In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, hygiene and cleanliness levels have never been a more vital part of effective facilities management. While many business, leisure and educational facilities are closed to stop the spread of the virus, for those that continue to operate, sanitation levels need to be upheld to the highest of standards, now more so than ever. Regardless of how the current concerns continue to unfold, it has most certainly highlighted the importance of hygiene within facilities.
Munday + Cramer are a multi-disciplinary building consultancy working with facilities management to ensure commercial buildings are being maintained as they should. Here they offer their advice on steps that can be taken to manage the cleanliness of facilities, not just during an outbreak, but to ensure it can be prioritised at all times.
Stick to a strategy
A large part of facilities management is about organising and planning for the future so that you can avoid problems occurring within your premises and minimise expenditures. Under current circumstances, no amount of planning could have prepared the country for the extreme effects of COVID-19, however, when there is a plan in place it does often mean your responses, as and when the unexpected does occur, can be more strategic and efficient.
For example, factoring in quieter periods and utilising them effectively, such as school closures or holidays for educational facilities or during the summer and Christmas season for offices when attendance is low. These are good times to deep clean areas when there will be less disruption, allowing for more effective cleans.
Hygiene and cleaning standards need to be upheld to the highest standards at all times, but during critical times when they are under close examination, making cleaning plans will help. Incorporating these into the facilities maintenance procedures using online compliance portals and maintenance logging tools, such as the ones Munday + Cramer offer, can keep practises running smoother and also show a clear process that can be monitored.
Encourage a ‘clean culture’
Cleaning professionals will know all too well the importance of a ‘clean culture’ but it is equally important that it is encouraged, particularly in offices, among staff. This is to ensure general tidying becomes routine for workers. For example, leaving their personal work spaces tidy at the end of the day allows for a more thorough clean.
When those within a company work together and cleaning professionals’ plans are integrated within facility plans, operations can work better.
It is important to ensure that suitable products and equipment are made available if you are to encourage this consistent cleanliness. When it comes to cleaning products, it is always best to do some research and invest – the cheapest solutions are very rarely the best option.
Cleanliness is ongoing. Of course, this recent viral outbreak has made it particularly poignant at the moment, but cleaning must be kept on top of on a day-to-day basis as well as regular deep cleans. When cleaning strategies are incorporated as an integral part of facility management it means facilities don’t require as much combative maintenance, saving a facility time and money.
Similar to encouraging a team effort to tackle good hygiene, it is important to ensure that all staff are aware of the processes that are in place and are confident with regards to what is expected. This way regimes can be put in place to prevent small issues from manifesting into bigger problems.
Stay up to date
Health and safety legislation is constantly changing and being updated, particularly in high priority times such as during an outbreak, when cleanliness is more vital than ever. As certain areas have their own individual requirements, for example, kitchen extraction systems and the ventilation for air conditioning, businesses must ensure they’re up to date and adhering to these to avoid penalties.
Munday + Cramer work alongside facility management staff and business owners to offer compliance packages that can monitor facilities and ensure they meet statutory requirements.
Have a backup plan
No one could have foreseen the pandemic happening, or the huge effects it would have. However, now is the best time to learn from this and ensure facilities have a contingency plan in place for difficult times. There are a lot of things people don’t consider until they have to, so have a list of remedial actions to take beforehand. Consider things making time for extra cleans, improving the specification of cleaning products and equipment as well as keeping up with general maintenance tasks.