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Tag : home maintenance

It’s Time We Said No to our Cold-Weather Invaders: How Daily Hygiene Protects Your Family At Home

 

It’s autumn at last – and we’ve got woolly jumpers, hot drinks, falling leaves and roaring fires firmly back on our agenda. Unfortunately, something much less pleasant arrives alongside school terms and chilly weather: a virtual army of bugs, viruses and other nasties, ready to attack our bodies.

 

If you have children, chances are they’ve already spent a couple of days at home with a start-of-term bug. Children are especially prone to picking up cold-weather viruses, both because their immune systems are less robust than an adult’s, and because they often forget the simple hygienic practises that reduce the spread of infection.

 

But are they the only ones?

 

According to the microbiologist Professor Sally Bloomfield (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)[1], the person you’re most likely to get infected by is yourself; after that, the other people in your home. Sneezing and coughing, using the toilet or handling a pet without washing your hands afterwards – particularly if you then handle food – are easy ways for germs to spread within families. A 2007 survey by the Hygiene Council found that up to two-thirds of Britons don’t always follow basic hygiene: an astonishing and worrying proportion, especially with the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs in homes and hospitals. It’s also estimated that 40% of reported food-related outbreaks of infection in Europe occur in our own kitchens.

 

How do the microorganisms spread?

 

Partly by physical contact – but more often, by one person leaving bacteria on a surface, which is then touched by another. 40% of rhinoviruses (a common cold-causing virus) are infectious on hands for up to an hour…but viruses on non-porous surfaces, such as door handles and worktops, can last at least six hours, and sometimes more than a day[2]. In 2014[3], a team from the University of Arizona placed a Norovirus substitute on a single office door handle, and found it had spread to light switches, table tops, coffee pot handles, taps, phones and computer equipment throughout the entire building, between two and eight hours later.

 

So what can we do to stay healthy this season?

 

As the NHS LiveWell website reminds us: ‘Healthcare workers now realise the home has a critical role in the fight against infectious diseases’. Personal hygiene is vital, of course, but so is the cleanliness of our home. Clean and hygienic surroundings will protect ourselves and our families, particularly those most vulnerable to infection.

 

However, between work, school and other commitments, we know that cleaning often gets pushed to the bottom of the list. That’s why our domestic cleaning serviceis one of our favourites: we feel it’s something that can really benefit ordinary families, in tangible and important ways.

 

Just think about it: we’ll take our usual thorough approach and deep-clean all those hard-to-reach areas you never get round to. Our trained Hygienists use only professional equipment, and are carefully assessed every time to make sure we’ve done the best possible job. You’ll be able to come home from a long day and not worry about how the house looks; instead, more time for family, commitments, and hobbies, while we maintain a consistent cleanliness that will make your life easier, healthier and more enjoyable.

 

You might think that you don’t deserve a cleaner – or perhaps that you can’t afford one. We believe that everyone deserves to live in a home they enjoy, regardless of their circumstances. And we offer cost savings to regular customers, so it’s always worth dropping us an email to see what we can do.

Let us help you stay virus-free this season– after all, who wants to spend autumn sniffling in bed, when there’s so much else to enjoy?

[1]http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/homehygiene/Pages/how-clean-is-your-home.aspx

[2]http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/how-long-do-bacteria-and-viruses-live-outside-the-body.aspx

[3]http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/a-virus-can-spread-around-an-entire-building-within-just-hours-of-contaminating-one-surface-9720988.html

When Cleaning Marriages Go Wrong: Common Cleaner Complaints, and Our Solutions

 

‘About us’ Flyer

 

Whether Office, Domestic or Industrial cleaning serves, these basic rules apply to across the board. We live by these. Read on to find out more…and then call us for a quote:

Does everyone deserve a cleaner, if they want one? We think so. It can be hard for a businesses and families to hire a cleaning service, despite the high level of available service providers. Some might have the feeling like it’s an unnecessary luxury, or somehow a poor reflection on them. But the simple truth is that our lives are busy and often stressful, with increasing number of daily tasks to accomplish  within the working day and with many other demands to consider. If we can make a customer’s day easier, improve general hygiene standards and freeing up time to allow our customers to focus without added stress, then this is a marriage made in heaven. We feel this is what we bring to the relationship.

That’s why we hate to hear of cleaning stories gone wrong. If a customer has put in time and expense to find a cleaning service, it’s a real shame when that relationship sours. When we began TotalCare Hygiene Services, we spent some time researching common complaints and turned these into strengths – this could explain our 5 star reviews.

Here’s what we found.

First – and this goes without saying, really – cleaning is a personal service. A customer’s home, workspace and social areas are safe spaces: it reflects who they are and what’s important to them. Letting a stranger in can be stressful! Customers, more than anything, want to feel that you understand and respect their needs and can carry out their wishes.

When things go wrong, it’s usually because this basic premise has been undermined.

Time management and ‘getting your money’s worth’

Some customers report finding their cleaner on the phone, talking to friends, or scoring in the janitors cupboard, during designated cleaning hours.

Other workers do not stay for the whole allotted time, but appear to ‘rush through’ the job as quickly as possible, in order to leave early.

Sometimes the customer feels like important tasks have been ‘skimmed over’, with more time spent on less important areas.

Safety and communication

Sometimes a cleaner has invited others to help with the cleaning, without notifying the client, whether or not these people are authenticated or professionally monitored. This feels unsafe and inappropriate to a client who has opened their home – It is true that some circumstances may occur where cleaners are unavailable, due to sickness or other issues, however and open and honest approach goes a long way.

Customers report that workers do not notify them about changes in schedule – whether in personnel, date and time changes, or even which cleaning tasks can be covered on which day. From the cleaner’s perspective, these changes are often out of their control and cannot be prevented – but poor communication has made the situation worse.

Many problems arise when the customer and the worker have not fully communicated their expectations. Some workers feel they are creating a strong customer relationship when they stop to chat, or play with the family pet – whereas the customer may see this as wasting valuable time. Other miscommunications may include the customer not understanding how long a task will take or how much it should cost, a worker not prioritising the customer’s most important requests, or expected standards of cleanliness not being met.

Professionalism and quality control

A common complaint is that, after a while, cleaning standards drop. The employee is no longer motivated, poorly remunerated, or given inadequate feedback.

Just because someone cleans their own home well, doesn’t qualify them to uphold the standards of a professional service. We employ Hygienists, because we train them in all aspects regarding the prices they offer, from the method to the theoretical.

Cleaners often appear to have a short shelf life: cleaning companies sometimes have a high turnover or send a different cleaner every week, meaning there is no opportunity for consistency and long-term relationships.

So what have we learned?

Here are our three key priorities:

Communication. Right from the beginning, it’s vital that expectations are communicated and understood on both sides. The customer needs to understand what they can expect for the price they are willing to pay, and the hygienist needs to know what the customer’s priorities are, and how best to meet them.

Consistency. Whenever possible, the same hygienist should be sent to the same customer. Any necessary changes should be communicated promptly and transparently. Long-term relationships of trust can be established, and expectations met.

Investment. Our hygienists are not temporary, under-valued or left to their own devices. For the sake of their motivation and the customer’s satisfaction, we invest in them and their future. Training and mentoring programmes, incentive schemes, continual feedback and quality control: it all helps to keep our standards high and our employees – and customers – happy.

It’s what we’re here for, after all, isn’t it?

Want to find out more about TotalCare’s domestic cleaning services? Contact us here.

 

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