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NJC Supports Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems, and inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 takes place from Monday 13th until Sunday 19th May 2019 and we share information and advice in our attached mental health newsletter. Good mental health is essential for a happy, contented life and is the essence of who we are and how we experience the world. Yet, compared to physical health, little is commonly known about mental ill health and how to prevent it.

Our newsletter shares information on mental health, self-help tips and advice around this year's theme, Body Image, how we think and feel about our bodies.

NJC is encouraging everyone to ‘Go Green’ this year by wearing a green t-shirt or top and to donate two pounds to the Mental Health Foundation charity.

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Paul Crilly shortlisted in IOD Director of the Year Awards

We are delighted to announce that Paul Crilly, Managing Director NJC, has been shortlisted for the Family Business Award in the 2019 Institute of Directors, London and South, Director of the Year Awards.

The award recognises individuals in family businesses who have responded to the specific challenges that face directors in family firms and who have contributed to the success of this diverse, dynamic and innovative sector.

Paul commented: “I am proud to have been shortlisted in the awards, which shines a light on NJC’s achievements in a difficult business sector. We have transformed a small, regional family business into an organisation recognised by London Stock Exchange Group as a ‘Company to Inspire Britain’. In doing so we have refreshed every area of the business including people, processes and technology, whilst maintaining our familial values.”

The finalists were chosen from the hundreds of directors that entered or were nominated across nine different categories and the overall winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday 20 June 2019 in London.

David Stringer-Lamarre, IoD London Chair said: “After a year of BREXIT ups and downs for business, it’s inspiring to see so many UK directors leading the way in good governance, leadership and business performance.”

NJC supports Arlington Dream Team’s Race to Yemen

The Arlington Dream Team is cycling over 8,105km for Save the Children, supporting the Yemen Crisis Appeal.

The cycle challenge will take place throughout May on static spin bikes and the team includes Arlington Park Managers, Account Managers, Café staff and service providers. NJC Director, Mark Heppelthwaite, and Day Janitor, Ami Johnson, are part of the team who will be racing to the finish line in 31 days or less, aiming to smash the £1000 target.

Save the Children is treating sick and injured children through 167 fixed health centres and 23 hospitals across Yemen, which is in the grip of the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis.

To support Mark, Ami and the rest of the team please donate at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/arlingtondreamteam

The picture shows Ami (on the right) at the launch of the challenge.

Cleaning and Maintaining Vertical Cities

Robotic technology is constantly being heralded as a significant disrupter of physical maintenance activities, including cleaning. We have already seen the introduction of horizontal cleaning robots, and although the efficacy of these early models remains in doubt, it is highly likely that imminent versions will add positively to the current cleaning toolkit of choice. However, this complement to horizontal cleaning cannot be considered as a wholesale disruption of the service and in themselves the robots may have limited shelf life.

Additionally, vertical robotic cleaning systems are emerging and NJC has established working partnerships with a range of system manufacturers of varying technologies, as we seek to understand which offer the greatest benefit. But in doing so we have asked, “what is maintenance and how best is it achieved”?

Within our existing markets, there is little doubt that London’s transition to a vertical city is underway, but it has commenced within very traditional thinking that relies on untried technologies as the next generation of support functions, with drones being the unelected cheerleader of innovation. Accompanying the vertical evolution of the built environment, we are also seeing the evolution of design methods, competencies and skill sets of those human and technology assets that will operate at height.

Siting a complex crane on top of a building that drops a bath (better known as a building maintenance unit or cradle!) over the side on metal ropes doesn’t currently pass muster and will completely fail the buildings of the future. Salesforce Tower in San Francisco was named “Best Tall Building Worldwide” in the recent Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat awards, but window cleaning is carried out using very traditional cradles which completely fail in matching the design ambitions for genuine innovation. Vertical Maintenance 1.0 requires a completely different mindset and we must challenge design intent and therefore what maintenance is and how best to achieve it.

Tall buildings of the future will cease to be the tired variation of a vertical box or a dysfunctional race to the sky. Many currently may claim to be vertical successes but the reality is that whilst the space may  work for the user it offers significant challenges to the wide range of support functions that constantly seek to deliver high quality services within very challenging physical constraints. The much publicised ‘Tulip’ is already deviating by both function and style but will rely on adaptation of traditional methods to maintain the exterior.

A quick review of the Endless Vertical City (Sure Architects), which was tentatively destined for Shoreditch, offers glimpses of the future of design and its necessary maintenance tasks, and the tried and tested would undoubtedly undermine the design intent.

