How advanced restrooms deliver hygiene and more

In the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic, one thing is clear: Hygiene is king. And there seems to be little debate that today’s daunting demand for heightened hygiene will remain long after the pandemic itself has waned.

For businesses, that means the ability to improve hygiene and protect the health and well-being of facility occupants is critical to their survival.

This puts a great deal of pressure on facility managers and building service contractors (BSCs), who must identify cleaning and maintenance solutions that will lead to success.

Fortunately, advanced smart restroom technologies are available that leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) to create data-driven facility management solutions.

Some of these solutions monitor, analyse, and measure information that directly impact hygiene—and a great deal more.

Five timely benefits of smart restroom solutions that can help facilities survive and succeed are:

  1. Heightened hygiene
  2. Improved sustainability
  3. Enhanced user experience
  4. Reduced staff burnout
  5. Elevated confidence

Heightened hygiene

Smart restroom solutions help improve hygiene for both restroom users and custodians. By monitoring supply levels and alerting custodians when levels are low, smart technologies help ensure soap, sanitiser, and towel dispensers are adequately stocked so users can properly wash, dry, and sanitise their hands.

Custodians can spend more time cleaning and sanitising additional spaces because they aren’t constantly running in and out of restrooms to check supply levels.

By ensuring touch points like doorknobs, faucet handles, and toilet paper dispensers are cleaned and sanitised regularly, smart solutions help reduce the number of germs on surfaces and protect restroom patrons.

By guiding custodians to refill and sanitise only when necessary, these workers come in contact with fewer touch points, lessening their own exposure to germs.

Improved sustainability

Over the past two decades, information has become readily available about the harmful effects of a wide range of products on the environment while, simultaneously, concern has grown about the depletion of the earth’s natural resources. In response, many facilities have gone to great lengths to implement sustainable business practices.

Smart restroom solutions can help facilities improve hygiene while simultaneously advancing sustainability.

By implementing technology that alerts custodians to refill dispensers only when needed, facilities reduce product waste. And by monitoring flush valves and faucets to help ensure these fixtures are operating optimally, facilities reduce their water usage.

Enhanced user experience

Imagine a restroom with adequately stocked soap, sanitiser, toilet tissue, and paper towels; fully functioning sinks, toilets, and urinals; and clean and sanitised counters, handles, and floors. Such a clean, well-maintained, fully functioning restroom is critical to a positive user experience, and smart restroom solutions can help deliver that positive experience every time.

Solutions with sensors and monitoring capabilities maintain a proper balance between product supply and demand so users don’t experience outages.

They also help facilities quickly address water leaks, clogs, and faulty flush valves so restroom disruptions are minimised.

Technologies that collect customer feedback and determine patron satisfaction levels help facility managers determine if the restroom is performing as it should be and can quickly alert custodians of an issue. Together, these smart systems can provide a healthier and elevated user experience.

Reduced staff burnout

It’s quite likely that facility staff are feeling a bit burned out right now. Since news of the coronavirus pandemic first broke, facility managers, BSCs, and custodians have been investing an inordinate amount of time and effort to keep facilities clean and safe.

Some may be manually creating and updating cleaning and sanitising checklists and keeping close tabs on cleaning staff to ensure tasks are completed.

Others have seen their to-do list grow exponentially as they are cleaning more surfaces and doing so more frequently. The mental and physical toll is extreme. Smart restroom solutions, though, allow for smart cleaning.

Checklists and task alerts are automated, performance is monitored, and results are measured, saving time, energy, and effort for all involved.

Elevated confidence

Smart solutions take a wide array of cleaning, sanitising, and maintenance tasks and create a systematic and methodical approach to organising, performing, monitoring, and measuring them.

This streamlined, automated approach ensures everyone involved in facility maintenance has a clear understanding of tasks and expectations.

As cleaning and maintenance tasks are completed, they can be monitored and measured in real-time.

As a result, facility managers can be confident in the quality of work performed and, as a result, that the health and well-being of building occupants are protected.

Michael Slawson is vice president and general manager of connected solutions for GP PRO.

This article first appeared in CMM and has been republished in the latest issue of INCLEAN magazine with permission.

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