Covid fatigue is a real thing. Plain and simple, people have had it with the constant worry, fear and uncertainty that the pandemic has made in our daily lives. We’ve learned a lot about the virus and much research has gone into infection control and prevention across global industries.
A novel (and slightly alarming) trend has emerged where general hygiene and overall cleaning standards have dropped since the start of the pandemic. This is true for personal habits and for businesses. Are we moving too fast? Are we putting our employees at risk? Read on to see how you can partner with TEAM Group – an experienced total facility management service provider – to take care of your infection control and prevention needs.
Infection Control and Prevention: The Roadblocks
We are all living through extremely turbulent times that include ongoing supply chain issues, global chip shortages, wars, and uncertainty of the pandemic and it’s suite of variants. Everyone’s constantly thinking, “What’s next?” Governments are relaxing and thus pulling COVID-related budgets off the table while independent budgets are becoming tighter. Industries and businesses around the world are still recovering from economic loss in all sectors, with debts running high. The roadblocks we face are long-term, multi-faceted and continue to evolve. It’s not surprising that the effects of covid fatigue have started to trickle into and affect the safety of our business and personal lives. There are options to tackle this, so read on.
How Covid Fatigue is Affecting People and Businesses
Covid fatigue affects countless aspects of your business and takes a toll personally. Think about how critical the need for industrial decontamination services were when the Delta and then Omicron swept the world. The same goes for personal habits. Think about how often you sanitized and washed your hands compared to before. You weren’t the only one who bulk-ordered disinfectant! We are still amidst the pandemic, with new research emerging about the variants every day. It’s scary to think what could happen down the line if your facility maintenance provider does not take seriously their job to clean and disinfect surfaces and areas properly. The same would be true if everyone paused or slacked on their efforts for using hand sanitizer or washing their hands. Don’t believe it’s happening?
Real-World Examples of COVID Fatigue – A Closer Look
Research from early 2022 shows that people are generally less concerned about contracting COVID now that we’re in the third year of the pandemic. In January 2021, 53% of people expressed a high level of concern whereas now that figure sits at 41%. Another parameter that can be used to show that COVID fatigue is up, meaning infection control and prevention efforts are likely down, is the way people greet one another. In early 2020, almost 50% of people said they avoided shaking hands at all costs and 67% opted to wave ‘hello’ instead. In January 2022, only 36% of those surveyed would still avoid handshakes, and only 44% would now wave ‘hello’.
When it comes to handwashing, the numbers don’t get better. Research from early 2022 shows that the frequency of handwashing has decreased 25% in adults since the start of the pandemic. In terms of numbers, this means that in Spring of 2020, we washed our hands on average 10.5 times a day whereas in January 2022 this dropped to 7.8 times a day. Handwashing is such a simple and safe way to effectively reduce the transmission of all viruses and bacteria. Just as with personal habits, infection control and prevention can be maintained within facilities if the high-levels of hygiene are maintained and guards aren’t let down.
What Can Businesses Do To Improve Their Infection Control and Prevention Efforts?
How can your business adjust during this uncertain time to meet its total facilities management goals while ensuring safety for its employees is maintained at all times? Luckily there are options. Let’s explore two popular yet opposing viewpoints for infection control and prevention within businesses. You can decide for yourself where you stand. Whichever viewpoint you gravitate towards, remember that both of the options presented here will stress the importance of improving building hygiene and cleaning standards. As we have already discovered, this trend – attributed to covid fatigue – has become more and more evident globally since the start of the pandemic. This has caused the need for infection prevention and control to become more streamlined once again. We can’t drop our guards just yet.
Option 1: Focus on Making Your Total Facility Cleaning More Robust Overall
Research has brought a wealth of knowledge about the COVID virus including best infection control and prevention practices that can be adapted to an overall cleaning plan. Creating an overall more adaptive and robust progressive cleaning program is one avenue that businesses can take. Industrial decontamination in short bursts arguably is not the solution to keeping facilities safe and healthy in the long run. Moving forward and sticking to a plan with some version of a ‘new normal’ can keep your facility running smoothly without leaving you worrying that you aren’t prepared for the next wave. Having TEAM Group working for you as your facility services provider can help meet your needs for a progressive cleaning program and budget when the time is appropriate. Instead of wasting a bunch of resources on creating a response plan that is targeted at one virus, adopt programs that you know will benefit and work for your facility. This can be an am/pm maintenance program or another regimen that is specific to your equipment and employee needs.
Option 2: Continue to Mitigate Your Total Facility Cleaning with a Focus on Covid
Whether we want to accept it or not, this pandemic will continue to impact our lives for years to come. Having programs including those related to cleaning in place specifically for COVID makes people feel secure and safe. Cleaning services are still expected to be done at the highest standard for things such as high-touch areas/surfaces especially since research shows that Omicron lasts longer on surfaces than previously discovered COVID variants. The main source of transmission is still airborne particles, however Omicron has shown an affinity to survive longer on things such as human skin and plastic. Shouldn’t infection prevention and control efforts reflect the most current research and knowledge that emerges about these variants? Many say that COVID programs are being pulled too quickly and opinions abound on this topic. We have dealt with various variants, and although Delta may have been phased out, it was replaced by Omicron. Further, science continues to show that Omicron is the dominant strain, with more infectious sub variants (BA.1, BA.2). The fact is, we don’t know what’s coming next. While Omicron still spreads around the world and continues to drive the global case number, businesses may opt to devise a total facility cleaning maintenance program that hones in on COVID prevention strategies.
What Option Do You Choose?
There is no right or wrong answer, except that what’s needed is for continued infection control and prevention efforts be enforced with diligence. During these turbulent times, what matters is that businesses step up and team up with service providers who understand how critical facility maintenance is for their clients. At the end of the day, employers want production to be optimized and employees to be happy. Your staff want a progressive workplace that is flexible and adaptable. So choose to adapt in a way that works for you. Choose to move forward.
The TEAM Group Difference
TEAM Group services stand out – from consulting to the planning and development of a comprehensive facility cleaning program, we’ve done it all. TEAM Group is here to support customers wherever they are, and whenever they need us. We can be present on site to see what type of cleaning schedule would best fit your goals for infection control and prevention. From technical cleaning, to facility management and innovative solutions for factories, we provide solutions to improve your bottom line. TEAM has years serving customers as a top of the line facility maintenance company. Do not get undersold or overpromised. TEAM Group will assign only the most highly trained, prepared, and dedicated team to the task at hand. Ask us about our experience, we also love a challenge.
Regardless of what route you choose, remember how critical it is today for businesses to re-think their infection control and prevention tactics to include measures that prioritize employee well-being. Partnering with TEAM Group can help get you there. You are not alone. Facilities worldwide are reviewing their strategy and costs when it comes to industrial cleaning in terms of infection control and prevention. Consider integrating the best facility cleaning services from TEAM Group for your business today.