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Being part of a wider group of people with similar interests and goals can have major benefi ts for health and happiness.

Whether you indulge in this life- affi rming activity through sport (either as a participant or a spectator), volunteering for a cause that’s close to your heart, or in a more virtual capacity through social media (was anyone part of #teammurray during Wimbledon?), there is plenty of scope to get involved for the greater good.

It’s the same in business, where the benefi ts of teamwork can maximise effi ciency to reach a common goal. It improves morale, giving employees authority and ownership, ensures greater fl exibility so there’s back up if things go wrong, and increases

innovation. Two (or more) heads are better than one, or so they say, and getting greater input into the design of products or the delivery of services can result in better sales and customer satisfaction.

I’ve talked about the convergence of the cleaning, FM and waste management industries in a previous column, and this idea takes teamwork to an even higher level. Just last month Asset Skills, the Facilities Management Association (FMA) and the Cleaning and Support Services Association (CSSA) announced that they are to merge – I feel that this may be the precursor of more collaborations to come.

In many ways these partnerships make sense. By pooling resources and knowledge, messages can be more consistent and targeted, and a better service can be provided

to the people and businesses they represent. So, as we start 2014, perhaps it’s time to resolve to ask the controversial question – would one single awards ceremony, exhibition, and/or association be of greater benefi t to the emerging ‘built environment’ industry? It will be interesting to see if this comes to pass.

Ceris Burns Managing Director, Ceris Burns International

I think there are a few things which the industry as a whole should be looking to improve on. First of all, the idea that more

companies sign up to The London Living wage, and continue to follow the route to daytime cleaning, is a very important one. Reducing the number of part-time cleaners, who work long and unsociable hours, should be a key consideration for every business.

Secondly, we must resolve to encourage our management to make greater use of public transport, and leave their company cars at home at least three times per week. I can’t speak for everywhere, but the London transport system has improved dramatically over the last fi ve years, and we should take advantage of all that hard earned money our taxes go to pay for. This has become a cultural thing; getting


people to leave their cars at home even once a week is a challenge, I know, but aside from improving our carbon footprint, it will improve our state of mind too.

As always, keeping abreast of the latest technology (and ahead of the competition in this fi eld), for the purpose of winning, managing and monitoring contracts, is something we need to continually strive for, but I believe that, as Chairman of the BCC, to encourage more of its members to apply to us for project funding is defi nitely on my to-do list.

The BCC derives most of its income from the Cleaning Show, and much of that is used to fund cleaning projects such as the recent £5,000 given to the Federation of Window Cleaners to promote their latest health and safety initiative. One huge bit of news to watch out for in 2014, is the £10,000 we have recently approved for the British Toilet Association, to help them develop and establish an app, which would

This month we ask... Wh resolutions, and what s sticking to in 2014?

be used by members of the public for fi nding public toilets across the UK.

Myself? I still have a list from last year that I’m working on, but I think keeping fi t and healthy, trying to eat and drink more organic produce, and continuing my double-life as a rugby referee, are all the promises to myself which I intend to keep.

Douglas Cooke, Co-Founder of Principle Cleaning Services

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