The situation now for Robert Wang and his business is a far cry from the early days of the pandemic.
Director of Mr Guru cleaning services Mr Wang said that when news about coronavirus started to filter through and parts of society started to shut down, despite the increased awareness of cleaning, many commercial clients had been backing out of cleaning arrangements due to wanting to mitigate coronavirus risks.
“Lots of offices then were closing down and lots of people wanted to stay at home,” Mr Wang said.
“We actually had a lot of cancellations during that time because people were afraid of strangers or other people coming in to do the cleaning.”
Cleaning has taken on a heightened importance during the pandemic, which has also led to Canberra cleaning services taking on more clients across the city.
Mr Wang said commercial businesses who relied on the company had now been requesting more cleaning visits to ensure safety and stop the spread of coronavirus.
“Some clients used to have us come in a few times a week, now they’re requesting things be sanitised every day,” Mr Wang said.
“We’ve been focusing on the sanitisation of common areas such as door handles and areas around communal bathrooms and kitchens.”
After the initial panic about COVID-19, many pre-existing cleaning clients started to ask for more frequent cleaning, either in people’s homes or businesses in Canberra.
“We try to keep workplaces as safe as they can,” Mr Wang said.
As the impacts of coronavirus first started to hit Australia and industries across multiple sectors began to shut down, Alan Dawe’s work only started to get busier.
The managing director of Canberra-based firm AU IT said demand for the IT service company skyrocketed as businesses across multiple industries moved to working from home.
Connecting potentially hundreds of computers to servers away from the office wasn’t just going to happen by itself.
“People were panicking about the working from home situation when COVID first came about, and they were looking for technological ability to do so,” Mr Dawe said.
“The demand we saw was in two areas. One was shifting work stations so they could be outside a 1.5-metre radius and the second was setting up remote access from home.”
The IT business also said recent months have seen a surge in hardware sales on top of the increased demand on business in order to work from home.
“Laptop sales went up by more than 25 per cent,” Mr Dawe said.
“It was not only that but docking stations and tablets. Everywhere was out of stock during the early stages of the pandemic.”
While some industries have returned to the office, demand for working from home has been keeping many Canberra IT businesses run off their feet in the age of coronavirus.
It hasn’t been just IT businesses that have seen a surge in demand as a result of the pandemic.
As COVID-19 exposed many of the issues being faced by aged-care facilities, businesses providing in-home care services to the elderly have registered a spike in interest.
Chief executive of Home Instead Senior Care Martin Warner said more families had been inquiring about such an option as opposed to nursing homes.
“The pandemic has heightened people’s awareness of their options and we’re seeing more people contact us,” Mr Warner said.
“It’s often the families [of elderly people], saying they want to make sure their mum or dad can stay at home.”
While a report from the Global Centre for Modern Aging found 80 per cent of senior Australians preferred to stay in their own home as opposed to aged care facilities, Mr Warner said that preference often wasn’t met due to varying circumstances.
Home Instead has helped to provide non-medical services to elderly people living in their homes during the pandemic.
After aged care facilities were the source of multiple outbreaks of coronavirus in Australia, Mr Warner said he expected the number of people using in-home services to rise even further in coming months.
“People are now actively saying they want to be able to stay at home,” he said.
For Alan Dawe, he said he doesn’t see the increase in demand for home-based technology abating any time soon, especially with large amounts of coronavirus cases in Victoria and some parts of Sydney.
The managing director said people have become more than used to the home office, and it could become more a feature of the modern workplace.
“The trends we have been seeing with things like Zoom and video conferencing and remote access has been growing,” Mr Dawe said.
“People have been understanding the flexibility of what they can do and take advantage of not having to use traditional things.
“People don’t take internet services at work for granted any more. It is a critical service.”
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