Priority cleaning for employees returning to the office

Contribution of the Cleaning Coalition of America

With COVID-19 cases on the rise and fears of contracting the next widespread highly transmissible contagion, workers in the United States are placing a renewed emphasis on cleaning, according to a new investigation by the Cleaning Coalition of America (CCA).

The survey finds that American workers increasingly appreciate improved workplace cleaning and feel safer seeing professional cleaners on-site – a sentiment shared by both vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans. An overwhelming majority of 93.4% of vaccinated respondents and 82.2% of unvaccinated respondents cited workplace cleaning protocols as important as employees return to the office, with 77.2% of workers wanting the workplace is cleaned daily.

“American workers have had a turbulent year that forever changed their expectations for workplace safety,” said Josh Feinberg, president of the Cleaning Coalition of America. “As employees return to the workplace, it’s more important than ever that companies rethink their cleaning best practices and embrace a more holistic view of safety that puts the well-being of workers first. Current and potential employees need to know that their employer will not sacrifice workers’ health to improve their bottom line. “

Conducted in late October, the survey examined the perceptions of 1,800 U.S. workers – 1,099 vaccinated and 501 unvaccinated – to understand return-to-work expectations as companies plan to reopen in the weeks and months to come.

Almost two years after the start of the pandemic, nearly half of Americans – 43% – still have lingering concerns about returning to work. In fact, 38.3 percent of respondents would consider changing jobs if the workplace was not cleaned properly. However, a clean workplace is not the only concern, with respondents citing rates of COVID-19 infection as the main barrier to returning to work in person.

“As employees fear contracting COVID-19 or other illnesses, companies face an uphill battle to attract workers to the workplace and need to go the extra mile to build confidence,” says Kenneth J Collins, President of Collins Building Services, Inc. “While many companies previously focused on cleaning for appearance, cleaning for health has to be the new standard for any shared space. “

Survey results

As businesses reopen, Americans have lingering concerns about workplace safety:

• 43.0 percent of respondents believe that returning to work could pose a risk to their health and safety

• 38.3% of respondents would consider changing jobs if the workplace was not cleaned frequently

Americans are placing more and more emphasis on clean workplaces, a trend that will likely continue well beyond the pandemic:

• 89.9% of respondents think that workplace cleaning protocols are very or somewhat important

• 77.2% of those questioned think that the workplace should be cleaned at least once a day

As the pandemic increases worker anxiety, vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans can take comfort in knowing that their desks are cleaned regularly:

• 62.1% of respondents believe that seeing professional cleaners in the workplace would make them feel safer and better protected against COVID-19

• 47.1 percent of respondents cite regular disinfection of shared spaces as the most important step employers can take to make workers feel safe

• 47.5% of people questioned asked their employer about their company’s cleaning protocols

However, cleaning is not the only obstacle to returning to the office:

• 35.2% of respondents say COVID-19 infection rates are the biggest barrier to returning to the office

• 17.4% of respondents say vaccination rates are the biggest barrier to returning to the office

To download a full version of the survey, click here.

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