The future will require wholesale adaptation at the design development phase to accommodate the infrastructure necessary to safely facilitate vertical maintenance. This will require a mindset change by architects, designers, developers and investors, with a new breed of support organisation to maintain these structures. However, this will prompt the question of how do we support this new infrastructure with innovative technologies, and how will this affect the hierarchy of safe use if the primary processes are without human intervention, but may subsequently require it.

Future working at height will require detailed design intervention by maintenance advisors to challenge the intent, product selection and maintenance regime, to achieve a safe maintenance process. The solution will completely change the competencies of designing, managing and working at height, including who maintains the technologies both at height and on the ground.

The future of maintenance of tall buildings will see the technology identified and incorporated within the asset infrastructure, controlled within the suite of other technologies that manage and report upon the user environment. These systems will take internal and external environmental information and automatically adjust schedules, frequencies and activities to better improve the asset performance and user experience and will be supported by a maintenance team that we are already reshaping.

NJC mobilises Landsec Aspire Assist Helpdesk

NJC is delighted to have been awarded the contract to provide the Landsec Aspire Assist Helpdesk service, following a tender process.

NJC is a long-term partner of Landsec and we are evolving the helpdesk service to focus on customer experience, with a single point of contact to access a variety of new services, information and support. The Aspire Assist Helpdesk, which went live on 1st April, supports over 40 buildings in Central London, managing service requests to 15 service providers, 24/7.

Innovative technology is being utilised to provide multiple communication platforms and all customer contact streams, from raising a helpdesk call, accessing documents or requesting concierge services have been consolidated into a single hub.

Ian Burr, Head of Property Management, Landsec said: “NJC demonstrated a real enthusiasm to assist us in evolving the helpdesk into a collaborative knowledge centre, as well as driving positive change and creating amazing experiences for our customers.”

Paul Crilly, Managing Director, NJC commented: “I am delighted that both our drive and acumen to provide next generation Customer Service Centre technology and support services has been recognised by Landsec and we look forward to delivering customer service excellence.”

BRIDGE Award for Antonio Pinto

Congratulations to Antonio Pinto of the NJC team at London Bridge City for receiving a BRIDGE Builder Award.

BRIDGE Builder Awards are presented to service partner team members who consistently display the BRIDGE vision of 'one team working together to achieve excellence' and the BRIDGE values.

Antonio's nomination said: "Whatever the weather, whatever the time of day, Antonio is always out and about cleaning and tidying, or removing moss from the paving. As he conducts all of these tasks, he has a smile on his face. Antonio never fails to be happy and always stops to say hello or share a word, and is without a doubt the unsung hero of the estate. The work he does is tireless, but often goes unnoticed. It is never the grandstand job, or the show stopping achievement, but we would definitely notice if he was not around."

Well done Antonio!

The image shows Antonio being congratulated by London Bridge City Property Director, Amanda Vaughan.

NJC Awarded RoSPA Gold

NJC has received a prestigious award in recognition of its occupational health and safety practices.

The company has achieved a Gold in the internationally-renowned RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) Health and Safety Awards, the longest-running industry awards scheme in the UK. The award will be presented during a ceremony at ExCeL, London on 18th June 2019.

The RoSPA Awards scheme, which receives entries from organisations around the world, recognises achievement in health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement. The majority of awards are non-competitive and mark achievement at merit, bronze, silver and gold levels.

Paul Crilly, Managing Director NJC commented: “This is the second time that NJC has entered the RoSPA Awards and we have built on the success of our silver award last year. We are delighted to be recognised at the top level of the Achievement Awards and remain committed to the continuous improvement of our health and safety standards.”

Julia Small, RoSPA’s head of qualifications, awards and events, said: “The RoSPA Awards have become the key fixture in the health and safety calendar. Highly-respected, with almost 2,000 entrants every year, they allow organisations to prove excellence in the workplace, demonstrating a commitment to the wellbeing of not only employees but all those they interact with.”

NJC moves Head Office to London

NJC has relocated its head office to London, retaining a regional support facility in Berkshire. The move to the Zig Zag Building in Victoria will see NJC located closer to many of its key customers.

The company decided to take advantage of building lease breaks to better target its property needs to regional business requirements, whilst operating from facilities that better reflect the modern, agile working environments it regularly supports.

Paul Crilly, Managing Director NJC commented: “This is a very exciting time for our business. The move to London allows us to place our head office in the heart of customers, operating within an agile working environment aligned with the WELL Building Institute™ standard. We look forward to inviting our customers to experience innovations in cleaning processes and technology in our own office.”

