At this year’s Executive Housekeepers Summit, hosted by Hotel News ME at Conrad Dubai, panelists Pamini Hemaprabha, executive housekeeper, Emirates Palace and Lavinia Parascanu, executive housekeeper, Millennium Plaza Hotel participated in a lively panel discussion covering the rise in new technologies that promise to transform housekeeping, successful practices in the industry and the areas senior management fail to address.
Commenting on how technology can often hinder the housekeeper Hemaprabha said: “We have to think about the room attendants, they are focused on their area more and are constantly working against the clock, they are working on providing a high level of customer satisfaction and can add in small personal touches, there are some things that a robot or technology cannot provide us with.”
In agreement, Parascanu added: “There are still lots of things to improve on in the Middle East in terms of technological advancements, but more importantly new gadgets for room attendants cost money and it would be great to see more technology readily available to housekeepers at a more affordable price.”
Touching upon the industry’s lack of understanding of housekeepers Hemaprabha added: “There is a massive lack of importance given to housekeepers, I have brainstormed with my management and corporate team and I have come to the understanding that only 7% of GMs come from a housekeeping background, so it is high time every housekeeper aspires to be a GM or enter a higher management role. This challenge is across the board and seldom people at the top agree with housekeeping practices and they have limited understanding of the process.”
She continued: “GMs and hotel managers need to be invited to conferences such as these as they need to chair events and see how the housekeepers feel. Market studies need to be presented to GMs and top management to advance their understanding of housekeeping roles to become easier.”
Parascanu moved on to discuss advancements within the industry and what progress to look out for in the near future: “We have come far to eliminate trolleys in many hotels by working with mobile tracks,but what is still happening is the distance between the rooms and the pantry. I can bet it is every housekeepers wish to only enter the room once.”
Closing on the note of sustainable practices, Parascanu added: “There more recent advancements in machinery as opposed to technology. Chemical cleaning products are becoming less harmful to users and the environment.”