Media presence

Did we always think of them? –

All around the country people are trying to express their gratitude to those who cannot stay at home.

Did we think of cleaners before? They are the ones who pick up the garbage, mop up the floor and disinfect our environment every day. In their own ways, they are fighting in the frontline using the most important weapons to contain the coronavirus. And yet, their social status is far from being the best, many people look down on their work or don’t even take notice of it.

The Hungarian Central Statistical Office examined 173 occupations in terms of social prestige according to 5 different aspects: for example how much power or influence they entail, how much one has to learn for them, how useful they are for society, how trendy or appealing they are nowadays. According to the subjective judgement of the respondents cleaning is among the ten lowest-prestige jobs. It is ranked 163rd coming ahead of only road sweepers, leaflet distributors and unskilled workers.

‘Since last year we have been planning to launch a social sensitivity campaign to make the public aware of the socially indispensable, yet almost invisible, work of cleaners’, said Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi, CEO of  B+N Referencia Zrt. ‘The groundwork had been laid for long months but by the time we were ready, COVID-19 had reached the country. The 45 thousand cleaners in the country have always deserved our heartfelt appreciation, but in these times they deserve it a 100 times more. We employ 4100 cleaners who are doing a great job cleaning transportation vehicles, hospitals and office buildings. The majority of our society take cleanliness for granted but do not appreciate the people who make it happen. With our campaign “Look round and see” we want to show an alternative approach.

Could you bear the physical demand of cleaning?

Cleaners in Hungary clean up 56 000 km2 a day (Hungary’s area is 93 000 km2), which means they clean every inch of the country in 2 days. Only the cleaners employed by B+N clean an area equivalent to a 1 m wide and 5000 km long pavement, which equals twice the distance between Budapest and Madrid by plane. These are just some data that illustrate the hard physical work cleaners do. Beyond earning a living, they desire the sense of appreciation or at least to be said hello to. We called this campaign to life to make the public notice these unsung heroes!

It is cleaners who make our everyday work comfortable’, said B+N head of marketing Erika Kókai. ‘We have got so used to the order and cleanliness around us that we simply take it for granted and fail to even notice the people who created it. It is our responsibility to do something about the prestige of this work and to stand up for our cleaners and every cleaner in the country because if everything stays the same, soon nobody is going to be left to clean the country’.