By Rachel Olsavicky
The majority of facilities are returning to pre-pandemic levels of attendance. Several global cities have reached at least 75% office occupancy and air travel is projected to rapidly recover to previous levels in 2023. Citizens have resumed their recreational activities and travel with a flourish post-COVID and their expectations for the safest, cleanest experiences in facilities endure, especially in restrooms.
According to a 2021 survey, 88% of Americans said they find themselves evaluating the cleanliness of businesses they frequent, and 59% state that they’re concerned about germs in places like the restroom and other common areas. As we all know, there’s nothing more frustrating than attending an event or traveling via public transport just to realize your only nearby option for a restroom is an unhygienic one. Facility managers must remain hyper-focused on assuring safe, clean and secure environments for the general public.
Restroom Hygiene: Understanding Consumer Preferences
By incorporating paper hand towels into their supply, facility managers can provide end-users the reassurance of a hygienic restroom experience.
With the national population so tuned into restroom hygiene, it’s important that facility managers gain a complete understanding of where the preferences of today’s public lie. For example, what many facility managers may not recognize is that nearly 7 in 10 users prefer paper hand towels instead of air dryers, and 41% are less likely to go to places that do not offer paper hand towels as a hand drying alternative. More and more people are catching on that jet air dryers spread 10x more bacteria than paper hand dryers. Some companies and even entire countries, including Germany, are requiring the use of paper towels over air dryers. By incorporating paper hand towels into their supply, facility managers can provide end-users the reassurance of a hygienic restroom experience.
Meeting Expectations Through Data-Driven Technology
As facility managers monitor the public’s preferences and implement the proper hygiene solutions, they can leverage technology to build out data-driven cleaning strategies that will improve the overall operations and level of cleanliness in a facility. For example, data-driven cleaning technology, such as sensors in dispensers, provide real-time usage data to facility managers. As a result, managers can provide real-time updates to cleaning staff surrounding when and where refilling is required in a facility. Beyond this, managers can easily monitor restroom attendance levels and determine staffing needs to ensure they’re providing the optimal cleaning frequency while cutting costs. It’s been shown that facility managers that utilize data-driven cleaning services can reduce dispenser checks by up to 91%, save up to 20% of cleaning hours and achieve up to 30% higher customer satisfaction.
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The past few years have shifted the general perception of facility cleanliness, possibly for good. When it comes to shared spaces, the public’s expectations for health and safety remain high – and exceeding these expectations is critical for businesses to continue to succeed. Restrooms remain under scrutiny and are one of the most essential areas for facilities to maintain in order to ensure excellent hygiene for guests. By understanding the solutions that the public prefers, and unlocking the power of data-driven technology, facility managers can avoid negative perceptions of their spaces and provide a welcoming, safe experience to guests.
Rachel Olsavicky is Regional Marketing Manager, Commercial & Public Interest at Essity.
Read the full article "Meeting Lofty Expectations Of Restroom Hygiene: Three Years Post-Pandemic" on Facility Executive Magazine.