As we move forward post COVID-19, there are a number of changes that will affect the Facilities Management sector in 2021. Some will have a greater impact than others, but what is clear, is that for the most part, this is good news for those of you currently in or looking for Cleaner jobs. Read on to find out the 5 key trends in the cleaning industry this year, and how this may affect you.
Changes recently seen in the cleaning world
Safety has, of course, been a key concern for those in Cleaner jobs. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic this has included greater use of protective equipment and increased thoroughness in cleaning practices. There has also been continued ongoing support, from both the industry and the public, for Cleaners to get frontline key worker status, and to be placed in a priority group for the vaccination programme.
Hygiene at work has seen significant changes across all types of workplaces. One of which was the UK Government approving the use of hand dryers as a safe alternative to paper towels for all employees.
We are seeing automation more and more in many sectors of work, and Facilities Management is no exception. While cleaning has always required people to carry out the necessary duties, automation may now be considered for certain tasks, to help protect staff and keep up with demand. A couple of examples include a trial, this spring, of smart hand sanitisers and the use of robotics for commercial carpet cleaning. While automation should not be seen as a replacement for people, it can definitely compliment and assist human workers.
5 trends that will affect Cleaner jobs this year
1. Shift Patterns 2020 saw a focus on creating and managing new shift patterns to ensure the health and wellbeing of staff. This is likely to continue for some time and requires employers to make sure shift patterns remain optimised and responsive to change, while also maintaining a high level of service.
Your action: You will need to be flexible and open to working different shifts. Be open and honest with your employer so they are clear about which shifts you can and cannot do.
2. Hygiene Practices There is now a much more increased focus on improved general hygiene practices for everyone within the workplace, as well as a call for regular deep cleans by trained cleaning staff.
Your action: You should brush up on your knowledge of good hygiene practices and learn about deep cleaning techniques and products. The Government website gives guidance on cleaning with specific reference to COVID-19.
3. Training Lessons learnt from the pandemic point to an increased demand for more skills training within the Facilities Management sector.
Your action: You can develop your cleaning skills with further training. This could be via remote learning such as this course provided by the Federation of Master Cleaners.
Your action: You can get up to speed on the latest regulations and news by reading the blogs and news pages of relevant cleaning associations such as: Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professionals (AHCP) Cleaning and Support Services Association (CSSA) Domestic Cleaning Alliance (DCA) UK Housekeepers Association
5. Experience The requirements for more thorough cleaning regimes is seeing an increased demand for Cleaners with previous experience.
Your action: You can find temporary agency roles for Cleaner jobs, which provide an excellent opportunity for varied work experience. Check out the Blue Arrow facilities job pages.
Impacts on the cleaning work environment
As more people return to the workplace after working from home for many months, increased cleaning standards are important to ensure they feel safe in the work environment. A recent survey found that 62% of people asked, felt that seeing cleaning in action was important. This could mean we see an increase in cleaning shifts during the normal working hours of the establishment, which could impact the need for increased social distancing measures.
Cleaning jobs could be further impacted as the work environment changes. The design of workplaces has been altered, as hygiene and safety take priority in planning the layout of desks and equipment. It is likely that the workload for Cleaners will expand to include the daily cleaning of shared equipment and vehicles, as well as including more regular cleaning of storerooms and stock rooms.
Looking ahead, cleaning will now be higher on the corporate agenda1 as its importance is now appreciated more than ever before. The cleaning industry has the potential to not only recover, but continue to grow.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us many things, and the need for an increased level of hygiene is one of them. With this comes a new appreciation for the essential work that Cleaning Operatives do.
As people start getting back to a more normal way of life, the requirement to meet increased cleaning standards means that the future for Cleaner jobs is bright. Now is the time to look for your next job opportunity.
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1. TWinFM. 2021. The Future Of The Cleaning Industry Post-Coronavirus . [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.twinfm.com/article/the-future-of-the-cleaning-industry-post-coronavirus. [Accessed March 2021].