Cleaning Coalition of America Hosts Roundtable on Pandemic Lessons

This week, the Cleaning Coalition of America hosted a private industry roundtable with elected officials and key business leaders in New York City to discuss pandemic learnings, the future of work, and the evolving relationship between the private and public sector.

The event was joined by Senator Anna M. Kaplan, Assembly member Latoya Joyner, NYC Pandemic Response Institute, Citizens Budget Commission, Business Council of New York, and other key stakeholders.

“Now more than ever, we need to send a message that New York is open for business and our workplaces are safe,” says Senator Anna M. Kaplan. “It is imperative that elected officials work hand-in-hand with the business community to chart the most productive path forward. Ultimately, when business succeeds the City succeeds.”

“Cleaning for health is the new standard and the Coalition is dedicated to championing best practices for the industry – a commitment to our nation’s health and safety that we take seriously,” says Patrick Dunnigan, executive director of the Cleaning Coalition of America. “This event only furthers our commitment to serving as a bridge between businesses and policymakers to create healthy spaces.”

Earlier this year, the Cleaning Coalition of America conducted a survey of New York City C-suite executives to understand lessons learned from the public health crisis and plans for a post-pandemic future. Most notably, the survey found that the in-person office is here to stay and essential to a company’s bottom line. However, obstacles still remain for a full return to the office, with over two-thirds of C-suite executives saying their employees have expressed concern that in-person work could pose a health and safety risk.

Read full article here.

Remote work may not be working any more

Javier E. David

The challenges of remote work are getting harder and harder to ignore, as employees and bosses alike grapple with the realities of indefinite separation from the office.

The big picture: A growing number of corporate executives want to put an end to the work-from-home revolution. But workers have gotten used to the flexibility, and they have the leverage to demand it.

Driving the news: Tesla CEO Elon Musk stirred the pot last week with a blunt warning that workers would have to spend a “minimum of 40 hours per week” in the office, or find a new job.

  • It raised the question about whether other employers might also adopt a tougher stance.
  • JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon only recently softened his stance on remote work, and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon has been on a mission to return to the 5-day status quo.
  • A March survey by Cleaning Coalition of America, which canvassed over 200 New York-based C-Suite executives, found that a whopping 76% think in-person work is essential to the bottom line.

By the numbers: 7.4% of American workers are teleworking because of COVID, down from a pandemic era high around 35%, according to federal data.

State of play: The convenience of hybrid working is being tempered by the limits of virtual collaboration, which empirical data are now starting to identify.

  • One University of Chicago study found that remote workers put in longer hours but were less productive — effects that were especially pronounced among parents. Workers spent more time in meetings, the study found, but lost out on important face time with their managers.
  • September 2021 study of Microsoft workers found that the software giant’s business units became “less interconnected” over time, and that an over-reliance on email and messaging made it “more difficult for workers to convey and/or converge on the meaning of complex information.”
  • And a Webex study published last month found high degrees of “meeting fatigue” among remote workers.

What they’re saying: “Hybrid work and video meetings are the new normal, and companies need to provide employees the best technology to reduce meeting fatigue and minimize negative physical ramifications, while taking steps to improve collaboration practices and reduce meeting overload,” the authors of the Webex study wrote.

Yes, but: However flawed, remote work arrangements have become a linchpin of a COVID-era labor market defined by high employee turnover.

  • For many knowledge workers in an economy with more open jobs than workers to fill them, WFH is more de rigueur than ever before.
  • Even when they’ve done it unenthusiastically, more employers have embraced flexible work-from-home arrangements.

But it’s becoming increasingly apparent that Zoom and Google Chat aren’t substitutes for in-person dynamics that bridge communication gaps and help build careers.

Survey Highlights Financial Importance Of In-Person Working

While a majority of New York City companies are currently remote, 76 percent of C-suite executives say in-person work is critical to their company’s bottom line and revenue, according to a new survey by the Cleaning Coalition of America.

