Over the past few years, the cleaning industry has made significant strides towards adopting more advanced and sustainable practices. With new technologies and evolving societal priorities, there has been a shift towards delivering cleaning solutions that are technology and data-led, with environmental and social considerations firmly at the core. This welcomed transformation has brought substantial benefits for office spaces, including elevated workplace cleanliness and productivity, while positively impacting front-line employees’ quality of life.
Like any industry, keeping up-to-date with emerging trends can be time-consuming. However, we have you covered with a comprehensive guide to help you make the right choice for your cleaning needs and stay ahead of the curve.
Five trends transforming the cleaning industry
From flexible and AI-driven cleaning solutions to green cleaning, these trends are revolutionising commercial cleaning services and transforming the places we live, work and visit into places people choose to be. Here are five making their mark in 2023:
Trend 1: Flexible and data-driven cleaning
As flexible and hybrid working takes hold, the “one-size-fits-all” approach to office cleaning is giving way to flexible solutions tailored to the evolving workplace. Instead, businesses are looking at how occupiers use their spaces throughout the day and identifying the most appropriate times to clean that offer the greatest value. By simply adjusting the cleaning schedule to accommodate peak usage periods or using data-driven cleaning technology that optimise cleaning based on real-time data, you can ensure everyone who visits your spaces has a great experience, regardless of when and at what times they work.
However, it can often be a tricky balancing act without the correct methodology. Multiple factors need to be considered by your cleaning provider, as getting it wrong might mean overburdening the cleaning staff during peak times or wasting resources when it’s quieter.
Trend 2: Technology-driven cleaning solutions
The advent of technology has brought about a paradigm shift in the way we manage cleaning and hygiene in workplaces. One of the most notable trends in this regard is the use of robotic cleaners. These autonomous machines, equipped with advanced sensors and artificial intelligence, can navigate seamlessly through the workplace and pick up manual and time-consuming tasks from cleaning operatives like vacuuming. Robotic cleaners save time and effort, ensure a thorough and consistent cleaning process, and allow cleaning operatives to focus on more detail-orientated tasks.
Another technology-driven trend making waves in cleaning is the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and devices. These devices can monitor building usage and the cleanliness of various areas in real time, providing valuable data to facilities managers. With this data, managers can identify high-traffic areas requiring frequent cleaning and allocate resources accordingly. This proactive approach to cleaning can significantly enhance the cleanliness and hygiene of the workplace. Additionally, smart sensors can detect potential hygiene issues, such as overflowing waste bins or low soap levels, enabling prompt action to maintain a clean environment.
Trend 3: Green cleaning practices
With awareness of the negative impact of human activities growing, organisations are now increasingly prioritising sustainability. This new consciousness has led to the emergence of green cleaning practices. Many conventional cleaning products contain harsh chemicals. Green cleaning products are an excellent alternative as they are safe and sustainable. They are free from toxins, hazards, and allergens, which makes them less harmful to people and the planet.
But green cleaning practices are not just about using eco-friendly products. They also involve adopting sustainable cleaning methods that reduce waste, energy and water. This includes implementing closed-loop recycling programs for waste generated during cleaning, using low-energy equipment, and optimising cleaning schedules to minimise energy and product waste. By embracing green cleaning practices, organisations can create a healthier and more environmentally friendly workplace, contributing to global sustainability efforts.
Trend 4: Focus on indoor air quality
Indoor air quality is another critical aspect of workplace cleanliness that is gaining increased attention. Poor air quality can negatively impact people and the environment. Therefore, facilities managers now prioritise improving indoor air quality through various measures.
One trend in this regard is the installation of air purifiers and ventilation systems that filter out pollutants and circulate clean air. These systems help remove dust, allergens, and other contaminants, ensuring a healthier work environment. Additionally, facilities managers are implementing regular air quality testing to identify potential issues and take corrective actions promptly. This proactive approach to managing air quality can significantly enhance the overall cleanliness and hygiene of the workplace.
Green cleaning practices, already discussed, also contribute to a healthier indoor environment. For instance, investing in equipment fitted with HEPA filtration can ensure that the air in the office stays clean and free of allergens.
Trend 5: Upskilling Cleaning Operatives
The cleaning industry is constantly evolving, with technology playing an increasingly important role in cleaning processes. Therefore, it is crucial for cleaning staff to adapt and learn new skills to stay current. Data literacy training has become an essential requirement for cleaning operatives as it helps them to be better prepared for these changes. With data literacy skills, cleaning operatives can quickly learn to operate new equipment and effectively use data to enhance their cleaning processes. Investing in data literacy training is a wise decision as it helps in the professional development of cleaning operatives and equips them with valuable skills that can lead to career advancement within the industry.
Additionally, pre-COVID, cleaning operatives, often called hidden workers, typically carried out their tasks after hours when building users had finished up for the day. But their role has shifted. Their presence during the day is becoming more apparent and customer-facing. Cleaning operatives, therefore, are being trained in the art of excellent customer service, allowing them to play their role in crafting the perfect customer experience.
This trend reflects the industry’s commitment to staying at the forefront of innovation and providing the best possible service to its clients.
Workplace cleanliness is no longer just a matter of aesthetics; it directly impacts employee health, well-being, and productivity. From flexible cleaning and technology-driven cleaning solutions to green practices, focus on indoor air quality, and employee upskilling, these trends are revolutionising hygiene practices in the workplace. By embracing these trends, you can ensure a clean and healthy environment that fosters employee well-being and productivity, ultimately contributing to your organisations success in today’s competitive business landscape.