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Emerging Trends in Hotel Housekeeping

A hotel is a Home Away from Home.

 In formal words we can define Hotels as commercial establishments where travellers can avail lodging, foodand other guest services by paying for it.

Hotel operations are handled by various core and ancillary departments and Housekeeping is one of the core departments responsible for providing cleanliness, maintenance and aesthetically appealing environment in the entire hotel.

At present Hotel Housekeeping is not just confined to the cleaning of different surfaces of the hotel rather it has gone way beyond that.

Hospitality is one of the fastest growing industries which is facing tremendous change every day due to advancements in technology and increasing demands of the clientele. Seeing all these changes hotels are also implementing different innovations in their operations and housekeeping department is also not untouched by this. The hotels are adding or removing things in the traditional practices to keep pace with the competition and have an edge over it.

Let us understand these latest emerging trends in housekeeping department of the hotels along with the traditional practices which were there earlier and what type of changes have come today:

1.       Eco - Friendly practices: Hotels are huge business organizations with large amount of natural resources consumption. Over the period of time hotels have realized that certain steps towards the environment would be beneficial for everyone. A major challenge is also here that how to get support from our guests in making these practices effective. In the guest rooms we can see lot of initiatives in this regard such as a step to save water and energy resources the tent cards are placed on the bedside table in the room and vanity counters of the bathroom mentioning that if guests have not used the linen they can keep it in a particular way to make the room attendants aware that we don’t need to launder it and we save some resources. Earlier the practice wasn’t there which means every day each linen of the guest room used to be laundered consuming tons of water and lots of electricity and detergents etc. Few other eco - friendly practices are like using recycled laundry bags, stationery items, eco – friendly chemicals for cleaning, installation of STPs (Sewage Treatment Plant) which add value to the hotel in conserving our natural resources in many ways.

2.       Amenities: This is the era of customization along with the standardization and this can be seen in the guest rooms as well. The standard amenities like the basic shampoo, conditioners, body lotions etc. in the bathroom as well as room amenities like tea, coffee sachets are placed as like in the traditional way but now other inclusions like keeping a vanity kit in a single lady traveller’s room, iron and iron board in the wardrobes, variety of teas and coffees, some extra amenitieslike aromatic sprays for a better sleep for business travellers, hair driers etc. are also kept in the rooms.

3.       Flower Arrangement:Hotels are all about luxury and so is the kind of flower arrangements. We can see the grand spectacular arrangements in lobby, restaurants, and other public areas of the hotel. Traditionally the flower arrangements were common in guest rooms as well which have been replaced by a small plant or sapling. Many guests have pollen allergy hence we only make flower arrangements on the request of the guests. Other than that maximum usage of greenery in the flower arrangements or the Japanese and modern style of various arrangements have come in trend. This has led to a different transition in the style of flower arrangements in the hotels.

4.       Technological Changes: Technological advancements have helped the housekeeping operations in a very effective way. Hotels have their apps which have made it very quick to update the room status and send the information to the concerned departments. Guest can place their requests directly by dialing the keys mentioned on the telephone itself hence they don’t need to refer any telephone directory. The window curtains can be operated by remotes. The Do Not Disturb facility can be availed impeccably with mechanized way. Other than guest services the housekeeping operations have been mechanized in a broader way now. For every task there are highly advanced machines which are operated by the well trained attendants and making them feel smarter in this smart era.

5.       Outsourcing:The increasing operational cost and specialized areas in hotels have to be in balance and that is the reason why hotels are adopting outsourcing practices in certain housekeeping operations like Laundry, Flower Arrangements, Pest Control wheras in a traditional pattern each work used to be handled by the permanent employees of the hotels but by following outsourcing the expertise in work can be maintained in the hotel by keeping the cost low at the same time.

6.       Training programs: In every profession the individuals aspire to grow and this has been well understood by thesuccessful hotel organizations. As housekeeping is a labor intensive job we need to keep the employees’ morale high so that they can perform consistently and grow. There are various training programs conducted for the housekeeping employees through that they learn and upgrade their level which leads to the mutual benefit for the hotel and employees.