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Supporting cleaners against COVID-19


In the battle against the Coronavirus, Nils J.van der Zijl, VP Sales & Marketing at Softbank Robotics EMEA, details how the company’s cobots can support cleaners.


Commercial cleaners are the unsung heroes in the fight against COVID-19, ensuring that critical buildings such as hospitals, surgeries and supermarkets are clean, hygienic and safe.


Across all markets, the COVID-19 crisis has placed overwhelming demands on cleaning teams to deliver heightened levels of service, particularly within sectors such as healthcare, social care and retail, whilst also adhering to strict health and safety protocols to minimise the spread of the virus.


As restrictions on movement lift and economies attempt to restart, the hygiene and cleanliness of offices, shops, transport and hospitality venues will be vital in instilling confidence amongst building users and returning our lives to some form of normality.


The evolving and still largely unknown nature of the coronavirus means that keeping essential spaces safe and clean for users is critical. It is believed the virus can survive for several hours on surfaces such as door handles, restroom surfaces and elevator buttons, and therefore the deep cleaning and sanitisation of such surfaces is essential to reduce transmission.


More than ever, cleaners are facing long and unsociable hours, physically strenuous activities and, increasingly, a need to juggle a large workload in a limited amount of time. Added to this challenge, cleaning teams have found themselves depleted due to illness or team members needing to self-isolate in line with government advice.


Commercial cleaning contractors are having to offer clients more for less in order to win and retain contracts – that means cleaning a greater area of a building, to an even higher standard, but often at a reduced cost. Contractors are coming under more scrutiny to demonstrate improvements in cleaning performance, with clients demanding continual measurement and evaluation of all cleaning services, with heavy financial penalties where agreed service levels are not met.


COVID-19 has exacerbated what was already a challenging situation and one which can undoubtedly impact the health and wellbeing of cleaning staff, who are often exposing themselves to heightened risk in order to carry out their work.


Cobots ease pressure on cleaners


Evidently, the pressure on cleaning teams to increase performance and productivity will continue to rise. Fortunately, however, innovative new technology is set to give cleaners the support that they need and deserve.


58 | TECHNOLOGY twitter.com/TomoCleaning


“As restrictions on movement lift and economies attempt to restart, hygiene and cleanliness will be vital in


instilling confidence amongst building users.”


"


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