Productivity expert shares tips for boosting efficiency and keeping customers and staff safe

Published: 6 August 2020 - 6 a.m.
Efficiency has never mattered more than when COVID-19 is impacting occupancy and bringing extra workload from enhanced cleaning regimes.

From my experience with working with hotel brands, here are my top efficiency boosting tips:

1. Cleaning innovation: The viral pandemic has focused minds on cleaning - to speed it up and ensure a high quality clean. Nano technology has been a game changer in other sectors and is used to create a stay clean film on objects it is applied to. It reduces routine cleaning times and eliminates the need for expensive cleaning agents. No need to scrub, just wipe over a cloth dampened with ozone water and the surface is as good as new and germ free. You’ll need to renew the nanotechnology film each month, but the time saved, and hygiene levels achieve can outweigh the costs.

2. Commercial grade robot vacuum cleaners: These save time and improve cleaning quality too. They can be left to finish up the room when the housekeeper moves on to the next one and not only save time but do a great job too. They’ll clean under the bed every time and brush up the carpet whether it is visibly dirty or not.

3. Housekeepers can be helped in low tech ways: When margins are tight, shaving off seconds frequently repeated processes adds up to a big difference. Our studies show wasted time when colleagues share equipment, for example a vacuum cleaner or mop, so they aren’t readily to hand when needed. And while it’s most efficient to use trolleys that carry everything the housekeeper need, we often see trolleys that are too small creating an extra trip to move a mop bucket or drop off dirty laundry.

4. Review guest rooms: COVID-19 creates an opportunity to review guest rooms and establish what really needs to be there and what can be removed without affecting guest experience. This reduces possible virus transfer and speeds up room clean. Do you need that extra cushion? The runner on the bed? Can robes be stored in the wardrobe so you know when they’ve been used and don’t have to change them every time? Review everything a housekeeper touches when cleaning and consider if it needs to be there or not.

5. Reception: An important part of guest experience and can suffer from lines when it is busy and colleagues with little to do at quieter times of the day. Operators have looked at options to reduce avoidable down time at reception – everything from placing an “office” at the end of reception so admin work can be done while waiting for guests, to looking at how digital services can support guests with what they need. Self-serve check in kiosks are being deployed more and there are new ways of doing things to make the reception slicker.

Guest expectations are changing – while some enjoy a warm personal greeting and chat, others just want to get their key and get settled in their sparkling clean room. There is never a better time to embrace change than when we are dealing with a crisis.

*Simon Hedaux is the CEO and founder of Rethink Productivity, a leading productivity partner which helps businesses drive efficiency, productivity and optimise budgets.*

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