Making your Office a Healthier Place

Wellbeing should be a continual focus but with winter upon us the importance of maintaining the highest levels of hygiene in the workplace cannot be overstated. The transfer of germs and bacteria in an office can cause common illnesses such as colds and flu to spread, not only impacting the individuals affected, but often having a significant knock-on effect on productivity and the business performance as a whole.

High footfall environments, particularly in modern, flexible, colocation workplaces can present an increased risk for contamination, particularly in high transit areas. The increased occupier density will increase traffic and the cleaning protocol must take into account the degree to which disinfection and sanitization are necessary. Compound this with the common theme running through the evolution of the property industry, in delivering flexible, mixed use spaces, within ever more flexible tenure arrangements, and an exponential increase in occupiers.

As density increases by design, global influences are now delivering an enhanced hygiene challenge on a local level, because;

  • We now operate in a global workplace
  • As a society, we are moving to central locations, and importantly;
  • We are travelling farther, faster, and more often.

Climate change1 also plays a role, as warmer temperatures expand the range of disease-carrying animals and insects we’re exposed to.

It is estimated that the cost to employers of sick days is more than £550 per employee per year, and this only takes account direct salary costs, not lost business opportunities or the cost of reduced customer service. The increase in agile working, and the demise of individual offices and assigned desks, means that more of us are working in close proximity to each other, often utilising several different working areas during each day.

Your office environment may appear clean on the surface, but everyday objects and surfaces can harbour harmful bacteria, leading to illness amongst employees. Think of how many different hands touch the same objects every day – door handles, light switches, telephones, work surfaces and shared IT equipment. Since 80% of infectious diseases are transmitted by touch2, and the average desk has 400 times more germs than a toilet seat3, it’s easy to see how quickly illness can spread.

A number of small steps in the workplace can help reduce absenteeism and save money.

  • Define and implement your office cleaning strategy. A regular cleaning regime should be the cornerstone of a hygiene strategy, as it is a crucial step in helping to prevent illness outbreaks. With agile working spaces, flexible working and the consequent increase in the number of building users, it is vital that frequent cleaning of busy communal areas is carried out to prevent cross-contamination. Proactive cleaning involves the routine disinfection of shared contact points, such as door handles, surface tops and lift call buttons. Antibacterial wipes or dosing stations can also be made available to encourage employees to wipe down shared equipment.
  • Encourage employees to be mindful of hygiene risks. The commute to work on public transport, the route into the office and the use of hot desks and shared computer equipment all provide plenty of opportunities to pick up bacterial and viral particles during the cold and flu season. In the modern working world, where pressure is high and time is short, employees may accidentally develop bad hygiene habits, unknowingly facilitating the spread of germs around the office. Helpful reminders and tips on best practise are a useful way to raise awareness.
  • Remind employees of good hand hygiene habits, particularly regular, thorough handwashing with soap and water. This is particularly important before eating, to prevent microbes that have accumulated on common touchpoints around the office ending up as an unwanted accompaniment to your meal. When you’re in a hurry, it can be tempting not to dry your hands thoroughly, but germs transfer more easily to wet hands, so this can increase the risk of catching an illness.
  • Encourage ill employees to stay at home, to avoid bringing germs into the workplace and risking the health of colleagues. With many employees now set-up for flexible working, it is often possible for them to catch up on urgent work from the comfort of their home. If you are coughing or sneezing, use a tissue to prevent the spread of germs and dispose of used tissues immediately.

In the busy modern world, with people working in close proximity, the risks of cross contamination are heightened, increasing the chance of employees coming into contact with harmful germs. However, with a small amount of time and money, facilities managers can help to provide an environment which will encourage and support best hygiene practice, helping to improve employee health and workplace productivity.

 

1 Climate Change and Infectious Diseases, World Health Organisation, Chapter 6
2 Bean, B., Moore, B. M., & Sterner. (1982). Survival of influenza viruses on environmental surfaces. Journal of Infectious Diseases
3 Dr. Charles Gerba (2002) “Germs in the Workplace” study, University of Arizona.

London Bridge City Award for Josilaine Biaggio

Congratulations to NJC's Josilaine Biaggio, who received London Bridge City's Ambassador Award for the last quarter. 

Josilaine received the award for her contunuous effort to deliver the London Bridge City (LBC) vision and values.

LBC has half a mile of river frontage along the Thames between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, and a total of 21.5 acres of mixed-use space. The historic area, with breath-taking architecture and sensational views, includes 3 million sq ft of office, retail and leisure space, along with private residential apartments.

Josilaine is pictured receiving her award from Stuart Gilby, Estate Director for Savills at LBC.

