Why Visibility is Key to Public Confidence
Research from ABM UK shows businesses need to put their cleaning processes on centre stage.
Once a behind-the-scenes service, cleaning in public spaces is now proving to be the key factor in regaining consumer confidence. This is especially relevant as the UK looks forward to lockdown restrictions lifting next week.
Independent research commissioned by ABM UK has explored the perception of built environments with regards to the visibility of cleaners now, compared to life pre COVID-19. It shows that the mere sight of disinfection happening in public spaces can go a long way to creating the confidence people need to feel safe and return to the site.
Of the 1,000 research participants, 61 per cent said that seeing cleaners in public spaces makes them feel that safety measures are being taken seriously and nearly half (48 per cent) agreed it reminds them to stay alert. A quarter (25 per cent) of people said that visible cleaning instilled a sense of trust in the environment and 27 per cent agreed it made them feel safe.
John McPherson, ABM UK Managing Director comments: "Crucially, 45 per cent of survey respondents agreed that the visibility of cleaning in progress would encourage them to return to a built environment, whether that’s an office space, shopping centre or airport.
"COVID-19 represents a turning point for the facilities services industry. In the past, facilities services often went unnoticed, but it now has national awareness and represents a gateway for the UK to reopen and stay that way.
"As we continually adapt to changing restrictions and navigate the winter season, businesses which want to instil confidence in their customers need to bring their cleaning and disinfection practices out for the public to see. It's about going beyond the hand sanitising stations and the two metre markers; the conscious consumer wants to see proof of cleaners in action."
When asked about their attitudes to seeing cleaners doing their job in public spaces pre COVID-19, a fifth of people admitted that they thought cleaning was something that should happen after hours or behind the scenes. This is compared to just 2% who think the same post-COVID-19.
In addition, almost a quarter of respondents agreed that before lockdown they hadn’t considered what went into keeping the spaces they lived, worked and played in clean, and 12 per cent said they had never considered whether a space was clean or not.
The research is part of the facility services provider's ongoing effort to ensure it can provide world-class advice and services to customers navigating the pandemic.
ABM UK has also appointed an Expert Advisory Council composed of external leading experts in infectious disease and industrial hygiene to advise on many aspects of ABM UK’s business, including its proprietary EnhancedClean™ programme, a three-step approach to deliver healthy spaces with a certified disinfection process backed by experts which is designed to help clients return to their facilities safely and navigate change in a post COVID-19 world. The programme also delivers assurance to employees, customers and the public by demonstrating trustworthy cleaning and disinfection, and includes consistent intervals of frequent high touch point and broad disinfection, delivered by certified team members.