New technology developments are changing the way hotel housekeepers and maintenance teams do their jobs. Here are some trends to know to keep things running smoothly.

1. Online Training

Virtual training platforms can help hotel housekeepers learn about best practices and new protocols on their own time, rather than having to schedule group sessions. 

2. Panic Buttons

Safety is a critical component of hotel operations, according to Benoit Le Gall, VP of business development at Nomadix. To that end, staff should wear panic buttons that are simple to install and operate to connect lone workers anywhere across the property.

3. Guest Communication

Neil Schubert, chief product officer of Hotel Communication Network, said scheduling, planning and communication are key to housekeeping efficiency. In-room tablets can help guests choose when they want their rooms cleaned. Opting out of daily service saves money and improves productivity.

4. Combined Solutions 

Quore founder and CEO Scott Schaedle said an all-in-one digital solution is the key to housekeeping—and overall operational—efficiency. A single source to distribute breakout boards, track productivity and real-time progress, evaluate performance and maintain assets is an invaluable tool.

5. Gamification

PurpleCloud CEO Adria Levtchenko said “gamification” is incentivizing housekeepers to complete tasks quickly and recognizes and rewards them when performance goals are met. As incentivized tasks are completed, housekeepers are assigned points that can then be converted to prizes. “Gamification inspires collaboration, boosts productivity and improves retention,” Levtchenko said.

6. Digital Gratuities

Sarah Taveprungsenukul, founder and CEO of Buku, said technology cannot replace housekeepers, but it can help provide digital tips that can be reconciled daily and sent directly to housekeepers’ bank accounts or bank cards.

7. Personal Devices

Corey Williamson, director of housekeeping at the Hilton Wilmington/Christiana (Del.), said leveraging housekeepers’ personal cell phones to send and receive room cleaning assignments and update completed tasks reduces supervisory labor costs and stress. “It also makes staff communication and language translation easy and convenient.”

8. Smart Schedules

Housekeeping scheduling software can automatically assign rooms and use algorithms to distribute work evenly, said Sasha Quail, business development manager at Claims UK. This can help reduce stress and fatigue, she added.

9. Improved Employee Experience

Andrada Paraschiv, VP of hospitality for Beekeeper, said technology can improve retention, engagement and onboarding for positive employee experiences. “This can range from direct communication between managers and workers to team recognition, shift handover notes, team recognition and acknowledgement and replacing paper processes.”

10. Robot Assistance

The Marriott Denver Tech Center has implemented two Whiz robots from Softbank Robotics to help with cleaning protocols. GM Mike Case said the units have run for more than 250 hours and cleaned more than a million square feet of carpet across the hotel.

11. Good Partnerships

Brady Watkins, president & general manager of SoftBank Robotics America, advised being certain that tech partnerships are the right fit. “When you partner with the right vendor, it is possible to achieve technology integration while improving staff motivation and increasing service value.”  

12. On-Site Collaboration

To get the Marriott Denver Tech Center team started with their robots, the Whiz team came on-site for two days of training, educating everyone who would use the machines and mapping out the space for best results.

13. Streamlined Operations

The Dolder Grand hotel in Switzerland is using the PUDU CC1 cleaning robot to support housekeepers. “We’re always looking for ways to adapt to innovative solutions and streamline the process of our workflows, and the PUDU CC1 has allowed us to do so,” GM Markus Granelli said.

14. Devices that Fit

“The technology and areas that need to be cleaned in the hotel have to be compatible with robotics,” said Joachim Schweier, senior marketing and communications manager at The Dolder Grand.

15. The Right Equipment

Different types of robots can scrub, sweep, mop or sanitize, so hoteliers will have to select the right units for each type of space.

16. Smart Chemistry

Housekeeping and food and beverage departments at citizenM hotels are proactively minimizing harmful chemicals in the hotel cleaning procedures by using Ozone water known as Stabilized Aqueous Ozone, made from water and oxygen.

17. Real-Time Photos

Maestro PMS’ new engagement and feedback tool, GuestXMS, lets users attach images to any ticket so that maintenance and housekeeping teams can provide greater context when submitting work orders in less time.

18. Unified Systems

A cloud-based unified hospitality platform can help hotel teams fill multiple roles and job activities on the property.

19. Plan Ahead

A preventative maintenance platform or app can help hoteliers maintain their facilities, adhere to brand standards and protect their assets and revenue.

20. Leverage AI

Platforms like Optii use AI and machine learning to monitor job activities and the average time spent between room cleans.