Empty office space

As the UK starts to gradually come out of lockdown, cleaning practices are in a much sharper focus than they have ever been. Here are 4 ways hiring contract cleaners can help businesses get back to some semblance of normal.

1. Reassurance for employees

Anxiety amongst employees about returning to the workplace is understandably high right now. In a recent survey by Personio, only 1 in 3 UK employees were returning to the office at least part time, compared to 59% across Europe. Reasons cited include feeling uneasy about mixing with lots of people again and uncertainty about changes in the workplace, as well as the risks posed by the virus itself (Bupa). And last summer, a YouGov poll found that 44% of office workers were concerned about whether there would be appropriate hygiene and cleaning standards when they went back to their workplaces.

Providing a high level of workplace cleanliness therefore can help to provide much-needed reassurance for staff. In line with COVID-secure guidelines, many workplaces have put extra hygiene measures in place, including additional handwashing facilities, hand sanitiser and increased access to cleaning products such as desk wipes. Hiring a contract cleaning company can help take levels of cleanliness to the next level, reassuring employees that you are committed to protecting their wellbeing whilst at work.

2. Workplace safety

Of course, linked to the above, employers have a duty of care when it comes to protecting their team from COVID-19. Cleaning forms a major part of the government guidelines for working safely during coronavirus (particularly for offices), which includes both the day-to-day cleaning and deep disinfection following a known case of COVID, which has its own specific guidelines. Among the steps required are frequent cleaning of work areas and equipment, especially high touch areas such as door handles and keyboards, removal of waste and belongings at the end of each shift or day, and limiting the use of shared high touch equipment such as printers and whiteboards.

Making the decision to hire a contract cleaning company brings with it the experience and expertise necessary to meet government guidelines without putting undue pressure on existing members of staff. Furthermore, professional cleaning organisations will ensure that hygiene levels are fully compliant with the expected standards.

3. Specialist equipment and technology

Contract cleaning companies have access to a whole raft of specialist equipment which can help to maintain high levels of cleaning and hygiene in the workplace. The standard workplace cleaning materials are a good place to start for day-to-day hygiene, but many aren’t cut out to cope with a full industrial clean.

New technologies such as fogging machines or electrostatic sprayers can tackle specific COVID-related risks. These new generation cleaning devices can access hard to reach areas such as under bannisters or the back of desks that are often missed when cleaning by hand, and reduce the risk of harmful particles being spread around.

And then there is all the potential of internet and cloud-based technologies, such as sensor-driven hand gel dispensers that monitor product levels or real-time environmental monitors that “check the pulse” of a building. The cleaning sector has been undergoing its own quiet revolution with some big technological advances which are changing the face of cleaning and hygiene.

4. Reliability

Relying on one cleaner can become overwhelming for that person, especially at the present moment where heightened expectations and standards mean longer and more gruelling working hours. Using a contract cleaning company gives businesses access to a bank of cleaners, all working to the same standards.

And by using workforce management technology such as IQ:timecard from Unique IQ, cleaning contractors can ensure cover is always provided when needed, and that no matter who is scheduled, cleaning tasks are carried out in the same manner, with the same high quality outcome. From real-time data on tasks completion and attendance to reporting capabilities to evidence service delivery and compliance with SLAs, cleaning management software helps to underpin the reliability of professional contract cleaners.

With more emphasis than ever on cleaning and hygiene in the UK, the sector is at a tipping point for being relied upon for its professionalism and expertise. It is uniquely positioned to help keep the UK population reassured and safe as it begins to make its return to the workplace.