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understanding of the adaptive, methodological approach carried out by staff will help to dispel the concept that this role is ‘low-skilled’.

Cleaning providers will also need to adapt their provision. Social distancing and risk mitigation protocols will vary as time goes on and with them, building occupancy and space use. High-risk touchpoints will need to be identified and cleaned regularly, and shared workspaces in agile working environments will need sterilising between use. All of this will require an agile workforce. Cleaning providers will need to work closely with clients to tailor solutions accordingly.

This will be a welcome opportunity to share and demonstrate the expertise of our industry. One of the most important things that providers should be doing now is increasing the transparency of their operations. Being prepared means that they will not have to expend time and resources on additional communication while adapting to the changes this year will bring.

Change in practice

For Churchill, this means building on our current cleaning provision to create a transparent and holistic approach. PRISM, our workplace hygiene and safety programme, is designed to provide cleaning solutions for the future through the integration of science, technology and people.

PRISM sits among Churchill’s wider matrix of virus mitigation tools and hygiene services. It enables workplace, property and facilities managers to understand the bacterial and viral content of their environment in order to implement tailored infection prevention solutions.

Whatever a company’s return to work plan looks like, a workplace hygiene programme will be a necessity. COVID-19 will still be around when workplaces fully reopen – we’re already being told that wearing masks and frequent hand washing will be required next winter – so all workplaces must be kept hygienically clean.

Cleaning and hygiene teams have always had the expertise: the pandemic has allowed them to demonstrate that to clients and take their services to the next level. The combination of science and technology is absolutely critical to truly ensure that the very best hygiene standards can be met.

Science is of course a key part of any programme. TVC swabbing gives an auditable bacteria count that helps teams understand how bacteria and viruses are transmitted within their working environment, and how to bend and flex the cleaning solution to create hygienically clean workspaces.

Mo:dus, our technology platform, underpins the entire programme, intuitively supporting our highly skilled cleaning teams to achieve the critical high standards but in a smarter way.

Once the building is designed and mapped within Mo:dus, the work is dynamically scheduled based on data-driven insight from the laboratory swab results. This means that by placing QR codes at points within the site we can communicate cleaning schedule changes with our teams using real-time data to drive their actions.

Mo:dus provides insight from the data it collects by creating alerts, notifications, and reports. We can work with our customers to gather data insight, map trends and enable a completely transparent approach to building hygiene.

The sector’s future

Despite the fact the cleaning industry may never have had such a high profile, many organisations in the sector have taken serious hits and are heavily reliant on furlough. Some parts of the industry have not survived the pandemic. For those that have survived, however, the coming months and years hold great potential.

“Some parts of

the industry have not survived the pandemic but for

those that have, the coming months and years hold great potential.”

Cleaning will undoubtedly sit higher on the corporate agenda. The technicalities of cleaning will garner greater appreciation and preventative measures will be just as important as reactive cleaning. However, this doesn’t mean the sector will have it easy. As much as organisations may wish to invest in cleaning, many clients will also have suffered through the pandemic and will need to balance cost and recovery carefully for some time to come. For cleaning providers, this will mean that demonstrating added value, as well as excellence, in service will be more vital in reaching its full potential.

Much of the cleaning sector is already looking to boost client’s CSR policies by using more environmentally friendly solutions and this will undoubtedly be a mainstay of the industry, but the change in perception will also be important. Added value will come through demonstrating the skills and expertise in the sector.

Creating a tailored, data-led, and agile provision will reinforce cleaning as technical and vital role, and one knock-on effect will hopefully be greater appreciation of the cleaning workforce and equality in the workplace. INFECTION CONTROL | 61

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