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Many countries have been forced back into lockdown in some form or other but in the UK things seem to be a bit different from how they were last time. OK, it's the first day for us, but everyone I speak with says the roads during rush hour were as busy today as they were last week and that public transport systems were busy too. I'm wondering whether this is because our workplaces are now fairly Covid-safe or if it's because so many of us have now had enough of the enforced isolation and all it brings, and have decided to ignore Government advice about staying at home.
Either way, the constant rule changing must cause havoc amongst the cleaning teams, who will no doubt feel responsible for their clients' safety but may not be aware from one day to the next whether the cleaning services will be needed the following day and if they are, to what extent. Already these teams will have had to learn new procedures, often using different products and equipment, and I understand that many have had to cover locations they don't normally clean and take on extra shifts too. Adaptability has become as much a part of the job as expertise in the task at hand and I can imagine that the work - not just for the cleaners but their management teams too - must be exhausting.
Another way the pandemic has affected our sector is through the cancellation of our events... Conferences and exhibitions and the like. I think I may have mentioned recently that John Austen and I presented the idea of a virtual exhibition more than a decade ago and while back then it excited us, I've only recently realised that the logistics of running a virtual show must, in reality, be daunting. I've congratulated our cleaning teams many times over the years and now I extend my congratulations to everyone who's had to move from organising a show with hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of visitors, to staging a virtual exhibition instead.
And while it's always wonderful to win an award for a new product or innovation, I'm sure the grinning faces, cheers and loud applause of audiences as the awards are announced and presented, are sorely missed - along with the photographic evidence. The Interclean Innovation Awards have been announced this week (see below). If you're a winner or finalist, I'm applauding you from my home office. I realise it's not quite the same but...
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5th November 2020