The housekeeping department of a hotel is not exactly an area of hotel operations known for its technological innovations. However, providing excellent housekeeping service to a hotel’s guests is immeasurably valuable to the reputation of a hotel. In that regard, there are a number of aspects of furnishing that service to their guests where improvements can certainly be made.
Particularly concerning the effective communications between housekeepers and front desk/management; long-standing hotel methodology can be greatly enhanced by technology. Moreover, a number of upgraded equipment and techniques can slow the housekeeping staff attrition rates, while reducing the number of job-related injuries as well.
New and innovative, cloud-based property management (PMS) systems are capable of efficiently interfacing with software platforms designed to streamline the entire housekeeping and maintenance departments of any hotel. The housekeeping modules enable the scheduling of shifts and tasks, while tracking room status in real-time.
Extraordinary cleaning tasks, such as flipping mattresses for example, may be scheduled and tracked as well. Housekeeping staff communicate with the platform via their own mobile devices or the in-room telephone, keeping necessary hardware to a minimum. Management and front desk staff are therefore kept informed of the entire hotel’s condition at any given moment.
Given that hotel housekeepers have a high risk of injury resulting from the performance of their jobs, any changes in the methodology of cleaning hotel rooms to make them safer is greatly welcome. While technological development is ongoing to replace the human element of cleaning, realistically, robot housekeepers are decades away. However, a number of new tools are becoming available to reduce the risk of injury and strain on the human body for hotel housekeeping staff.
Housekeeping equipment is now being designed with ergonomics in mind. Keeping staff off their knees and minimizing back strain should be paramount for hoteliers combating employee turnover and workers compensation claims. Cleaning implements, such as vacuums, now work with the physics of our bodies and not against them. This can be accomplished by making simple adjustments, including using weight-saving materials in their manufacturing and improving the mobility of the equipment. Exposure to harmful cleaning agents is being curbed as well through providing better protection, such as providing vinyl gloves for housekeepers.
There is always room for improvement and streamlining of any aspect of hotel operations. Housekeeping, despite its seemingly unchangeable nature, is being performed in a number of hotels very efficiently through the application of time-saving technology and safety consciousness.