Hygiene-driven efficiency: a value-creating advantage for businesses
The past two years have been a turbulent time for businesses in almost every industry. Some companies have struggled to stay afloat, while others have adapted their operating models and thrived. For those who struggled, a sharp focus on efficiency became integral to their success.
When businesses think of efficiency, hygiene isn’t necessarily the first factor that comes to mind – but in a changing economic landscape, how can a targeted approach to hygiene facilitate positive change? for business results?
A complex operating environment
Today’s operating environment presents a trio of challenges for businesses: labor shortages, inflationary pressure and fluctuating gas prices. Compounded by the consequences of the pandemic, businesses are forced to settle for less, forcing them to be hyper-focused on efficiency.
Labor market conditions add further challenges to businesses. America has more than three million fewer people in the workforce today compared to February 2020. For hygiene, the implications are twofold. First, finding volunteer cleaning staff and the budget to recruit and train them is more difficult. Second, companies struggle if staff are sick when their workforce is already reduced.
Now consider the expectation that companies will do more when it comes to helping prevent the spread of disease-causing germs. A March 2022 survey from Lysol Pro Solutions found that only a third of workers rated their office protocols as excellent.2 Companies that fail to meet these employee expectations risk diminishing employee trust and even losing employees.
In this context, a smarter approach to hygiene can be the key to improving efficiency.
Clean smarter, not harder: three steps to smarter hygiene
With a more targeted approach to combating the spread of germs, businesses can ensure their resources are focused on disinfecting high-traffic, high-touch surfaces. The adage of work (or in this case: clean) smarter, not harder, has never rung truer.
First, companies need to understand the science behind how people move and interact within a workplace, and the surfaces they touch throughout the day. Second, they need to understand what these surfaces are made of and therefore which products work best to clean and disinfect them. And third, they need to analyze the timing and frequency of cleaning efforts and develop an approach that targets hotspots appropriately throughout the workday.
To bring this theory to life, consider a desktop environment. To research demonstrates that the most germinated hotspots in an office are often surfaces that we don’t always consider to be at higher risk of contamination, such as elevator buttons and keyboards. These are the areas that require special attention from cleaning crews.
The analysis suggests that uneven surfaces such as keyboards can be difficult to clean and disinfect. Product selection should therefore be carefully considered, bearing in mind that the product used should be suitable for that specific surface and effective in killing germs.
When it comes to when and how often to clean, a business should consider traffic patterns in conjunction with high-touch areas — for example, shared surfaces in a conference room where a meeting has just ended. Since it is neither pragmatic nor efficient for cleaning staff to clean the conference room between each meeting, disinfection products placed in the conference room can allow meeting participants to disinfect frequently touched areas and clean them. help protect themselves and their colleagues from the spread of germs.
A more targeted approach to cleaning and disinfection can potentially bring key benefits:
- Work efficiency where businesses can direct their cleaning staff with greater agility and focus on key facility hotspots that tend to harbor the most germs.
- Effective product use where companies can optimize the dosage of products used without indiscriminately spraying large areas without considering science, efficiency and cost. In the longer term, using the right product in the right way can help the company preserve the life of assets, maximizing value for the company.
- Worker productivity instilling trust in the environment and potentially reducing sick days through reduced spread of germs.
What can companies do to make hygiene more effective?
A business looking to improve efficiency through hygiene can implement a three-pronged approach:
- Partner with innovative and trusted hygiene specialists like Lysol Pro Solutions, who can offer comprehensive solutions and programs across all industries and for all sizes of business.
- Equip cleaning staff with an understanding of high-touch areas within a facility so that increased attention is paid to surfaces that harbor the most germs.
- Empower customers and employees with products so they can play a role in disinfection. This not only increases ongoing routine cleaning efforts, but also elevates the overall hygiene levels of the facility.
Written by Dr. Lisa Ackerley.
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