Obstacles, however, still remain for a full return to the office, with over two-thirds of C-suite executives saying their employees have expressed concern that in-person work could pose a health and safety risk. In return, senior leaders are embracing enhanced cleaning of the workplace (75 percent) and installing hand sanitizer stations (77 percent). Business leaders are also offering subsidies for childcare costs, transportation vouchers, and monetary incentives.

“The pandemic required New York businesses to fundamentally rethink their operations and the value placed on workplace health and safety,” says  Paul Budsworth, president – North America, Diversey Holdings. “Understanding how New York City’s executives are planning for the future is crucial for our industry to be the most effective partner moving forward.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic created more awareness of the value of workplace cleaning,” says Stanley Doobin, owner and CEO of Harvard Maintenance. “In this post-pandemic era, increased cleaning and disinfection must be the new standard for any shared space.”

Fielded from March 16-29 – two years since the closure of non-essential businesses – the survey polled 258 C-suite executives from companies representing a broad range of industries and company sizes to understand key learnings from the public health crisis, plans for a post-pandemic future, and their perception of New York City and New York State’s pandemic response.

The survey found that New York City business leaders are broadly supportive of the local administration’s pandemic response, but want to see stricter measures going forward. In fact, 75 percent of New York City business leaders report feeling “satisfied” with how elected officials navigated the pandemic and the policies put in place – citing “Key to NYC” and the State’s HERO ACT as beneficial to their respective businesses. If faced with a future public health crisis, 63 percent of C-suite level executives will turn to local elected officials first for guidance, followed by public health officials, external consultants, and the business community.

“As we look to develop future public health plans, it is important to learn from the past and understand how various policies and measures impacted businesses,” says Josh Feinberg, president of the Cleaning Coalition of America. “The Coalition is committed to serving as a bridge between the business community and policymakers to ensure safe and healthy workplaces – not just now, but in the future.”

Moving forward, executives are not leaving anything to chance. In fact, 80 percent have developed a pandemic response plan. Still, in the event of a future public health emergency, a plurality of New York City executives would like to see better protection of frontline workers – including priority access to PPE and vaccinations.

A link to the full survey recents is available here

Survey Reinforces Importance of Cleaning for Return to In-Person Work

Although many employees continue to work remotely more than two years into the pandemic, employers see value in bring their workers together in a central location. A new survey from the Cleaning Coalition of America, a partnership of six of the nation’s largest facilities services companies, found 76% of C-suite executives said the in-person workplace is essential to their company’s bottom line and revenue.

The survey polled C-suite executives from companies in New York City representing a broad range of industries and sizes. Most respondents said they believe that stricter cleaning protocols will improve employee confidence in returning to the workplace.

The survey found:

  • 75% of respondents say cleaning is the No. 1 incentive that will bring employees back to their work facilities.
  • 68% have moved their office location during the pandemic.
  • 20% cited the importance of cleaning as the most important lesson they learned from the pandemic, followed by the importance of improved technology (17%) and the benefits of remote work (15%).

“The pandemic required New York businesses to fundamentally rethink their operations and the value placed on workplace health and safety,” said coalition member Paul Budsworth,  Diversey North America president.

“In this post-pandemic era, increased cleaning and disinfection must be the new standard for any shared space,” added coalition member Stanley Doobin, Harvard Maintenance Inc. owner and CEO.

Read full article here.

Offices Are Here To Stay, Critical To Bottom Line

Facility Executive

While a majority of New York City companies are currently remote, 76 percent of C-suite executives say in-person work is critical to their company’s bottom line and revenue, according to a new survey by the Cleaning Coalition of America.

Obstacles still remain for a full return to the office, with over two-thirds of C-suite executives saying their employees have expressed concern that in-person work could pose a health and safety risk. In return, senior leaders are embracing enhanced cleaning of the workplace (75%) and installing hand sanitizer stations (77%). Business leaders are also offering subsidies for childcare costs, transportation vouchers, and monetary incentives.

“The pandemic required New York businesses to fundamentally rethink their operations and the value placed on workplace health and safety,” said Paul Budsworth, President – North America, Diversey Holdings. “Understanding how New York City’s executives are planning for the future is crucial for our industry to be the most effective partner moving forward.”