NJC supports Green Apple Award Win

The Zig Zag building in London has been awarded the Green Apple Awards ‘Silver’ trophy and certificate for Environmental Best Practice. The award is testament to the hard work of the innovative Landsec Aspire team on site and the NJC cleaning team was mentioned as "having been a massive help, as they are usually the first ones to deal with any waste."

The recommended target for properties in the UK to recycle is a minimum of 75% of all materials on site, but the team at The Zig Zag Building in Victoria has achieved an exemplary average of 92%, with some months reaching 97%! Zig Zag can now also boast a ‘zero waste to landfill’ record and the team has reduced carbon emissions by only having one truck per day for recycled materials. For a busy site in the heart of London with a dozen floors, these are remarkable results.

Lorena Yapura, Service Support Manager NJC, oversees the work of the cleaning team on site and is pictured with the award. Lorena commented "when you have a great team, it’s much easier to be successful."

Well done to everyone involved!

NJC wins Four Aspire Recognition Awards!

The 2018 Aspire Awards, which recognise Landsec service partner team members who represent an Aspire value, were held on 11th December in London. The event was a great opportunity to congratulate those who have gone above and beyond, and to reflect on some of the best events and performances of 2018.

NJC team members were winners of an impressive 4 out of the 7 categories!

Accountability: Mohamed Jalloh

Principle: Lajosne Piroth

Innovation: Jason Edwards

Respect: Russell Southern

Many congratulations to our winners on demonstrating the NJC DNA.

 

The image shows Lajosne, Mohamed, Jason and Russell with Managing Director, Paul Crilly

Green Park Award for Richard Oppong

Congratulations to NJC's Richard Oppong for being awarded a Colleague of the Month award for showing excellent service to Green Park, Reading.

Richard won the September award for going the extra mile in helping with set ups and preparations in the Green Park Conference Centre, as well as completing his usual duties. The award winners were chosen by Knight Frank and Mapletree.

The image shows Richard, with Service Director Kevin Brady, at the Green Park end of year Service Excellence Awards.

NJC welcomes back Ana Magalhaes

We are delighted to welcome Ana Magalhaes back to NJC as Training and Audit Manager. Ana was a Portfolio Manager for nearly 4 years before leaving us in November 2017, and has more than 15 years of cleaning management experience.

Ana will be responsible for ensuring that NJC delivers excellent training, which supports high cleaning quality standards, meeting the needs of modern working environments. Her role will include encouraging front line colleagues to identify better ways of working, by ‘using our heads as often as our hands.’

Ana commented: “I am excited to be back at NJC, catching up with old colleagues and meeting new faces. I am looking forward to the challenge of my new role and working closely with the whole NJC team.”

NJC Santas support Honeypot Children’s Charity

A team from NJC took part in the London Santa Run yesterday, raising money for the Honeypot Children’s Charity. The charity does fantastic work enhancing the lives of young carers and vulnerable children in the UK, providing respite breaks and outreach support.

London’s largest santa run took place in Victoria Park, with 1000 santas participating, and celebrated its 10th Anniversary. Congratulations to Francisca Cumbicus, Jason Edwards, Charles Walden and Russell Southern for completing the run. The image shows them with the Honeypot Children's Charity mascot.

The team are part of the Aspire Harriers, a running club set up by Jason Edwards to encourage members of Landsec’s service provider community to run together. 

There’s still time to donate for this great cause, so please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/aspireharriers

NJC Nova Team goes the Extra Mile

Congratulations to members of the NJC team at Nova in Victoria for going the extra mile.

Gheorghe Luca, Andrzej Zaganiaczyk, Cosmin Boanghes and David Oliva (pictured with NJC Portfolio Manager Kevin Wilson) were awarded NJC Gratitude Awards for responding quickly to deal with an issue on site. The colleagues worked closely with team members from other service providers to resolve the problem and get everything back to normal as quickly as possible.

NJC supports the Real Living Wage

When NJC embarked upon the Living Wage in 2014 it was a natural extension of our family heritage and our values. Our company is Not Just Cleaning and our employees are Not Just Cleaners, and because our employees protect the image of leading organisations in the UK, and ensure comfortable and hygienic workplaces, they deserve to be paid a fair and appropriate wage.

We recognise that our business success depends on an engaged and productive workforce that is well looked after. All our colleagues deserve to be appropriately rewarded and NJC is a Recognised Service Provider working with the Living Wage Foundation and promotes the Real Living Wage, based on the real cost of living. We submit a Living Wage bid alongside every market rate submittal to all our prospective and current clients, to encourage them to implement the Living Wage at the point of tender.

