Smart Washrooms mean Smart Workforce Management
Thanks to technology, managing a workforce in a facility environment is easier than ever before. The use of the Internet of Things – when a system is interrelated and internet-connected to facilitate the collection and transfer of data via a wireless connection – has delivered a revolution in how a workforce can be managed.
IoT ensures connectivity, and through the use of devices and sensors, the range of tasks that can be completed remotely has increased. Thanks to the analysis of data in real time, it allows smarter decisions to be made about planning, scheduling and utilization of resources.
Technology in the Washroom
Washrooms are an important part of facilities management. And in recent years, within the washroom industry, Smart technology has not only drastically improved the end-user experience, but it has also changed how workforces can be managed – for the better.
Smart Washrooms offer smart solutions that are IoT and data-driven, and provide facility managers with multiple benefits, which is transforming the industries approach to washroom maintenance. Through the use of sensors on washroom equipment and easy-to-use smart platforms, teams are moving away from manual processes, which is increasing productivity and efficiency.
The industry really is waking up to the multitude of tasks associated with washroom management that technology can support. This has been an important step in not only improving and maintaining customer satisfaction but has been a key role in maintaining hygiene – the importance of which has been demonstrated in the wake of COVID.
Multiple pieces of research have been done into the benefits of IoT in the washroom, with customers that use Smart technology to manage cleaning teams reporting significant decreases in tasks such as consumable checks, allowing staff to focus efforts on immediate needs. This in turn reduces time wasted on unnecessary menial jobs and directs staff to the ones that actually need doing, while vastly improving cleaning quality.
Managing supplies and consumables
Many washrooms nowadays use sensor operated taps and flushes. But Smart Washrooms take this technology a step further. Sensors can also monitor how often the dispensers are used, when they are used the most often, and then let facilities teams know how to respond, based on the real-time data provided. Sensors fitted to things like toilet roll and hand towel dispensers, and other data collection points, gives information on stock levels, and is available remotely to cleaning teams and their managers. The data is sent directly to the cleaning staff and is displayed on their tablet or smart watch. Seeing levels of things like tissue paper, in real-time now only allows timely refilling of consumables, it allows teams to predict the busiest periods and adjust the restocking and checking of levels when that are actually needed. This can be done at multiple times during busy periods, or scheduled during quieter times, to reduce impact on customers, allowing the entire process to be more efficient and cost effective.
With software that allows access to real time data, trends can be analyzed and predicted, ensuring staff focus on the areas with the highest priority. For example, when cleaning needs to be carried out more frequently, due to heavier usage at certain times, or in response to an unexpected rush, facilities teams are alerted directly to their personal devices, and they can adjust rosters and cleaning schedules as needed, allowing a better use of the team’s time – and of course, resulting in more hygienic spaces. Something that is vital in a post-pandemic world. If an incident occurs, such as a spillage that has resulted in a wet floor, again real-time alerts are delivered directly to the necessary teams and the issue can be immediately and safely restored.
Accountability of staff
Smart Washrooms can help management track accountability of their teams. When facilities teams enter contracts with building management, as set out in their service level agreements, certain criteria are specified which need to be adhered to. These include things like attending to issues or complaints within a certain amount of time, to help support customer satisfaction levels. Previously, tracking this was an issue and traditional methods such as obtaining signatures on paper left room for errors and inaccuracies. Within a Smart Washroom, staff are alerted to any issues that may affect customer service immediately, with real-time information delivered directly to their personal devices, removing any room for discrepancies and leaving staff fully accountable.
Usage of facilities
With systems such as occupancy indicators, or ‘LooLights’ as the VERTECO tool is called, Smart Washrooms allow facilities teams to address long queues and overcrowding. Simple, visual cues in the form of a ceiling lighting system, are connected to sophisticated tech to help manage the flow of traffic. Users can instantly see which cubicles are occupied and which are free, improving customer satisfaction and boosting productivity of cleaning and maintenance teams.The management of a washroom workforce via data-driven technology is not only a benefit for facility managers, but the end user as well. Simple, cost-effective Smart additions are proven to boost staff engagement and increase productivity and efficiency – and a better customer experience.