As workplaces become redefined, so does the role of the facility manager.
As a company that strives to help other companies keep workplaces clean and healthy, we take great pride in the role we have played during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Our team has worked diligently to disinfect and help maintain clean offices for companies like Netflix, KitePharma, AT&T, and many others.
Jeff Becker is the CEO of Pegasus and has taken Pegasus from a small full-service janitorial firm serving only the Southern California business community to a premier Southwestern United States facility services company, with more than 1000 employees serving over 300 facilities.
With so much confusion and dispute around what the future of the workplace might look like, companies have been forced to reimagine the workplace and and address concerns around health and social capital.
What does a healthy workplace look to you and how do you think facility managers can create a work environment that is both safe and operationally efficient?
People have been working from home for a long time now. Although technology has allowed us to effectively communicate and work from outside of the traditional office environment, I believe that as humans, we have a basic need to be around our tribe of peers to really be happy and effective. That said, it is important for facilities to understand that the health of the employee population is critical and that cleaning needs to change.
There needs to be a higher focus on cleaning for the health of the people, not just for the visual appearance of the workplace. There is a big difference between cleaning, which removes dirt and debris from a building, and disinfection, that kills microorganisms like bacteria and viruses on surfaces or objects. Cleaning for health and cleaning for appearance are not mutually exclusive. But there needs to be a well defined strategy in advance to achieve both goals.
What type of technology do you think will impact facility management professionals?
I think a big advantage of today’s technology is the fact that everyone has a camera and a video recorder in their pocket. Work completion software allows customers to see that required cleanings have taken place, who has performed the work, and whether it was done on schedule. The ability to verify that the work is done by using technology is a giant step forward.
Do you think facility managers benefit more from internal or external resources when it comes to keeping facilities clean during this time and in the future?
The perfect solution is a true partnership between facilities and a professional external resource. This partnership needs to be 100% transparent so that both sides know the challenges that the other side faces. This is a great opportunity for the facilities department to provide visibility to their role in keeping the facility healthy and operational. It gives people a greater peace of mind when they see a cleaning professional disinfecting the high touch areas during the work day. This may be something new, or was not an area of focus in the past.
What advice would you give to facility managers looking to create a more safe work environment?
The office environment will change and the need for increased levels of cleaning will be greater than ever before. It is likely that the cost of maintaining a facility will increase dramatically. But that doesn’t mean that you need to cut corners.
There are proven methods to create an effective cleaning and disinfecting program without prohibitively high costs. Work with partners that have an excellent training program. This will ensure quality services, lower turnover, world class communication, and can provide proof that the work has been performed to the scope.