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2022 Trends for the Cleaning Industry: Help Wanted

Posted by WAXIE Buzz on Jan 21, 2022 10:47:00 AM


By: Briana Smith & Caitlin Dimalanta | January 21, 2022

The last couple years have been a roller coaster ride for everyone, complete with steep inclines, unexpected dips, sharp curves, and upside-down loop de loops, but the cleaning industry, in particular, has felt the impact on the pandemic keenly.

Janitors, custodial crews, housekeeping and environmental services staff have been on the frontline the entire time, keeping everyone as healthy as possible through cleaning.

And like many industries, we’re being affected by all sorts of shortages—from labor to supplies—that affect day-to-day capabilities and operations.

These issues have accelerated many of the trends that we’ve been seeing the last few years to maximize a facility maintenance program’s productivity through more effective and efficient processes and innovations.

Learn About WAXIE RE6 Building Re-Entry 6 Steps to Occupant Wellness and Pathogen Control

As facility managers continue to adjust to the ebb and flow of closures and re-entries caused by the pandemic, they’ve also had to do a lot more with less resources and manpower.

So, what will 2022 bring?

Our first article in this series focuses on the impact that the labor shortage has had on the cleaning industry.

Labor Shortage

This is one major trend that everyone is experiencing. Finding people to fill staffing vacancies has been a huge problem in all types of facilities, including schools, and many cleaners are feeling the effects of burnout as the pandemic rages on, especially in the health care and hospitality markets, due to extended, heavy workloads.

In fact, one school district in Palo Alto, CA is asking parents to pitch in with cleaning duties due to a staff shortage in order to keep schools open for in person learning!

Thankfully there are ways to ease the pressure a bit with newer cleaning technology and innovations.

Nilfisk SC50 Liberty Autonomous Scrubber

1. Robotics

Automated robotic equipment has been around for several years now, but they’re really making a difference in making facility operations more streamlined.

Floor machines, like the Intelligent Cleaning Equipment (ICE) 'EMMA' RS26 and the Nilfisk SC50 Liberty, efficiently clean a large square footage of floor without much supervision after they map out a room.

They safely take care of the labor-intensive work, with built-in motion sensors that allow them to stop swiftly whenever someone walks in front of them or to adapt to any other obstacles in their way.

5 Reasons Your Floor Cleaning Machines Should Be a Robot

A report is sent out so you can monitor its activity and an alert will be sent if it runs into any problems. Not having to actively monitor the autonomous machine allows your team to concentrate on the important, high-priority tasks, such as cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

Automated equipment really maximizes the productivity of your team and your time!


2. The Internet of Things

In addition to robotics, equipment, dispensers, and systems that are Internet of Things (IoT) enabled also free up time for your staff.

Merriam-Webster defines IoT as “the networking capability that allows information to be sent to and received from objects and devices (such as fixtures and kitchen appliances) using the Internet.”

This “gathered info” is used for specific purposes—how much square footage a machine cleaned, can monitor battery levels of a device, adjust the temperature in a room—and can improve the efficiency of your facility’s cleaning and maintenance program as you can allocate resources when and where you need them.

Basically, anything with “smart” in the name involves IoT technology.

Discover: Touch-Free Restroom Options for Your Facility

One particularly exciting up and coming innovation involving IoT technology is the “smart” restroom. Restrooms are notoriously problematic, and most facility complaints arise from restroom cleanliness and empty supplies.

Industry leader Kimberly-Clark Professional has developed a restroom system that allow your touch-free restroom dispensers (soap, paper, etc.) to “talk” and send you info about supply levels in real time. This also includes a partnership with GOJO’s PURELL brand hand sanitizer.

How awesome would it be not to have to check supplies every hour and to just receive a message when your soap dispenser refill needs replacing?!

Building Occupant Wellness Resources

WAXIE is committed to helping our customers keep their facilities cleaner, healthier, greener and safer. That means creating customized cleaning solutions to meet your specific needs, and then providing the ongoing training and support to help you achieve a cleaner and healthier building environment with building occupant wellness. 

Please contact your WAXIE Account Consultant today to schedule a consultation. 

Briana Smith is WAXIE’s Social Media & Product Branding Specialist and spends quite a bit of time skimming the news for what’s new in cleaning, sustainability and technology while managing all of WAXIE’s social channels. She especially loves posting about #teamwaxie activities & conversing with customers on Instagram. Briana has a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Design from California State University, Chico.

Caitlin Dimalanta is WAXIE’s eCommerce Specialist. She enjoys researching and implementing various SEO (search engine optimization) strategies to enhance WAXIE’s eCommerce platform Web@Work. Caitlin has a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from San Diego State University.

Topics: Hand Hygiene, machines & equipment, IoT, industry news

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