“The Covid-19 pandemic created more awareness of the value of workplace cleaning,” said Stanley Doobin, Owner and CEO of Harvard Maintenance. “In this post-pandemic era, increased cleaning and disinfection must be the new standard for any shared space.”

From March 16-29 – two years since the closure of non-essential businesses – the survey polled 258 C-suite executives from companies representing a broad range of industries and company sizes to understand key learnings from the public health crisis, plans for a post-pandemic future, and their perception of New York City and New York State’s pandemic response.

The survey found that New York City business leaders are broadly supportive of the local administration’s pandemic response, but want to see stricter measures going forward. In fact, 75 percent of New York City business leaders report feeling “satisfied” with how elected officials navigated the pandemic and the policies put in place – citing “Key to NYC” and the State’s HERO ACT as beneficial to their respective businesses. If faced with a future public health crisis, 63 percent of C-suite level executives will turn to local elected officials first for guidance, followed by public health officials, external consultants, and the business community.

“As we look to develop future public health plans, it is important to learn from the past and understand how various policies and measures impacted businesses,” said Josh Feinberg, President of the Cleaning Coalition of America. “The Coalition is committed to serving as a bridge between the business community and policymakers to ensure safe and healthy workplaces – not just now, but in the future.”

Moving forward, executives are not leaving anything to chance. In fact, 80 percent have developed a pandemic response plan. Still, in the event of a future public health emergency, New York City executives would like to see better protection of frontline workers – including priority access to PPE and vaccinations.

IN-PERSON WORK STILL MATTERS

While many businesses have changed their office space during the pandemic, senior leaders say the in-person workplace is critical to their company’s bottom-line.

  •      68% of businesses have moved their office location during the pandemic.
  •      76% say that the in-person workplace is essential to their company’s bottom-line and revenue.

Business leaders are prioritizing enhanced cleaning to keep the workplace safe and incentivize a return to the office.

  •      75% say cleaning is the number one incentive to return to the office.
  •      20% cited cleaning as the most important business learning from the pandemic, followed by improving technology (17%) and the benefits of remote work (15%).

C-suite executives are broadly supportive of New York’s pandemic response.

  •      75% of executives say they are satisfied with the local government’s pandemic response.
  •      63% of C-suite leaders will turn to local elected officials first for guidance, followed by public health officials (57%).

New York executives have prepared their own pandemic response plans, but want to see stricter and more proactive enforcement of public health measures during future public health crises.

  •      80% of business leaders have developed future pandemic response plans.
  •      25% of executives support stricter measures and enforcement of current pandemic restrictions.
Read more about facility management cleaning and maintenance issues here. 

Execs identify office cleaning as most important incentive to workers

C-suite executives recognize that ensuring adequate office cleaning is vital to workers’ willingness to return to the workplace.

Many more workers are working in offices now than they were for most of 2021, but that doesn’t mean they are completely over the pandemic. That seems to be something that C-level executives are recognizing, as a recent survey found that they have identified that office cleaning practices are the number one incentive for workers to return to a workplace.

The new survey from the Cleaning Coalition of America, a partnership of six of the nation’s largest facilities services companies, found that three-quarters (75 per cent) of respondents to their survey of C-suite executives cited office cleaning as the most important measure to ensure employees are happy to return.

It’s fair to say this is likely to be a priority for executives, given that 76 per cent of the respondents said that an in-person workplace is essential to their company’s bottom line and revenue.

Most respondents said they believe that generally stricter cleaning protocols will improve employee confidence in returning to the workplace.

The survey also found that 68 per cent of C-suite executives have moved their office location during the pandemic.

In addition, one in five (20 per cent) cited the importance of cleaning as the most important lesson they learned from the pandemic, followed by the importance of improved technology (17 per cent) and the benefits of remote work (15 per cent).

“The pandemic required businesses to fundamentally rethink their operations and the value placed on workplace health and safety,” said coalition member Paul Budsworth, Diversey North America president.

Fellow coalition member Stanley Doobin, Harvard Maintenance Inc. owner and CEO, stressed that in the post-pandemic era, increased cleaning and disinfection “must be the new standard for any shared space”.

Read full article here.