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We have an abysmal attitude towards the cleaning profession – a study by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office found –

Sanitize! – this is one of the most important rules of our time. For us at home and for professional cleaners wherever they are such as in hospitals, office buildings, on trains. And yet, these guardians of cleanliness are not appreciated enough, whatsmore, their work is often looked down on! In order to make a difference, Hungary’s biggest facility management and cleaning company B+N Referencia Zrt. has launched its social sensitivity campaign.

‘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.’

173 jobs, cleaners at the bottom

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, although professional cleaning is far from the cleaning you do at home: it requires knowledge of chemicals, technical skills, reliability and physical endurance day by day.

Do we notice only the mistakes?

Cleaners in Hungary clean up 56 000 km2 a day, which means they clean every inch of the country in 2 days. This is only a number to illustrate the hard physical work cleaners do.

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’