Once a service that was kept predominantly behind the scenes, research shows that cleaning public spaces will prove to be the key factor in regaining consumer confidence post-pandemic. And it seems consumer confidence will be the most important catalyst if we have any hope of post-pandemic economical growth.
Independent research commissioned by ABM UK shows that simply the sight of disinfection happening in public spaces can help create the confidence people will need to feel safe enough to return to the site.
Of 1000 participants, 61% said that seeing cleaning happening in public spaces makes them feel more confident as they know that public safety measures are being taken seriously, whether an office space, a shop or an airport. 48% also said that it would remind them that they need to stay alert, keep their distance from others and wash their hands.
A quarter of the participants said that seeing visible cleaning and disinfecting taking place instilled a sense of trust in the environment, a much-sought after feeling for so many industries now, and 27% agreed that it did make them feel safer.
When asked the same question about their attitudes towards seeing cleaning operatives working in public spaces before the pandemic, one fifth of people said that they thought that cleaning was something that should happen after hours or behind the scenes. However, when asked about their attitudes post COVID-19, just 2% still said that they felt visible cleaning should stay behind closed doors.
Additionally, almost a quarter of participants agreed that before the pandemic, they had never even considered what went into keeping public spaces clean, and 12% said they never even noticed or considered whether a space was clean or not.
Evidently, the pandemic changed everything.
This is clearly the result of increased public awareness about effective cleaning practices, the spreading of germs and even how ‘disinfecting’ actually works, over the past year, combined with a heightened public concern about possibly dangerous germs and infectious diseases.
Furthermore, although this is crucial now, it is most likely to remain a concern for the public for years, if not decades to come, and for many, particularly those considered ‘vulnerable’ will always be a part of their daily lives when using a public space.
The key point to take from this research is that to thrive in the post-pandemic world, businesses need to put their cleaning processes on centre stage.
When we finally emerge from national lockdown and businesses such as shops, offices, restaurants and airports are permitted to reopen for them to even think about encouraging the public back, not least if they actually want them to feel safe, their cleaning routines, processes and staff will need to be perfected, practised and, most importantly, visible.