The changing nature of work and the workplace show no signs of abating, and for facilities management the need to bring value to our customer’s business and a positive impact on their bottom line will become ever-more important. To achieve this we need to apply our intellect as much as our physical effort, to ensure that the services we deliver match the changing needs.
Cleaning in the workplace today already ‘isn’t just cleaning’. Cleaning efficiently, achieving good hygiene standards, supporting the environment and working collaboratively with the building occupants and other service providers all require us to use our brains, at least as often as our hands.
Supporting your brand and company image is key in today’s world of instant communication and high brand equity. First impressions always count, whether you are a visitor or an employee, and the building exterior, entrance and reception will influence your opinions of the organisation, long before the office areas are reached. Cleaners play an important role in ensuring everything looks perfect as well as giving a warm and helpful welcome to anyone they meet.
A productive workplace requires an environment where employees can excel. A clean and tidy office goes without saying, but cleaners should be the eyes and ears of the building as they go about their daily tasks. They will report issues that are often missed or ignored by others, such as building defects, leaking taps, fire hazards, misused recycling containers and pests, ensuring that remedial action is taken before a serious issue results, which could waste employees’ time.
High hygiene standards are important in maintaining the health and safety of building users, and reducing illness and absenteeism. Activity-based working areas and hot desks may be used by many people throughout the day, so high standards of cleaning and hygiene are needed to reduce the risk of the transmission of bacteria and viruses. Cleaners will ensure kitchen and washroom areas are spotlessly clean, and well stocked with the appropriate consumables for hand washing and drying.
Improving cleaning efficiencies requires a detailed understanding of how different areas of the office are used, and their respective cleaning needs. Separating tasks into light, hygiene and intense can optimise the way the cleaning is done, coupled with encouraging the cleaning team to identify and suggest improvements. Appropriate technology should provide data and management information for service transparency, comparisons and benchmarking, allowing best practise to be transferred.
The environment and sustainability are high on today’s business agenda, and cleaning protocols including the use of eco-labelled chemicals and less water, power and packaging all contribute.
Company culture, processes and technology, together with employee training, development, support and reward are key to a cleaning operation that delivers value to an organisation, enabling it to focus on its core business. It’s Not Just Cleaning, which is why we are NJC!