While the debate over in-office versus remote work is far from over, it appears that eventually, employers will be calling their workers back into the office:
- 90% of companies surveyed report they plan to have return-to-office policies in place by the close of 2024.
- Nearly 30% of interviewed companies will threaten to fire employees who don’t meet the in-office requirements.
- Three out of four companies with employees who have returned to the office report increased revenues, while 83% of company leaders believe coming back into the office by 2024 will enhance productivity.
- Financial powerhouse Goldman Sachs wants its employees back in the office five days a week.
- Google is incorporating employees’ in-office attendance in its performance reviews.
- 66% of workers want the office to be cleaner than they perceived it to be in the past before agreeing to return.
- 89.9% of employees believe workplace cleaning protocols are very or somewhat important.
- 94% of workers reported they feel they are more productive.
- 77% of workers say they produce higher quality work in a cleaner environment.
- Surveys show employees want offices where they can connect with colleagues and that feel more like home.
These statistics make two things clear:
- Offices may be filled less than five days a week, but most workers will be in the office at least two to three days a week. Their schedules will likely be staggered to ensure some workers are present each workday.
- Encouraging current and recruiting new employees to an office is much easier when workers perceive it as a clean, healthy, and comfortable environment.
This means now is the time for company owners to ensure their offices are comfortable, clean, and healthy.
A Time to Delegate
Today’s employers are facing supply chain issues, staffing shortages, inflation, record technological advancement, and other time-consuming business concerns, all while trying to run their day-to-day operations. They don’t have time to chase down various vendors to ensure all aspects of creating a healthy, more appealing office environment are handled properly.
Many companies have a building service contractor (BSC) or in-house facility management team to perform “regular” janitorial duties. However, most lack the capabilities and bandwidth to provide the more in-depth cleaning and additional services a complete post-pandemic office reboot requires.
This calls for a cleaning service provider with the diverse competencies and/or outside vendor relationships necessary to efficiently handle 100% of these return-to-office needs so employers can concentrate on running their business.
Welcome Back Workers
Below are seven services beyond day-to-day janitorial cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. If your current provider doesn’t offer these, you should be looking for one that does to ensure your space is ready to welcome your workers back.
- Floor stripping and waxing. Nothing can make an excellent first impression of a facility like clean, shiny floors. Conversely, a dull, scratched finish can tell employees and other visitors that cleanliness doesn’t truly matter to you. The COVID-19 pandemic placed a long overdue emphasis on cleaning for health and not just appearance. That’s not to say, however, that looks don’t still matter. They do. What people see when they enter a building gives them an initial perception of the facility, its owners, and the company overall, and a negative impression can be hard to reverse. Floor stripping and waxing can be a labor-intensive task. Yet a knowledgeable BSC trained in the proper process and using the right equipment will have the floor shining in no time, reflecting nicely on you.
- Carpet deep cleaning.Months of little to no foot traffic can lead companies to believe there is little need to steam and/or deep clean carpets. Nothing is further from the truth. Airborne dirt, dust, and bacteria have been landing throughout the shutdown, especially in areas where cleaning frequencies have been reduced. The accumulation makes the carpet appear dull. Once the traffic volume resumes, the dirt can quickly become embedded in the carpet fibers, making cleaning more difficult and reducing the carpet’s life cycle. Meanwhile, few things indicate negligence more clearly than having employees return to carpet stains and spots that existed before the shutdown.
- Painting.A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest ways to spruce up a commercial space. It is also one of the most cost-efficient. Workers returning to familiar surface scratches and scrapes, or worse, peeling or chipped paint, sends a clear message that the company doesn’t really care about the healthiness or appearance of our office. Investing in a new paint job is worth it, especially in a different color to be more noticeable. Best-in-class BSCs have a painter on staff or close relationships with companies that do.
- Tile and grout maintenance.Dirty tile and grout can make a room look poorly cared for, especially in restrooms and kitchens, where employees and visitors are left wondering what invisible bacteria and germs may lurk if the walls are so blatantly poorly maintained. Yet, as many of us know from our homes, deep cleaning tile and grout is not always easy, so many BSCs stick to spraying and wiping the surface. Conversely, too frequent and overzealous grout and tile cleaning using the wrong product can damage the surface’s integrity. It is best to ask any provider you are considering to explain—and demonstrate—their tile and grout cleaning technique, including product and frequency.
- Pressure washing.When enticing workers (and visitors) back to the office, don’t forget the outside of the building or other surfaces that could use a good cleaning to look their best. Again, ensuring the cleaning partner you are considering has pressure washing experience is essential, as the wrong pressure can harm surfaces, leaving them less appealing than ever.
- Furniture assembly.Creating a more inviting office space often includes purchasing new furniture, and for many businesses with leftover funds that must be used or lost by the end of the fiscal year, this is the best time to do so. Yet most companies can’t afford to buy preassembled furniture, and as those of us who have tried it at home know, just the thought of assembling roomfuls with all those parts can be overwhelming. The right full-service BSC partner provides this service.
- Event set up/furniture moving.Many businesses have or are considering scaling back their spaces due to fewer people in the office. This can mean using the same areas for multiple uses, such as holding computerized training sessions in the cafeteria or opening sliding office walls to accommodate large events. Yet, taking employees away from their work to help set these areas up and break them down lowers productivity and morale while posing safety issues that can lead to injuries, workers’ compensation claims, and even lawsuits. The best full-service BSCs can set up these events for their customers and even leave staff on-site so the space can be returned to its desired use immediately following an event. Similarly, these top-quality service providers help customers move furniture and relocate partitions when an office rearrangement is needed.
Bringing reluctant employees back into the office and keeping them happy can be stressful. However, hiring an experienced BSC that can clean, sanitize, and disinfect your facility and provide the value-added services above can go a long way to helping ensure your efforts are successful.
A Full-Service Cleaning Provider
Are you looking for an experienced BSC that provides all these services and more? Browse our website or contact us for more information. Discover the Shine difference. You won’t be disappointed.