Improved Hygiene Leads to Increased Profits

28 April 2021
Improved Hygiene Leads to Increased Profits

Over the last year, we have collectively become more aware of proper hygiene and how it benefits us and our communities. Practices that we have adopted to fight novel coronavirus have been so successful in combating the spread of microbes that the past cold and flu seasons were historically mild (though that could have negative effects in the future). While there has been much debate—sometimes heated—about which, if any, of those practices should remain in place after the pandemic ends, those decisions could ultimately be made by businesses rather than regulators.

Businesses stand to add quite a bit to their bottom lines by making at least some of those hygienic policies and practices permanent additions to their standard operating procedures. Part of that equation is a massive drop in sick days, which equates to less lost production and, where applicable, less money spent on paid time off. But it’s also important to acknowledge that trust (or at least the perception thereof) is becoming one of the most vital selling points among consumers; people want to work with businesses that care about their human value as much as their monetary value.

With that in mind, which practices are most likely to endure?

Frequent and Touch-Free Handwashing / Sanitizing

This one is basically a given. Many of us have made a habit of washing and/or sanitizing our hands more regularly than we did before, and evidence suggests that the new habit won’t disappear after the end of the pandemic. Historically speaking, behaviors adopted in times of crisis tend to stick with a population long after the crisis itself ends; think of your parents or grandparents who lived through the Great Depression and reused every piece of aluminum foil they tore from a roll for a relatable example of this phenomenon. Customers and employees alike are going to expect easy access to modern, touch-free handwashing and sanitizing amenities. From a business standpoint, meeting that expectation is crucial to increasing workplace health and building a solid foundation for consumer trust in your facility. Both will contribute to a healthier bottom line.

Frequent Hard Surface Disinfecting

Frequent hard surface disinfecting has proven to be largely unnecessary because, per the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the surface transmission of coronavirus is relatively low. That’s not to say that it shouldn’t be done at all, but current evidence suggests that high-frequency disinfecting routines amount to little more than “hygiene theater”. On one hand, it may build a perception of cleanliness—and therefore trustworthiness—in the eyes of consumers, and, as we’ve made clear, that’s a good thing. But in terms of making your facility healthier, it does nothing more than normal cleaning and industry-standard disinfecting protocols. In short, you still need to disinfect hard surfaces—you just don’t stand to gain anything from overdoing it.

Social Distancing and Physical Barriers

Much like handwashing, expect these practices to continue in office and retail spaces for some time to come, at least to a degree. While indoor capacity limits are starting to ease or be lifted entirely, some businesses—especially large and/or frequently-visited establishments like major retailers and banks—will probably continue to request that patrons maintain some level of physical distance from one another. The practice speaks to both workplace health and customer perceptions/trust, and many businesses have already invested in and converted to layouts that promote it. When existing investments and best practices converge, we have an operating procedure that is likely to endure. Physical barriers fall into the same category; they help keep employees protected from microbes that patrons or other employees bring into the workplace, contributing massively to health. They also improve customer confidence because the reverse is true. On top of all of that, they’re an existing investment. Getting rid of them is like pouring money down a metaphorical drain in more ways than one.

Final Thoughts

Good hygiene is profitable. That much is clear. While it would be foolhardy to expect all the public health practices that we’ve adopted during the pandemic to endure, it would be equally foolish to expect that none of them will. Some have become ingrained habits that will genuinely stick with consumers for the rest of their lives, and businesses need to be cognizant of them. Doing so holds the potential for increased profit and public cachet. Trust Gergely’s Maintenance King to be your partner in the fight for a healthier and more successful tomorrow.

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