By: Wayne Basham3 min read
SafeGroup’s Head of Marketing, Michelle Ringland, wonders if the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our attitudes to hygiene for good. Are we all getting a little obsessed about cleaning? And is that a good thing?
I don’t know about anyone else but recently, when catching up with my circle of friends, the conversation moved slightly wide of normal conversations to cleaning tasks we have carried out in our homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. And, can I say, this is not the type of conversation I normally have with my group of friends.
It got me thinking about changing attitudes to what we do, when we do it, and how we do cleaning in the home. This discussion involved everyone. The men were chatting about clearing out junk they have had in the home for years plus helping around the home more.
Has being made to stay home changed people’s attitude to cleaning? With the rise in social media promoting cleaning, Mrs Hinch is the prime example of this with her 3.5m followers on Instagram, dare I ask is cleaning now more of a hobby?
When I returned to full time work after my daughter’s birth 30 years ago, I made the choice that I was not going to compromise on time with her when I wasn’t working so I employed a cleaner. I wanted our home to be clean, but I also wanted to spend the valuable time when I wasn’t working being a mum.
This worked for our family and our cleaner also became part of our extended family. This didn’t mean that I didn’t do any cleaning around the home, just tasks that took a bit of time that needed doing say, quarterly, rather than weekly. I find cleaning quite therapeutic and calming, compared with the fast pace of sales, marketing and being creative.
During the pandemic some people appear to have more time to look around their homes more critically than they had in a years. DIY tasks have taken a rapid rise. We will all remember, during the first lockdown, the endless queues around the local B&Q shops which could remain open because they supplied the construction sector. Indeed, Kingfisher Plc paid back the government the subsidies they received because they were one of the winners during the pandemic. Well done Kingfisher.
There seemed to be an emergence of people taking more pride in their own homes, investing in outside spaces and gardens. Extensions, repairs and remodelling. Not a bad thing if at some point in the immediate future you are going to sell your home, taking advantage of Rishi Sunak’s increase in stamp duty threshold to stimulate the property market.
Cleaning and sorting out junk also has become more of a priority. Skip hire costs soared as demand has outstripped availability. Trips to the supermarket now also includes buying the latest cleaning products promoted via social media.
Did you try to buy a Minky cleaning cloth or sponge during the lockdowns? I did and had to try three different places before I found one. A great thing for a local NW based company. Another winner in the economy? Is the new hobby of cleaning so high on the agenda in lots of homes that it is fashionable? Did you know that Minky even do bespoke gifts of gold and silver charms? Not sure that would be the first thing on my Christmas gift list! I do believe there has been a huge shift in attitudes to cleaning due to the lockdowns. ‘Cleaning’ can now officially be considered a hobby. What do you think, is it a long term shift?
Here at SafeGroup we have also seen a shift in attitudes towards professional extreme cleaning. Employers want to be seen to be doing the right thing, cleaning operatives are more visible and treated with the respect they deserve, instead of being invisible to the passing public.
Soft FM services were often overlooked within budget constraints of busy companies. Not anymore. The importance of deep cleaning has been seized upon as a means of getting the economy back to work safely. And I for one am happy with that change in attitudes. Cleaning outside the home is just as important as cleaning in the home to keep us all safe.