Post-Pandemic Changes to Cleaning

Post-Pandemic Changes to Cleaning

The COVID-19 pandemic has forever altered how facility cleanliness is perceived and performed--with an increased focus on human health and safety and long-term environmental sustainability.

Post-Pandemic Changes to Cleaning

COVID-19 Changed Facility Cleaning

SARS-CoV-2 has impacted nearly every component of our lives, including our schools, healthcare systems, and work environments.

However, one industry that, for better or worse, has experienced positive growth in several major areas due to the COVID pandemic is the cleaning industry.

Driven by a hyper-focused need for cleaner, safer facilities, as well as through guidelines issued by various health departments (EPA, CDC, WHO), public and private organizations across the country significantly increased the rate their facilities were cleaned and the volume of cleaning and disinfection products they consumed.

Per Fortune Magazine;

According to Tim Mulrooney, a commercial services equities analyst for William Blair;

Commercial cleaning is a mature industry. It grows in line with GDP.

[But] after the coronavirus, I think you have a secular tailwind to commercial cleaning.

Everyone from governments to corporates to individuals have a heightened focus on hygiene. And when you have a heightened focus, you have more dollars spent.

The coronavirus cleaning boom is coming

Increases in cleaning frequencies and product investments are only the tip of the post-pandemic iceberg.

With an increased demand for services comes an additional need for skilled service providers, which translates into a dramatically increased demand for professional labor retention, training, and certification.

According to the predictions of one environmental health director;

[...] soon professional cleaners will be required to be certified, just like food handlers, electricians, and hairstylists.

[...] advanced training that covers disinfection and the proper use of protective equipment is vital because using improper methods or products can actually spread the microorganisms that are responsible for infections.

New Normal: This is how COVID-19 could change cleaning forever

If that prediction holds true, retaining the services of the highly in-demand cleaning labor force will be more important than ever, especially in critical areas, such as healthcare.

Quality providers invest in their service teams and ensure facilities have the necessary training and equipment to deliver clean and hygienic facilities.

Retaining staff is also essential.

Cleaning healthcare facilities requires specialist knowledge, and every time you lose a team member, you lose that knowledge.

Fair pay, good working conditions, and providing the right tools, equipment and PPE go a long way towards improving retention rates.

How COVID-19 has changed healthcare cleaning procedures forever


The Changed Perception of Cleanliness

The perception of cleanliness has a profound impact on people.

Prior to the pandemic, serval studies cited a notable change in occupant behavior depending on how they viewed the cleanliness of their environment that, in turn, had a direct impact on the actual cleanliness and hygiene of the facility.

According to FM Link;

Numerous studies show that when people perceive an environment to be [dirty], they start to behave appropriately.

In a dirty environment, people litter more, and when the bathroom sink looks dirty, handwashing rates go down.

This shows that by changing the perceived cleanliness in a visible way, people will be more likely to keep the environment cleaner and practice better hygiene.

The psychology behind clean

Post pandemic studies have revealed that consumers and facility occupants have, at least for the time being, significantly shifted their behaviors and expectations surrounding facility cleanliness and hygiene, marked by notable increases in the demand for cleaning products and services.

According to Forbes;

[...] the average amount of money consumers spend on cleaning supplies each month has gone up 12% over the last two years.

It jumped from $17.30 in January of 2019 to $19.41 in January of 2021.

[...] monthly purchases of disinfectant sprays have gone up 4.8%.

[...] around 28.9% of consumers purchased cleaning supplies online in January of 2020.

By January 2021, that number has shot up to 37.2%.

ZipRecruiter is projecting a 75% increase in demand for cleaning services as compared to last year.

The Pandemic Has Made Us Germaphobes, Data Shows. Here’s How Cleaning Businesses Are Stepping In.

Further, according to a study conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the American Cleaning Institute, which surveyed consumers regarding their perceptions of facility cleanliness, respondents stated they expected organizations to increase efforts to maintain a safe and healthy environment, which included:

  • Providing hand sanitizer (73%);
  • Frequent wipe-downs of surfaces (77%); and
  • Posted signage of cleaning measures and regulations (53%).



Post-Pandemic Expectations

Meeting post-pandemic occupant expectations of facility hygiene and safety will require several things:

  • Increased cleaning frequencies.
  • Targeted disinfection.
  • Team-cleaning.
  • Workloading and cleaning checklists.
  • Occupant shared responsibility for workplace tidiness.
  • Sustainable product selection.
  • The adoption of modern cleaning technologies, and;
  • Increased training and incentivization for a dynamic and in-demand labor force.



As we progress further from the dangers of the pandemic, the hard-learned lessons will remain with us for years to come--dynamically impacting how we interact with each other and the built environments we occupy.

How we view the safety of those facilities will directly affect how we interact with the organizations that occupy and manage the buildings.

Ultimately, the cleaner facilities that promote occupant safety and wellness will--based on current predictions--win out over those who choose to ignore public demand.

Outsourcing to an experienced provider is a proven method for onboarding critical facility cleaning and sanitation services at a fraction of the cost of maintaining a similar service in-house.

Contact us today and discover why Vanguard Cleaning Systems® is the Standard of Clean® for businesses throughout Northwest Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

In Oklahoma, dial 918-960-4450

In Arkansas, dial 479-717-2410

In Missouri, dial 417-812-9777

Vanguard Cleaning Systems of the Ozarks.

Vanguard Cleaning Systems of the Ozarks.