As the professional cleaning sector has also experienced significant transformation in the past years, due to – partially the pandemic-generated – new cleaning methods and equipment, it is necessary to adhere to the new trends. Let’s look at the main focus points service providers should keep in mind.
Many are researching the professional trends of the coming year in the cleaning sector. There are only slight differences in forecasts, but the focal points are common: going green, disinfecting, innovating for both client and worker, and being visibly present!
1. Going green is a must
Using green products alone is not enough to be sustainable anymore. “With the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the EU Green Deal in mind, manufacturers are looking at the entire chain of production. This also includes topics such as cradle-to-cradle and circularity, sustainable packaging, and eco-labelling” – former director of the Amsterdam based platform of cleaning professionals, Interclean Rob den Hertog highlights.
The cleaning product manufacturer company, Robert Scott‘s latest customer research shows that the key areas that businesses believe to be of greatest importance to improving sustainability are reducing plastic waste, using products made from recycled materials and implementing more reusable products.
Incorporating sustainability in your business strategy likely improves trust with customers, employees and investors while protecting the environment. Sustainability is transitioning from being a “nice to have” to being a “must-have” – den Hertog sums up.
2. Means of disinfections
Undoubtedly, COVID-19 raised even more awareness for a safe, disinfected environment not only in healthcare facilities but everywhere from offices to commercial buildings, from schools to airports.
For hospital teams to prevent healthcare-associated infections from occurring and spreading, they have to destroy the micro-organisms that cause infections and deny them the environment in which they thrive. This means using sterilisation to make equipment and surfaces safe to use. One way to do so is steam cleaning.
Steam cleaning does not only help to sanitize, clean and deodorise any surface without detergents, but also saves time and money while being environmentally friendly. Due to the pandemic, steam cleaning gained a new impulse and is likely to remain important in 2022 – den Hertog predicts.
UV-C (Ultraviolet-C) technology can also be used for a variety of purposes, including disinfection in the professional cleaning industry. UV sterilization is highly effective as the UV-C rays destroy the molecular bonds holding together the DNA of bacteria and viruses. UV-C light as a disinfectant in hospitals began from the late 1960s onward. With the current pandemic, it seems UV-C becomes essential in the fight against infection.
3. Innovative technologies for improved services and worker wellbeing
As the use of technology in professional cleaning has proven to improve the efficiency and quality of cleaning tasks, there is an emerging need for service providers to comply with new technology. The affordability and availability of IoT, AR, high-tech cleaning equipment and different software have made it easy for companies to implement them in their cleaning services and to offer clients advanced solutions.
Professional cleaning is physically demanding work with repetitive actions putting tension on the body. There are also several innovations for the workers’ wellbeing, of which the powered exoskeletons are likely the ones to spread widely in the coming year – as den Hertog sees.
The active exoskeleton is a wearable mobile machine that allows for limb movement with increased strength and endurance. It protects cleaning workers by providing back support and assisting movement by sensing the user’s motion and sending a signal to the motors which manage the gears.
Battery-powered equipment is also on the rise, however, the spread of such machines might seem a bit contradictory on going green, whereas it also has to be mentioned that in recent years the energy density of batteries increased, lowering the weight and size while improving durability. This is important when battery-powered equipment is used to clean large areas, such as airports, hospitals, office buildings or industrial plants.
“Battery technologies on the market include Solid State batteries, Traction batteries, Gel Maintenance Free batteries and Lithium-ion batteries. It is expected that the Solid State battery technology will become a game-changer in the years to come. This battery allows manufacturers to introduce smaller and lighter solutions that can operate longer”- as den Hertog predicts.
4. Increased visibility and frequency of cleaning
According to the Robert Scott survey published by Cleaning Matters, when considering the visibility and frequency of cleaning, one in five businesses believe this will be the biggest trend for the cleaning industry in 2022.
„It can be difficult to strike the right balance, but what the pandemic has shown us is that greater visibility of cleaning processes is here to stay. Businesses that haven’t yet investigated ways they can improve efficiencies for their staff and customers, and do so more sustainability, are likely to be left behind as our sector continues to innovate to deliver superior cleaning results that improve hygiene and boost infection control”- concluded Robert Scott’s sales director, Alastair Scott.