Woosh Washrooms

The BLooprint – The Facilities Manager’s Guide To Effective Washroom Management

Today marks the launch of our landmark guide for the facilities management industry.

As you may have guessed, this document, which will be the first edition of a series we’ve called the ‘BLooprint’, is all about washroom management – how it’s done, why it matters, and what the experts think. The premise of the BLooprint is simple: it looks to equip FMs with the knowledge they need in order to manage and maintain truly outstanding washrooms.

So, why have we written this? Having engaged with notable industry figures like Martin Pickard, Beth Goodyear and Liz Kentish, we found that there was a gap in knowledge that needed filling. These three contributors showed us that a go-to guide would be ideal for FMs looking to raise the standard of their facilities, especially for those who are new to the profession and unsure of best practice.

As conversations with the three contributors progressed, it became clear that washrooms are an often overlooked yet critically important aspect of an FM’s remit, with little direction or advice out there in the public domain. This is ultimately why we have started the BLooprint series. We believe this edition will provide FM professionals with the final word on how to achieve washroom excellence.

Granted, there are bigger things in life than washrooms and it should be a given that they are properly cared for. All too often, however, building users are let down and have to put up with less than satisfactory facilities. This needs to change.  

Let’s put this in perspective. The typical office worker pops to the loo around three to four times a day. For an average-sized facility, that’s over 1.1 million complaint opportunities per year – and that’s leaving aside other visitors and important guests. What if instead these visits were opportunities to leave a positive impact? With edition one of the BLooprint series to hand, this becomes a far more realistic target. It gives readers the advice they need to fundamentally change how their washrooms are managed, dramatically increasing the chances of turning a potentially bad impression into a wholly positive one.

Research has found that a bad washroom experience has a profoundly negative impact on the perception of an organisation, with visitors being far less likely to spend time or money with a company that has a poorly maintained building and facilities. “Toilets are a touchstone of building,” says FM ‘guru’ Martin Pickard, “if you want to know whether a building is being cared for or not, go in the loo, and you can just tell whether somebody’s got their handle of this place and are looking after it properly.”

It’s not just reputational damage that results from poor washrooms, though. Consider the financial impact that it can also have. In 2016 alone, there were an estimated 137 million working days lost due to sickness or injury – and that’s just the UK. As Pickard again goes on to highlight the “obvious yet decidedly ignored connection between washroom hygiene and a company’s profit margins.”

Management is one thing; effective management is another. We recognise the FM industry’s tendency to prefer data and ‘hard facts’, which is why there’s a quantitative approach to accompany the opinions of our FM luminaries. Taking on board both the qualitative and the quantitative approaches, readers will be able to build a clearer picture of how a washroom functions, how it impacts an organisation, and what needs to be done to see it sparkle all year round.

Winter Washroom Management

For many, businesses and landlords, winter is often the most challenging season and none more so than for those who are tasked with looking after built assets. Washrooms in particular face the most strain during colder and wetter months, with the increased incidence of cold and flu making them hot (or should that be cold?) beds for the spread germs and bacteria. Heavier rain, ice and dampness also create the perfect conditions for mould and other nasties to spread if facilities are not managed effectively.

It’s not just the spread of bacteria, however, that cause issues for washrooms during winter periods. Heavy rains also allow floors to become sodden trip hazards, and visitors’ footwear can bring in all kinds of debris from the road, especially rock salt that is used in the evenings to reduce the spread of ice on roads and pavements. Without careful maintenance of a washroom facility during winter, organisations can quickly find themselves with a damaged – and not to mention highly dangerous environment to contend with.

Increased humidity and standing water brought in during winter periods can also lead to unpleasant odours in the washroom. For businesses that are regularly bringing in clients and other important people to their offices, this kind of scenario can, as research shows, really put people off an organisation. As our blog on Air Fresheners discussed, it’s a first impression that can be incredibly difficult to change.  

So, what can be done? Luckily, with the right knowledge and understanding all these winter challenges can be solved. Our previous blog on cold and flu season equips organisations with the knowledge they need to fight back against common viruses and bacteria found in bathroom environments (which typically peak during colder weather). Soap dispensers, sanitisers, correct cleaning chemicals, hand towels vs. paper towels – all this and more can be found in the first edition of the BLooprint which is due to be released mid-February.

