All things considered, many BSCs have been able to take care of themselves throughout the COVID-19 crisis. This has been accomplished through crisis management work or response teams BSCs have formed — some before the crisis and others on the fly as things have gotten more difficult. The implementation of these teams could prove not only vital now, but also when the next public health crisis occurs.

Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services is one of those BSCs thankful to have had a plan in place. As the COVID-19 crisis progressed, small response teams were created, only featuring three or four people. The idea here is that an Office Pride franchisee can train three or four people extremely well on responding to a virus like COVID-19. Since specialists are going into these facilities, clients get only the most trained workers for the job and Office Pride is permitted to have the rest of its workers focus on the routine tasks that they do best.

Hopkins calls these elite squads “post coronavirus exposure response teams.” Like the name would suggest, the purpose of these teams is to clean, sanitize and disinfect facilities that have been exposed to the virus.

These types of specialty squads and detailed plans need to be put in place by every BSC in the future, says Segura.

“I highly recommend that BSCs meet with supervisors, management and vendor representatives after this situation,” he says.

He adds that these meetings should discuss whether the BSC was prepared for the threat or if it heeded the warning signs that developed. Additionally, staff members and customers should be invited into the fold so that they can provide feedback on any suggested preparedness practices.

“Meeting with key customers will allow you to find out what worked and what didn’t,” says Segura.

BSCs must also make the most out of the situation that has been presented to them. Yes, they’ve always known how important their work has been, but again, their staff has so often been relegated to the shadows. Now, with the situation being what it is, the whole nation sees the service.

“Once people return to work, many think there will be a significant growth opportunity [for the industry],” says Hopkins. “People are seeing the value cleaning services bring to the workforce’s health and morale.”

Greg Buchner, president and CEO of CleanOffice, Herndon, Virginia, believes crises like these are going to become a lot more common. As a result, cleaning and facilities management could be a focal point as society seeks these services for the home, workplace and general public setting.

“My guess is that we are going to start seeing the words ‘sanitizing’ and ‘disinfecting’ far more frequently in scopes of work and in daily schedules or routines for day porters,” says Buchner. “Our clients are budget-conscious by nature, so it will be interesting to see if they are willing to make additional investments in these areas, or if this will be at the expense of other activities like reducing frequencies of services that may not directly impact these areas of concern.”

No matter how facility managers and businesses want the cleaning to get done, it’s important that they know it must be done and that BSCs are the ones to champion this message.

“I think eventually, if a certain step by the BSC does not take place, things will return to the past,” says Segura. “That step is taking the opportunity to highlight what we are doing to keep the facility clean and the benefits of what our cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing brings the customer.”

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