At NJC we believe that there are clear business benefits of the Real Living Wage, in terms of employee morale, motivation, productivity and retention. Paul Crilly, Managing Director commented: “We have found that in return for fair pay, employees reward us with increased loyalty, engagement and commitment to deliver a high quality service. This allows us to constantly develop our service propositions, utilising flexible working practises and innovative technologies.”

Over the last few years NJC has taken a number of customers who have not previously paid the Real Living Wage on a journey to it, and they have experienced significant benefits. Reductions in employee turnover have resulted in loyal and motivated teams, who have enhanced the quality of service. When combined with innovations in delivery approaches, this has in many cases resulted in lower costs across the contract than prior to the additional investment in salaries.

With this win-win scenario, why wouldn’t you support the Real Living Wage?

NJC DNA in action at 80 Victoria Street

When a defect within a light feature meant that the escalators at 80 Victoria Street in London had to be closed, the Landsec Operations Manager immediately contacted the NJC team to see if they could help. The light feature is above the escalators, making access to it difficult, and having to close the escalators caused inconvenience to the building users.

The NJC team quickly reviewed the access equipment available across the contact and recommended the best approach. Early the next morning the team set up the equipment and provided access for the engineer to repair the light fitting. The building security team provided access control while the work was completed.

The prompt action by the NJC team minimised the disruption to the building users and was a great example of going the extra mile for our clients.

Well done to everyone involved in demonstrating the NJC DNA!

NJC Colleagues complete Aspire Peak District Challenge

Congratulations to the seven NJC colleagues who completed the Aspire Peak District Challenge on 21st and 22nd September 2018. Team members from Landsec and its service partners participated in a 25km or 50km challenge, building team spirit and raising money for The Honeypot Children’s Charity. The money raised will go towards phase 2 of the Honeypot House and Campus Enhancements Project.

The NJC colleagues who completed the challenge were: Greta Dvarvytiene, Francisca Cumbicus Jaramillo, Aminata Balde, Russell Southern, Andrienne Bodo, Amanda Heppelthwaite and Nicole Wade.

A special mention goes to two of the NJC team members, who were nominated for Aspire Player of the Month Awards for Teamwork, for their contribution to the challenge.

To achieve the 50km challenge, the team knew they would need to average 5km per hour but after several kilometres of walking some people had begun to fall back from the pack. Russell Southern and another team member went to assist, carrying rucksacks and helping to motivate people, which ensured that everyone completed the challenge.

When one of the participants in the 25km challenge pulled a muscle at a relatively early stage, Nicole Wade stayed with him to support him for the entire walk. The pair fell some way behind the main group, but everyone was able to complete the challenge.

Well done to everyone who participated.

The image shows Russell Southern participating in the challenge.

5 Minutes with Wayne Smith

My name is Wayne Smith and I am Service Director Vertical. I have worked for the company for 18 years, starting out as a weekend operative. During that time I have had the opportunity to work closely with the owners, to learn the NJC DNA first hand, and to progress into roles of increasing responsibility.

What does your role involve?

As the Service Director, I have a team of managers who support me in managing all the NJC vertical cleaning activities. This includes all window cleaning services, rope access (abseiling) work and exterior building cleaning/ maintenance. Customer service is at the forefront of our service activities and my other key priority is looking after and developing my team.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

I have two favourite parts to my job: helping to find access solutions to problem areas and secondly getting the opportunity to work with clients and architects on access strategies at the design stage of new developments.

What are the biggest benefits you bring to your customers?

The NJC can-do attitude and giving customers solutions to their access problems, together with the reassurance that we have a zero tolerance to harm and drive a positive health and safety culture throughout the business. Working at height has risks and it is all about following the rules and procedures to ensure we all stay safe.

What is the most challenging aspect of what you do?

Meeting the ever-changing demand of clients and the expectations they have. As time has gone on, specifications have got more detailed, and knowing that the solution for one client isn’t always the same for another, makes for a challenging situation. It’s just as important to build relationships and develop trust as it is to deliver on the promise of service.

Being a challenge isn’t necessarily a bad thing as this allows us to keep on our toes and at the forefront of our service and innovation.

In 2020, we’ll all be talking about?

Our success at becoming the market leaders in the vertical industry, and how we can improve on the robotic equipment available on the market, to help reduce the risk to individuals when working at height.

Where will we find you when you are not at work?

Spending time with my family and friends, and on a golf course whenever the opportunity is there!

Contact NJC

Our team are here to help with any questions, and to show where NJC can add real value to your colleague and customer experience, so why not get in touch.

Telephone: 0203 984 4450

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