Tatjana Ahmed, Housekeeping Manager, Grand Hyatt Dubai
One of the most defining trends in the cleaning industry has been the increased public concern. While in the past, cleaning was done mostly for appearance, we have now started cleaning for a healthier environment. Emphasis on cleaning for health means that professionals adhere to a higher standard of cleanliness as they are often the first line of defence when it comes to stopping the spread of viruses, infectious diseases and other contaminants in public spaces. The pandemic has catapulted the cleaning industry into exactly what it should have been years ago - focussed on infection control and proper sanitation.
So training of the cleaning teams has also come into the limelight. We have to ensure that training processes are prepared so our staff can be adequately prepared to provide a high quality service. Not only are they to be trained to quickly turn around the rooms but also to work efficiently to keep up the cleaning schedule. Extra time spent on cleaning may increase costs but will fetch long term results for the business.
The future of cleaning and disinfection
COVID-19 is a tragedy for everyone. As a housekeeping manager, I have to constantly ask myself how I can protect our guests and employees from COVID-19 inside the hotel as well as being able to combat future pandemics. From now on, we always have to conduct cleaning for health and safety. We need to recognize that disinfection is the second step after cleaning from now onwards. There is a dire need to visit certain areas twice in a room.
Even if you use electrostatic sprayers, you will still need to invest more time because it is an extra task that you’re going to be doing on a daily basis. We will also see more steam cleaning as it is quite effective when done in a proper way. The future will also witness extensive use of UVC disinfection. An organization will need to revisit the cost factor for all of this.
2021: Uncertain or hopeful
Many of the new cleaning and disinfection protocols and practices have to be adapted. The way COVID-19 and its new strains have infected us and made us realize that we are dealing with a core habitation of germs, viruses and bacteria, we have become more aware about how we are possibly contributing towards the spread of infectious germs and diseases.
We have learnt a lot over the past months, and we now know much more about what to do and how to reduce the spread of disease. We also have more resources at hand. Armed with a better understanding and realizing the importance of cleaning for health, the future does look HOPEFUL.