“The ability for a client and contractor to

partner and ensure high standards of service is imperative.”

A clean bill of health

Flexibility, partnership and impeccable standards are key to the cleaning industry’s response to our changed world, explains Nick Rastelli, Sales & Commercial Director for Lita Group Facilities Management.

clients flexibility in their delivery and commercial models. A combination of best value, safety and a highly presentable environment will be expected. The challenge of balancing operational excellence and commerciality in a depressed economy is likely to come to the fore over the coming months and years.

Effective, proactive partnerships are now more important than ever. With building plans potentially being reviewed on the fly and inevitable internal cost pressures being presented downstream, the ability for a client and contractor to partner and ensure high standards of service is imperative.

In our post-COVID world, many businesses will be assessing their property and facility needs. Given social distancing restrictions, changes to social culture and the shift to working from home, it’s natural that property and FM managers will be considering the extent to which their owned or leased space is required.

The benefits of reducing space are clear: lower lease and property costs, lower central overheads and lower contractor costs. Recent months have shown that this does not have to be to the detriment of staff collaboration and interaction. Indeed, technology like MS Teams, Zoom and Google Hangouts is proving a fantastic mechanism for remote meetings that enable staff to engage without having to face the somewhat daunting prospect of commuting to a place of work during a pandemic.

Yet some space will always be required. Manufacturing, distribution and logistics, hospitality, education and our beloved NHS – to name just a few sectors – will not easily be able to work from home. In addition, as humans we tend to crave the personal nature of a face-to-face chat. We want to see the whites of each other’s eyes and engage in a way that only a ‘real-life’ meeting can offer.

Flexibility and partnership

Ultimately, where space continues to be used, critical property and FM partners will undoubtedly need to offer


A ‘client vs contractor’ mindset has been commonplace for too long. Even organisations that preach partnership soon race to the bottom in order to secure contracts. This is no bad thing; the industry needs good news stories and this is an approach that will continue. The question is: at what cost?

Critical cleanliness

In reduced space and with managed footfall, the focus on cleanliness post-COVID will be stringent. A finger mark on glass, a stain on a carpet, a washroom facility that has water residue around the sinks will raise questions about whether the site as a whole is truly clean.

As an industry, we cannot accept these everyday misdemeanours. We have a responsibility to restore confidence and belief in society and we will only achieve this by delivering high standards of cleanliness at every opportunity. Flexibility across a highly-trained and motivated workforce is critical. Using the correct equipment and enabling true innovation will assist, all to the benefit of the end user and the commerciality of contracts. The proverbial ‘win-win’ could genuinely be in sight.

This really is a unique opportunity for us to make a difference and put cleaning on the map. With the right approach we will come to be viewed as the critical industry that we truly are, not just for a short time as we tackle COVID-19, but into the post-pandemic future.

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