As the US comes into its third year contending with COVID-19, school systems are doing their best to meet students' needs, both educationally and in terms of sanitation. With students in many districts attending some form of in-person instruction, custodial management has become more critical than ever before.
Custodial teams strive to conform to new sanitation protocols, which often change in correlation when updated by local, state, and federal health organizations.
Though the application of optimal custodial services faces several significant challenges, from staffing issues to time constraints, the availability of new technology and better cleaning utilities serve to improve the effectiveness of custodial management.
When schools were closed in place of online instruction, custodial teams were better able to dispatch cleaning services to ensure they kept buildings as clean as possible.
Now that students are returning to school at least a couple of days a week, custodial teams face significant strain when keeping buildings clean enough to be safe for students without disrupting instruction times.
While it would be ideal if custodial teams could thoroughly clean classrooms between classes, there is not enough time between these periods to allow the best sanitation practices.
In addition, staffing shortages compound the challenges that custodial teams already face.
With so many new protocols to work through and neither time nor staff availability being ideal, custodians and custodial managers need to turn to technology for better planning and performance.
Accepting new technology as part of an effective custodial strategy can benefit teams in several ways. Monitoring traffic in various school buildings can showcase which areas need the most profound and most frequent cleaning. Still, data collected on building traffic and utility can aid custodial teams in determining patterns. With data reports, teams can plan for high and low traffic times and clean areas with little to no traffic within an appropriate timeline.
Additionally, smart restroom technology can help prevent the spread of bacteria throughout school buildings. By adopting touch-free sinks, toilets, and dispensers, custodial teams can reduce their workloads preemptively.
Innovative technology also makes monitoring supply levels easier. Custodial teams can maintain inventory levels of sanitizer dispensers, soaps, paper towels, toilet paper, and even trashcan capacities.
By enabling custodial teams to ensure that trash is frequently taken out and adequate sanitation supplies are always available, it's reasonable to expect a significant decrease in the spread of germs.
Finally, in conjunction with inventory monitoring, traffic-based performance, and shortened timelines due to better planning, custodial managers can effectively manage sanitation plans by remaining aware of signs and symptoms to watch out for.
To make new cleaning protocols as effective as possible, custodial staff must remain at home if they display any signs of illness. No cleaning measure will be as effective if custodial staff members work while sick.
Smart cleaning technology can help reduce the spread of bacteria, decrease cleaning times, and put teams to their best use, even when staff members are limited.
For more information about smart cleaning technology, visit TRAX Analytics to learn about the features your custodial teams can utilize to improve facility hygiene and reduce task timelines.