Importance of Commercial Cleaning & Future of the Industry

Fidelis Group’s Managing Director shares how the Birmingham commercial cleaning business has adapted during the coronavirus pandemic, and discusses thoughts on the importance of professional cleaning for the future.

I wanted to take the time to reflect on recent months, on what it has meant for our business and our people whilst considering how the future landscape of commercial cleaning and facilities management will shape up.

Since the beginning of the year when COVID19 was beginning to be spoken about in the global news, we all knew what was on the horizon. We may not have known to what extent our personal and professional lives would be impacted but we knew that coronavirus presented an issue for everyone.

How did Fidelis handle COVID19 Pandemic?

From the outset, the focus of our Senior Leadership team at Fidelis was to ensure that our people and the needs of our clients were at the forefront of our thinking.

We have helped our clients to understand the risks associated with their specific sites and buildings, helping them to navigate the guidance from Government to limit the spread of infection and create safe environments.

Daily Leadership Team meetings at the height of the crisis provided us with the opportunity to react quickly to an evolving situation to implement changes to the delivery of cleaning services, manage our people and maintain the highest level of safety throughout the organisation. We have now been able to reduce our teams meetings to three times a week as operations have become more stable and in control.

Importance of Cleaning going forward

Professional commercial cleaning has never been more important for all organisations and I envisage this will be the way forward for many years to come.

Every business and organisation now have a responsibility to maintain clean, safe and compliant spaces.

In my opinion, professional cleaning is now just as important as a complying fire extinguisher contract and fire alarm testing to conform to the safety and welfare of people in the workplace.

As you can imagine, our teams have been extraordinarily busy with sanitisation cleans and deep cleans in recent months – and we know that this something that is set to continue.

The importance of cleanliness and infection control should be at the top of everyone’s list which is leading to us having an increased number of conversations with both our existing and new customers. There is now, and rightly so, a greater appreciation and understanding around the daily cleaning and infection control processes to maintain buildings through a professionally managed cleaning service.

Creating Conforming Environments

In recent months, the cleaning times in line with compliance and usage of sites have been adjusted in 48% of our contracts.

Strategic planning of cleaning times to conform to guidelines around the prevention of cross contamination and infection control is paramount.

Our teams have liaised with client contacts to assess how their sites and buildings are being utilised to adjust the times of day when our operatives deliver our services.

This is to maintain the highest level of safety through our processes to deliver high levels of disinfection for both our operatives and client personnel to contain risk.

Adjusting cleaning times also ensures that offices, classrooms and meeting rooms are clean and sanitised after being used. This limits the risk of spreading the infection as well as enabling spaces to be used safely throughout the day whilst being regularly cleaned and disinfected.

You can no longer leave a space or high touch points all day without being sanitised and cleaned – the risk is far too great.

You may be cleaning but are you conforming?

Despite the increase in awareness, there is still a serious lack of knowledge on the guidelines and responsibilities in relation to cleaning and maintaining COVID Secure spaces.

We have seen instances where there has been a rush to introduce new cleaning measures without fully understanding requirements, this leads to increased risk.

Asking untrained and unqualified staff to now be responsible for cleaning offices, toilets and communal areas is dangerous. Without the knowledge and training on cross contamination and infection control, use of cleaning materials and processes, you are not conforming to what is now required.

Seeking professional expertise and advice will ensure that your buildings are safe, clean and compliant, significantly reducing the risk of the coronavirus.

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