Cleaning in focus during the pandemic

As a result of the pandemic, cleaning is now considered a key service in any FM delivery. Professional cleaning services increase safety, improve health and ensure security in the workplace.

The pandemic has meant that cleaning has now become a critical service.  
 
“The coronavirus pandemic has clearly contributed to raising the status of cleaning, which means that many of our customers now take their cleaning delivery more seriously. Hospitals will be shut down if they are not cleaned,” Jens Engström, Head of Center of Excellence Cleaning at Coor, explains.  
 
According to Jens, one positive effect is that cleaners now are prouder of what they do —their job has taken on a critical significance in society.

Cleaning the invisible becomes more important

In order to reduce infection risk, you need to consider the kind of workplace or premises you work in, and how they are furnished: 
 
“Start by carrying out an analysis of the specific needs, what is your workplace like, how many people pass through a certain location? Some areas need to be inspected more frequently than others and/or be disinfected regularly. Today, there are different sensors and measuring instruments that can be used to create different solutions. One significant change is that we now clean the invisible, from previously having almost exclusively focused on the visible,” Jens explains. 

Staffing solutions and comfort cleaning

Cleaning services are usually procured on the basis of results, standards or frequency, but during the pandemic demand has increased for staffing solutions that focus on flexibility and local adaptations.  
 
“We’re seeing increased demand for scheduled staffing solutions rather than individual assignments or subscription services. Many customers now want cleaning throughout the day to help staff feel safe in the workplace. Now, cleaning staff need to be visible, and be seen to actively help reduce the infection risk. Companies where cleaning normally takes place in the evenings or once a day, are now requesting increased daytime frequency. It is possible to procure cleaning rounds that focus on exposed areas such as door handles, light switches, armrests, tables, railings, coffee machines etc. – any surfaces that people touch. We don’t believe this will be a temporary demand, but expect the pattern to continue after the pandemic is over.”

Automated cleaning to increase, but the customer experience will also become more important

“If I were to predict what cleaning will look like in the future, I think it will become more automated. There is already equipment that automatically reduces infection risk, and the technology will continue to evolve. Technical methods will increasingly replace visual inspections. Because the perceived safety and the customer experience are becoming more important, we will also see more comfort hosts as part of cleaning delivery. These employees have cleaning expertise but also provide other services: they straighten curtains, fluff up cushions or rearrange furniture. They have the role of a host/hostess – and need to enjoy being extrovert and sociable. Service is still key.