As for reducing debris and standing water within the washroom environment, it’s often more than simply running a mop over the floor throughout the day. Some of the best equipped washrooms now have specially designed textile and non-textile matting placed at entrances and exits to keep foreign objects out of the bathroom, helping to reduce damage on the flooring and, most importantly, keep the environment more hygienic.

Finally, keeping a washroom smelling fresh and pleasant during winter need not be an added hassle. As our previous blog on air fresheners showed, there are now a range of air care options available to businesses at different price points that not only keep restrooms smelling fragrant but also help to elevate the standard of an organisation’s built assets.

The ‘BLooprint’ – our landmark document for effective washroom management – will show that washrooms are often considered the touchstone of a building, prefacing the entire building experience for visitors. FM ‘guru’ Martin Pickard, a self-confessed toilet obsessive, regards the washroom as the single place which indicates whether or not an organisation has its affairs in order. Of course, getting a washroom clean is one thing; putting a strategy in place, especially during winter months, is another. This is why we’ve created the BLooprint. It gives readers a handy reference for everything washroom management, allowing facilities to shine no matter the weather.

Look out for the ‘BLooprint – Edition 1 The Facilities Manager’s Guide To Effective Washroom Management.’ Chat to one of our Wooshologists if you’d like to get your eyes on a copy today.

If you’d like more advice on best practice during the colder months and the management of your washroom facilities, speak to a Wooshologist on 0203 876 5616 or email hello@wooshwashrooms.com

Germ alert, they like to travel in taxis too

At Woosh we love finding out the latest germ hotspots and alerting you guys. We scouted out this article from European Cleaning Journal and wanted to spread the word! We recommend always sanitising your hands as soon as you exit a cab or hire car-  better to be safe than sorry!

 

Ride-hailing vehicles and hired cars are both hotbeds of bacteria, according to a recent study. And shared cab services harbour three times the number of germs as the average rental.

A team from insurance comparison site NetQuote took swabs from seat belts, door handles and window buttons from a number of taxis and ride-sharing services. These are companies such as Uber that enable customers to share a cab hailed from the roadside.

Scientists then swabbed the steering wheels, gear sticks and seat belts from three hire cars. Ride-sharing service vehicles were discovered to be by far the more ‘germy’ of the three types tested, harbouring more than six million colony-forming units per square inch on average.

The number of microorganisms found on surfaces in hire cars was around two million CFUs while taxis were much less bacteria-ridden than expected, with an average of just over 27,000 colony-forming units per square inch.

The tests, which were carried out in South Florida, also revealed that the seatbelts in ride-share vehicles contained 38 times more bacteria than those of the average taxi.

No particular ride-sharing service was singled out for criticism. However the report concluded: “When you rent a car, take a moment to wipe key surfaces such as the steering wheel and gear lever with a soap-based wipe before you touch them.

“And once you leave the cab or ride-share, wash your hands as soon as possible — and avoid touching your face until you do.”

 SOURCE: http://www.europeancleaningjournal.com/magazine/june-july-2016/latest-news/ridehailing-and-hired-cars-are-hotbeds-for-germs-study 

 

People have been talking about your washroom. Isn’t it time you listened?

We hear more and more about how we look, how we dress and how we do our hair. Image, image, image. This means we’re all a little bit more worried about our appearance, but does this rub off onto our surroundings, like our washrooms for example? Apparently not. According to a survey taken by Bradley Corporation, there is increasing dissatisfaction with washrooms.

Here’s a little fact for you facilities managers out there:

‘87% of British people say that having a bad washroom experience leads to a bad impression of your establishment!’

This was a survey of 8,000 people (not just the guy down at the local moaning over a pint). If you break it down a bit you can see that 6,960 of the people asked believed a good washroom really was important. No more thinking: “Having a good washroom isn’t really relevant for my organisation” and a lot more of: “If my washroom is great my organisation will be great too.”

When people were asked to express the key solutions to a clean washroom guess what came out on top?

Toilet paper! A nonnegotiable necessity- don’t you think. Enough said.

• Next was soap. Needed to make your hands squeaky clean, and stop all the nasty germs from hanging around.

• The third was paper towels these really are super-duper important and key in saying ‘bye-bye’ to residual contamination (that’s tech speak for the little critters that like to make you ill). With all those germs gone your staff spend less time sick at home in their PJ’s, and more time at work actually being staff.

