconception that cleaning and disinfecting are the same thing. To put it simply, cleaning is the process of removing dirt and disinfection is the process of removing or controlling the spread of viruses and bacteria.

In order to do the latter, you must first, clean!

Here are our tips on cleaning and disinfecting:

  1. Use effective products
    Always read the label – Most cleaning products will have a list of the dirt they can remove and the same goes for disinfection products for listing the viruses and bacteria that they are effective against with proper use.
  1. Follow the label instructions
    Instructions on how to use the product effectively can also be found on the label. It’s important to read these, as instructions from product to product may vary. Some require use on a wet surface, some say to spray on to a cloth, not the surface directly and others say that that the product needs to be wiped off after a period of time. It’s important to use the product properly to ensure that the product is effective.
  1. PPE & Equipment
    It’s a good idea to protect yourself whilst using cleaning and disinfection products. Products can get in to broken skin or in to your eyes and cause irritation. Goggles and gloves can help to minimise this risk whilst spraying and wiping in particular.

    It’s best to use a microfibre cloth to clean and disinfect with. The micro fibres in the cloth give you better contact with the surface so that you can use the product more effectively. They can also be machine washed afterwards – just remember to wash all cloths separate to any clothing, bedding or other household textiles and at a high temperature.

  1. Keep it clean!
    That goes for your hands and surfaces.

    Remember to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Regular hand washing helps to minimise the spread of viruses and infections.

    Highly touched surfaces such as door handles, light switches, television remotes etc need regular attention. Ensure that they are free of any dirt and then disinfect.

As we change the way we work and live to the ‘new normal’ and adapt to try and reduce the risks of COVID-19, our knowledge and understanding of professional cleaning services should be clarified so we fully understand what we really need to help reduce risk.

For those that manage facilities, be they general offices, schools or medical practices, it is more important now more than ever to know the differences between cleaning, disinfection, sanitisation and sterilisation – because these terms have specific meanings and their implementation produces different levels of health and safety protection in your workplace.

As a commercial cleaning company with more than 60 years of experience in the UK, all ServiceMaster Clean cleaning operatives know the differences in cleaning terminology and the products, methods and procedures required to achieve a clean, safe and healthy working environment.

To help you communicate effectively with your commercial cleaning providers and help prevent the spread of any infection at your premises, the following are definitions for key cleaning terms:

Cleaning is using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove visible dirt and impurities from surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of infection.

Disinfection kills germs on surfaces or objects through the use of chemical products. The disinfection process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, disinfection can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitisation means reducing the number of germs and microorganisms on surfaces or objects to a safe level. Sanitising is performed after cleaning, by disinfecting surfaces or objects to an approved level that further lowers the risk of spreading infection.

Sterilisation involves the use of high levels of heat, chemicals or other procedures to remove all microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, spores and fungi, from surfaces or objects. Sterilising is rarely required or performed outside of healthcare setting such as hospital operating rooms.

If carried out correctly, cleaning and disinfecting procedures will produce sanitary results. At ServiceMaster Clean, our professional commercial cleaners are experts in creating clean, safe and healthy work environments. We have the experience and resources and national support to help maintain and promote safe practices for infection control for our clients.

We can help you implement effective cleaning, disinfection, sanitisation and sterilisation protocols for your business, school or healthcare facility. Get in touch with your local ServiceMaster Clean and ask how they can help Find your nearest.

DISCLAIMER – COVID-19 is an emerging pathogen and new information becomes available on a regular basis. The information presented here is based on reports available at the time this article was written, in May 2020, and is derived from several sources including the World Health Organization, ServiceMaster Canada, UK Research & Innovation and other sources. The information contained in this article may be updated at any point by the organizations mentioned herein. It is the responsibility of every business to stay current on new information regarding COVID-19 as it emerges. This article should not be construed to be the totality of all information available on COVID-19.