The pandemic shook the world, changing the entirety of the way we work and live. The impact has reverberated across all nations and industries without prejudice. It has radically changed the cleaning industry too.
It has transformed expectations within the cleaning and hygiene industry, radically amending the necessities within it. From recruiting to the way services are planned and delivered so much has changed.
The provision of their cleaning services has never been more essential. Companies have been forced to adapt to survive. In this article we will highlight the key ways in which the industry has changed, potentially forever.
Staff Shortages & More Effective Management
The cleaning and hygiene industry has been hit severely by staffing shortages. Covid added to two already huge stressors; Brexit and changes to immigration policy. The level of open roles is unprecedented with cleaning companies finding it almost impossible to fill open roles.
The recruitment of cleaning and hygiene staff has historically never been so challenging. The industry is highly reliant on foreign nationals. Covid caused an exodus of this foreign talent who either returned home during the pandemic or transferred to other industries such as driving HGVs.
The allure of higher wages in other industries and more flexible roles for these staff is partly to blame. The problem is exacerbated by the UK’s change in immigration policy. Cleaning staff are no longer considered skilled workers. This makes it harder for UK cleaning companies to hire overseas workers for the roles.
The industry may need to pay more and offer more flexible work. Otherwise , it seems cleaning companies will have to continue to operate as is and manage their staff they have more effectively.
A Renewed Respect for Hygiene Standards & Cleaners
Before Covid cleaning was not exactly considered the height of cool. The industry did not necessarily get the respect it deserved. Covid has fundamentally shifted the landscape and there are now formal cleaning rules in place, more so than ever. There is a heightened value to cleaners and the industry as a whole. Maybe not quite on a par with out NHS heroes but cleaners keeping our spaces clean are now vital to our health and safety.
It’s not just perspective on cleaners and the industry itself that’s changed. The way we clean has changed too. Cleaning now means sanitisation of premises. Corporations have a real duty of care to their employees.
It’s now essential for these companies to ensure their offices are free of germs and contaminants. The health and long term productivity of their staff are now interrelated with an immaculate and well disinfected corporate premises. It means demands have changed too. The level of service, detail and care as well as the frequency of cleaning has irreversibly changed.
More Diverse Nature of Cleaning Companies
Cleaning companies in London and all over the UK have had to rapidly adapt to thrive in the wake of the pandemic, especially with cleaning public areas and hospitals. The nature of the game has changed. The types of services required have multiplied and the range of clientele have skyrocketed.
Commercial cleaners servicing the most frequented and public facing clients have had to change most. The change was twofold. When the pandemic began companies servicing this sector lost almost all their business.
This meant they had to pivot quickly and find alternate clients in other industries. The construction industry for example remained open so many of these companies sought after industrial clients, offering after builders cleans.
Once retails shops returned, these same companies had to adapt to heightened standards of sanitation. Cleanliness was no longer just a matter of nice to have, it was imperative to the survival of the business they were cleaning for.
Innovation became essential. Those who were most successful found new and better ways to clean. Think industrial sanitation guns, disinfecting every inch of premises in mere minutes.
The industry has arguably changed for the better and this is now the new normal. However, deep structural issues remain. It may even require government intervention to bring back equilibrium to hiring shortages.