President of ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba serving the Chicago area for over a decade in fire and water damage restoration services.
As states throughout the U.S. ease Covid-19 restrictions, business owners are navigating the reopening process. While getting back to the workplace is a welcome change for many people, it presents many unique challenges.
About 80% of small businesses in the U.S. have partially or fully reopened. Still, many expect the impacts of the pandemic to linger. According to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce poll, 55% of business owners believe it will be six to 12 months before the economic climate returns to normal.
One thing many companies expect to see is an increased focus on sanitation. After more than a year of navigating a highly contagious virus, many customers expect businesses to maintain stringent cleaning and sanitation protocols. In fact, it’s likely a condition of patronage for many of them. To meet this expectation, about half of small businesses plan to ramp up their cleaning or disinfection efforts in the coming year. As the CEO of a company that provides Covid-19 cleaning and sanitation services, I’ve seen an uptick in customers asking for specific offerings.
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind the best practices shared by the CDC for creating safe and hygienic workplaces. Additionally, facility managers may want to consider the following types of cleaning as they reopen and refresh their workplaces:
1. Air Duct Cleaning
The Covid-19 pandemic shed light on the importance of ventilation and indoor air quality. Even as we begin returning to normal in many aspects, the importance of good air quality continues. What’s more, a 2017 study reported that better indoor air quality “led to significantly better decision-making performance,” planning, preparedness and strategy during times of pressure.
2. Carpet Cleaning
Carpets serve many purposes. They provide a soft, padded underfoot feel and can make your property look professional and welcoming. Unfortunately, they can also become a hotbed for dander and allergens. According to the American Lung Association, carpets can trap pollutants, including “dust mites, pet dander, cockroach allergens, particle pollution, lead, mold spores, pesticides, dirt and dust.”
Keep your property looking and feeling great with routine carpet cleaning. In addition to removing allergens, irritants and ground-in dirt and grime from your carpet, professional carpet cleaning can extend the lifespan of your carpet.
3. Floor Mat Cleaning
Floor mat cleaning serves two important purposes: It keeps your business property tidy and looking clean. It can also make your location safer. When your floor mats are clean, the risk of slips can decrease. Plus, in the post-Covid-19 world, clean floor mats will communicate your commitment to cleaning and sanitation and help your customers feel at ease at your business.
4. Upholstery Cleaning
Upholstery cleaning can help remove germs, dust, dander and allergens. It can also help prevent damage and extend the lifespan of your upholstered surfaces. Regular upholstery cleaning can save you money by allowing you to get more use from your existing furniture rather than investing in new pieces. Upholstery cleaning is especially important for high-traffic companies like doctors’ offices and health clinics, where upholstered surfaces see heavy daily use.
5. Deep Cleaning
Deep cleaning became standard practice during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you ask me, there’s no reason for it to stop now. Regular deep cleaning can help with sanitation and make your company feel more welcoming. It also reduces the buildup of everyday dirt and grime and saves you time on daily cleaning tasks.
Best Cleaning Practices for Businesses
It’s important to maintain a consistent cleaning schedule. In addition to the types of cleaning above, keep your office clean with this daily, weekly and monthly cleaning checklist:
• Clean all hard floors with a mop and disinfectant.
• Vacuum floors.
• Empty and sanitize trash cans.
• Spray and wash glass with standard glass cleaner.
• Wipe down all hard surfaces with a disinfecting solution.
• Wipe all door handles, light switches and register buttons with disinfectant.
• Sanitize toilets, sinks and bathrooms — both those for employees and customers.
• Disinfect and wipe down other hard surfaces like desks, countertops and conference tables.
• Buff and polish hardwood floors and tabletops.
• Clean and wipe down the refrigerators in break rooms. Check all contents and discard food that’s past its expiration date. Sanitize handles and sides of the doors.
• Deep clean all windows, including both inside and outside surfaces. Consider hiring a professional for tall or hard-to-reach windows.
• Dust all surfaces both high and low, including baseboards, ceiling fans and window ledges.
• Clean fabric chairs and other upholstered office furniture.
• Vacuum air vents to remove dust and improve indoor air quality.
• Dust and wipe down high surfaces, including ceiling corners, the top of tall furniture and bookcases.
• Deep clean all surfaces, paying close attention to areas that see a large amount of daily use.
Looking Forward To A Better Future
As businesses reopen, ongoing cleaning and sanitation will stay extremely important. By focusing on these cleaning approaches — air duct cleaning, carpet cleaning, floor mat cleaning, upholstery cleaning and routine deep cleaning in addition to regular maintenance — you can help customers feel confident entering your place of business.