Hand sanitiser came next on the list. Surprised? Don’t be. As a Wooshologist, I can tell you it’s becoming a ‘must have’ with our clients. In fact, 8 out of 10 people expect to find hand sanitiser in washrooms. (Want to know more? click here)

• Last on the list, but still rated as highly important is the humble hand drier. Known for dead-fast drying these bad boys will get everyone back at their desks working before you can say ‘Rumpelstiltskin’.

A whopping 77% of British respondents said they would rather not use a washroom if it was dirty and smelly! Over 50% said a bad smell would leave a poor impression. If only they knew it took a simple air freshener or air purifier and all their woes would be gone.

Washrooms are not always given the highest priority and we want to know why. Toilets can make a significant difference on the overall impression your organisation makes on staff and, perhaps more importantly customers! That is, if the toilets are sparkling, smell fresh as a daisy and allow for people to be as clean as a bean after using them. Otherwise, the first impression of your building won’t be as great- and we all know first impressions count.

Want to upgrade your washroom grime scene to a gleam scene? Request a call with a Wooshologist using our chat system or call 0800 206 2110.

Oh, and join us on social media to, we’d love to hear from you.

Follow us on Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Written by Ashlyn-Jane

BIFM Board Update

Check out this article from FM World regarding the BIFM board changes.

26th May BIFM Members’ Council meeting saw the election of
Non-Executive Directors to the BIFM board.

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The two board members have been confirmed as:

>Members’ Council Representative; Ashleigh Brown, Consultant/Owner, Ash Brown Consulting

>Regional Group Representative; Stephen Roots, CBRE Global Workplace Solutions, Account Director

As both candidates stood for re-election and were elected unopposed, they remain in the positions they previously held, beginning their new two-year Board tenure immediately after the BIFM Annual General Meeting (AGM) which takes place in London on 13 July.

BIFM would like to thank Ashleigh and Stephen for their commitment in a volunteer capacity and for their tireless work for the Board to date and wish them well for their coming tenure.

The British Institute of Facilities Managment board therefore continues as:

>Julie Kortens – Chairman

>Lucy Black – Chair of Members’ Council

>Paul Ash – Finance Non-Executive Director

>Ashleigh Brown – Deputy Chair & [Members’ Council Representative]

>John Coke – Finance Director and Company Secretary

>Victoria O’Farrell – Special Interest Group Representative

>James Sutton – BIFM CEO [Ray Perry as successor]

>Stephen Roots – Deputy Chair & [Regional Representative]

>Keith Waterman – Chair Governance & Audit Committee

>Stephen Welch – Members’ Council Representative

 

See more at: http://www.fm-world.co.uk/news/fm-industry-news/bifm-board-update/#sthash.CGFHDCfF.dpuf

A waste of space by Cleaning Matters

Waste shouldn't be wasteful!small

Woosh loves this great article we found on Cleaning Matterswe think the idea of smart bins is a great one! Dominic, we’re backing you all the way! Waste shouldn’t be wasteful, it isn’t logical (or clever). 

Dominic Oliver, marketing manager at BritishBins, examines the new technologies that aim to eliminate the wasteful elements of waste collection.

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Here’s an odd quirk of waste collection: commercial collectors are paid for each bin they empty, regardless of how full that bin is. A bin could be overflowing or essentially empty, it makes no difference to the collectors; it’s in their best interest to collect them all. However, the collectors then pay to dispose of the waste by the tonne. Right there you have a system that mitigates against efficiency.

This is such a costly, damaging and outmoded system that it’s a wonder that it has persisted for so long. There are so many smart, forward thinking means of reducing the environmental impact of our everyday activities, but it has taken a long time for people to reconsider the way we look at collection routes. Fortunately, various technologies are now being trialled and implemented to ensure that it is not in a collector’s best interest to ‘collect’ essentially empty bins.

Bins should be visited and emptied when they are nearly full. If they are half full or less then the collection is inefficient, if they are allowed to become over-full then it is unhygienic. New technologies aim to use sophisticated sensors to measure precisely how full bins are, and then feed that data live, to a software programme in-house. Through harnessing this data, collection routes can be optimised. Bins will only be collected when they are nearly full, saving up to 40% in collection costs, and leading to substantial CO2 reductions.

