New standards have markedly changed the role of and demand for housekeepers.
REPORT FROM THE U.S.—Just over half of pre-COVID hotel jobs have been recovered so far, labor management data from Hotel Effectiveness shows, but most returning workers have seen big changes to their roles as a result of the virus.
Housekeeping, the biggest single component of any hotel’s labor costs in normal times, now includes new rules and standards to ensure guest and associate safety. Most brands have embraced the AHLA SafeStay guidelines, and many companies have gone well beyond the new processes and materials specified by these requirements. Asset management and advisory firm HotelAVE estimated the impact to be five to seven minutes per room of additional cleaning time for departure room cleans.
Despite the added difficulty of this type of housekeeping service, overall minutes per room for room attendants has declined by 20% or more across all chain scales. Hotel Effectiveness has found that the elimination of stayover cleans in most hotels is the reason for the positive change.
“Guests don’t want hotel personnel in their rooms every day, and room attendants are uncomfortable working in guestrooms in the middle of a stay,” said Taylor Beauchamp, chief product officer and head of labor analytics at the Hotel Effectiveness.
In normal times, a single minute of housekeeping time represents an investment of $50,000 per year per hotel. Even with reduced occupancy levels, sustained savings of $200,000 or more per year are possible if these productivity gains continue after the recovery.
The data and chart above represent a sample of more than 3,300 same-store hotels and excludes hotels which have been closed during the analyzed period.
Del Ross is Chief Revenue Officer for Hotel Effectiveness.
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