Covid-19: Companies scale up cleanliness protocol


L’Oreal, Salesforce, RPG Group, Panasonic Life Solutions and Flipkart are among those that are doubling down on hygiene for employee safety, in turn driving a surge in business for on-demand service providers and facility management companies.

Kolkata: With lockdown measures being eased further to jump-start the economy, Indian companies are making sure that enhanced safety and sanitisation protocols are maintained at their offices as more employees return to work on Monday amid rising cases of Covid-19.

L’Oreal, Salesforce, RPG GroupPanasonic Life Solutions and Flipkart are among those that are doubling down on hygiene for employee safety, in turn driving a surge in business for on-demand service providers and facility management companies.

More frequent deep-cleaning, sanitisation, fumigation and disinfection cycles have been planned as the cost of a slip-up could be huge for firms. While this means a jump in housekeeping costs of 30-60%, according to experts, companies say they will not be making any compromises.

L’Oreal is ensuring a 35-step health and safety protocol is adhered to before any of its offices reopens. “The safety and health of our employees is paramount, hence we have taken strict precautions to ensure the highest levels of hygiene and safety,” said Roshni Wadhwa, director of HR.

RPG Group has tied up with professional services firms to ensure that sanitisation and disinfection is carried out with rigour at all its plants and offices, said its chief talent officer, Supratik Bhattacharya.

At Panasonic Life Solutions India, arrangements for fumigation of office premises and sanitisation every two hours, deep cleaning of the facility every week during work offs and fumigation activity would be vital, said Akash Sangole, head of HR and general administration.

Flipkart is conducting deep fumigation and frequent sanitisation, apart from taking other measures.
Covid-19: Companies scale up cleanliness protocolSalesforce said its No.1 priority is safety, health and wellbeing of employees and their families.

Service providers, including those who were earlier focused on the home space, said there’s a deluge of queries from corporates.

Urban Company, which earlier focused on home services, is seeing this as an opportunity to enter the office space, while online on-demand service provider Housejoy is seeing a four-fold jump in queries.

Asset management venture MPowered is planning a mobile application that will enable companies to check and create audits for the sanitation process so that employees feel safer.

Sanchit Gaurav, CEO of Housejoy, said that given the spurt in demand, in the last two weeks, they have got into fumigation services and increased their spread to 30 cities from six. Besides offices, they are seeing demand from malls, doctors’ chambers and restaurants which are opening up, he said. Fumigation services typically cost Rs 1-1.5 per sq ft, while the cost for deep cleaning is Rs 3-4 per sq ft.

There’s been a 60-95% increase in demand for housekeeping services from corporates, which want to know how their workplaces can be kept Covid-compliant, said Sudeep Singh, CEO, MPowered. Their planned app will give employees access to the complete flow of how one would step into an office and audit how efficiently the sanitisation was conducted, he said.

Urban Company, which forayed into fumigation and disinfection recently, is now looking at it as a core business. “These particular services are much more skewed towards offices, accounting for as much as 75%,” said Ankit Agarwal, VP-business.

Reference: The Economic Times-HR World