There are many issues to consider when implementing ‘smart bins.’ It is important to optimise existing routes rather than go completely off-piste. One of the more popular means of remote monitoring is through the use of mobile technology, but there are many problems that come with that, mostly to do with weak mobile signals. Another promising technique is the use of ultra-sound sensors, which seem to provide accurate and reliable measurements.

Whatever ultimately becomes an industry standard, it’s clear that the current system for waste collection is on its last legs. In the same way that Uber recently swept away the slightly creaky, traditional taxi services, collection routes will soon change drastically. With the ‘internet of things’ invading every other facet of our lives, it makes sense that we implement new ideas to reduce our carbon footprint and save costs, as well as to provide much cleaner bin areas and generally better waste collection services.

Read more articles like this here Cleaning Matters.

Q&A with Alistair Craig (article by Office Show)

Q & A

Woosh loves this great Q & A with Anabas Managing Director, Alistair Craig.

We are proud to support Anabas as they grow and we are even prouder to say we have supported Anabas whilst they set up a facilities operation from scratch in 3 weeks for the landmark building in central London!

 

In this latest speaker Q&A, managing director Alistair Craig, from corporate office facilities management specialist Anabas, provides his top tips for office managers looking to enhance their workplace facilities, and provides a snapshot of what to expect in his seminar session at office* 2016.

Who or what has been the biggest influence on your career?

Early on in my career I had an inspirational boss who lived by the mantra ‘customer perception is reality’.  It’s something that has proven to hold true throughout my career and an important mantra for everyone to bear in mind if you wish your customers to be advocates of the product or service you provide.

What do you love most about your work?

The variety of industries and companies we deal with at Anabas and their different cultures, ways of working and workspaces, which are often extensions of how they see themselves.  I thrive on the diversity– I can be visiting a global advertising agency in the morning, a top law firm in the afternoon and a financial services business later in the same day.  All different, but equally immensely proud of their workspaces.

What has been your biggest challenge in your career?

Moving from a global FTSE100 company to a medium sized business where the buck stops with me.  No excuses.

What’s the most exciting thing you’ve been asked to do in the last 12 months?

 To set-up a facilities operation from scratch in three weeks for a landmark central London building for occupancy by 2,200 people.

From experience, what’s the most optimal working environment?

The most optimal working environment is a very personal thing. It depends on the individual, their role and mobility. My general observation is that the best locations (those with more space, access to natural daylight and good views) are afforded to those people who spend the least amount of time at them.  The converse also holds true. I think ‘bosses’ should consider more carefully the best allocation of working space in an office.  The best way to do this is to go back to the floor and work in the role/space that their employees are given.

What are your 3 top tips for office managers looking to enhance their workplace facilities?

  1. Give your employees good coffee/tea facilities. Global surveys say this is really important. That Monday morning coffee sets the tone for the day – a happy workforce makes for a happy workplace!
  2. Create space for people to collaborate. Most meeting rooms are far too big for the 2-3 person collaboration which is vital for organisational success.
  3. Cleanliness is really important to offices occupants.  Make sure you don’t skip on cleaning your offices properly.  Nobody wants to work in a grimy space.

What can visitors expect from your session?

 The session will allow office managers to:

  1. Get a quick and helpful snapshot of what’s important for managing facilities management in the corporate office – to create a safe, compliant and welcoming workplace
  2. Understand what’s important in terms of statutory maintenance and health and safety legislation to ensuring a safe and fully compliant working environment
  3. The little things that can make a big difference – small touches to enhance your facilities and get the best from your workplace

What are you looking forward to most at office* 2016?

Meeting other visitors to the show and absorbing some of the ideas and innovations on offer.

Article & Q&A from Office Show.

See the full article here: http://www.officeshow.co.uk/speaker-qa-alistair-craig-managing-director-at-anabas/ 

Facilities Managers: Do you want a ‘WOW’ or a ‘WOAH’?

Facilities Managers-Do you want a 'WOW' or a 'WOAH'. small

What do your washrooms say about you?

You could say, ‘I don’t care about my washrooms, no one will notice, your only in them for a minute or two’. Well we’re here to tell you that people do notice. Take it from us, we’ve researched this stuff!

In life you only have seconds to make a good first impression. Not just as an individual but with our buildings, receptions, washrooms or products. We all know the saying judge a restaurant by it’s washrooms. It’s true.

