In the age of the pandemic and social distancing, how often do you want your hotel room cleaned? Do you prefer daily cleaning in your hotel room or only upon check-out?
Hotel Room Daily Cleaning During Pandemic
A story in the New York Times lays out the grievances of hotel housekeepers across the United States. These workers are upset that hotels are increasingly putting more emphasis on cleaners and less on housekeepers. As COVID-19 has changed the dynamic of so much of life, so too has it changed the nature of how your hotel room is cleaned.
At many hotels, daily cleanings have been replaced by cleanings upon checkout only. Sometimes this is mandatory, sometimes this is by choice. Hotels are also bringing in cleaning services to provided electrostatic spraying and other deep cleaning services that have replaced, in some cases, the traditional roles of housekeepers.
The result is hardly surprising: while hotels have struggled, housekeepers have struggled even more. Millions have been laid off and remain laid off even as demand has slowly returned to U.S. hotels.
When housekeepers do work, they are forced to do perform several days of cleaning within the same amount of time, even though additional trash and germs have mounted up. The result, they claim, is riskier conditions for housekeepers and lower wages overall.
A New Reality?
I wrestle with this issue. First, I find hotels totally disingenuous when they talk about “saving the environment” or “protecting your health” by declining housekeeping. Quite the contrary, I believe that this is predominantly about cost-cutting. I understand that hotels are in survival-mode right now, so this isn’t so much a condemnation as much as a reflection of reality.
But second, and this is the difficult part, I don’t want daily housekeeping either. It’s not that I’m really afraid of contracting the virus. It’s also not that I don’t like to have the bed made or fresh towels. Rather, it’s that I’ve often already declined daily housekeeping over the years. It takes me a few seconds to make the bed myself and I can always request fresh towels or water. I just prefer the privacy of being left alone.
Now imagine someone who is more sensitive. They reason that housekeepers are going from room to room interacting with guests and their germs. Masks primarily protect against spreading your germs to others and guests don’t wear masks in their rooms, so housekeepers are exposed.
Can you blame guests for not wanting daily housekeeping?
We have the trifecta of people like me who like privacy, other guests who worry about housekeeping on health grounds, and then hotels who are looking to cost-cut as much as possible. The result is sadly bad news for hotel housekeepers. They truly face a new reality. In any case, I do hope housekeepers are not expected to clean a room that has not been cleaned in five days in the same amount of time they would a room that has only been occupied one day.
What are your thoughts on daily housekeeping at hotels?