Have you ever had a supplier or client pop in for a coffee and chat about a recent proposal… Then suddenly ‘Can I use your toilet?’. Of course, it happens all the time, clients need to use your toilets- regardless of what state they’re in.

It’s up to you to decide whether you get a ‘WOW!’, or a ‘WHOA!’

Have you ever visited someone’s washrooms, been disgusted, and then told your friends about it later? I know I’ve done it! So have other people I’ve been with. A restaurant is a favourite for this. You take a break from your meal, visit the washrooms, come back to the table and then start a conversation about the state you find some washrooms. Sometimes it just becomes the norm to find a grubby, messy and smelly washroom.  This shouldn’t be happening. We shouldn’t expect grime, it’s a crime. Visiting a washroom shouldn’t be a health hazard, ever.

Its only when you spend a penny in a really great washroom that makes you think- WOW why can’t everywhere be like this? Well it can be, it’s really not hard.
At Woosh we are going to make 2016 the year of the #Wooshroom-revo-LOO-tion.

So what really makes a great washroom:

This a is Woosh list of basic requirements. (but we could do a lot more)

Well stocked toilet roll. C’mon guys this is a basic requirement (in our eyes it’s a law!).

A working flush. Sounds stupid but majority of large washrooms have only 85% of their flushes working. Can you imagine the smell! We can, and it’s not a good one.

A lock, preferably working! No one likes to pee in an unlocked stall- it’s not nice or necessary. Again, it’s a basic requirement. No one will use or want to use your cubicles unless they have a working lock.

For ladies- a sanitary bin. Not just any sanitary bin- a regularly emptied, cleaned and well serviced bin that smells fresh as a daisy. Which is our speciality, by the way.

Toilet seat sanitiser. Now, not everyone views this as a necessity but here at Woosh we believe it should be. Even if you have super super good cleaners that clean every half an hour. It only takes one person to use the toilet 5 minutes after a cleaner has been round, and boom. Someone can come in a think the seat doesn’t look safe for use, we’ve all been there. Introducing… Woosh Seat San- grab some toilet roll, squirt on some san, wipe, be seated my friends.

Air fresheners. You can clean your bogs till the cows come home, but at the end of the day- a toilet is a toilet. They can really pong and luckily we know how to solve this. Air fresheners? Non-aerosol, eco and health friendly (suitable for you guys who suffer with asthma and allergies). No problem – we’ll fix you up. Air sanitisers? Also not a problem! 99.9% bacteria free air. You can breathe easy, we have it covered. Contact a Wooshologist to find out our newest innovation on air purifying- it’s great!

Soap– filled, cleaned and with a working pump- it’s a must have. One at every basin to please, it’s only right and proper. Ever done the sideways scoot to the soap dispenser on your right? Accidentally shoulder slamming into someone as you lean in to swipe their soap. Sound familiar? If soaps are filled and working and at every basin this doesn’t happen.

Hand towels? hand dryers?– Just something to dry my hands on, please! No one likes to wipe their hands on their clothing or open the door with dripping hands. Drying your hands is key to getting rid of contamination on the surface of your skin, in other words, keeping you healthy.

Hand sanitiser. Another Woosh must have. If the soap is empty and the hand towels have run out, your lucks still in. A large dollop of hand sanitiser can get rid of 99.9% of the germs clinging to your hands. Job done!

So make a statement about your company, your values, your attention to the little things and upgrade your washrooms today. By simply getting on the blower and speaking with a Wooshologist and we’ll fix you up with a fine set of washroom facilities. You’ll have washrooms fully stocked, smelling like a summer meadow and sending out all the right messages to staff, clients and suppliers-the message that you care.

Come on and join us on twitter @wooshwashrooms with the hashtag #wooshroom_revo_LOO_tion... tweet us pictures of disgraceful washrooms you think need an upgrade from a grime scene to a clean gleam- we’ll try and get in contact with them and offer our Woosh-ed service! Tweet us your stories, your washroom pet hates, worst nightmares and the best washroom you’ve ever been into.

Let’s change the way the UK views toilets and washrooms…let’s revo-LOO-tionise washrooms…why can’t every washroom be suitable for The Queen herself? Let’s do this!

We want the in’s and out’s of what you see out and about…the good the bad and the ugly. Get in touch… HERE!