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Cleaning industry firm gives insight into business recovery from the pandemic
It is well known that cleaning can sometimes be an under-appreciated industry, however when the pandemic hit, this service was even more fundamental to the functioning of all kinds of organisations. Businesses had to implement deep cleaning practices at high speed. Schools, shops and offices all introduced new cleaning measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and keep their services running.
Here, Ed Walker, head of sales at Lita Group FM, specialist cleaning & facilities management company, shares his insight into how businesses have been operating in recent times, and what this signals about the recovery from the pandemic.
Intense cleaning is here to stay…
If cleaning was a barometer for the nation's confidence in Covid recovery, we're definitely not back at 100% just yet. At Lita, we're not seeing as quick a slowdown in demand for the high-intensity cleaning techniques that we brought in during the pandemic as we thought we might.
Many clients have wanted us to continue with the more frequent, in-depth cleaning. Additionally, the Covid safety requirements we've seen brought in and out mean that clients want to sustain that high level so that they can guarantee business continuity.
Flexible and hybrid working…
I don't think there'll ever be the same numbers of people in offices that there were before. That will be different from organisation to organisation: there are some out there who want everyone back in now, and there are some who have seen the opportunity to save money with a hybrid model. They're reducing the size of their office footprint, implementing hot desk working, giving people schedules of when to come in.
We've had to change our cleaning routines to fit in with our clients' new ways of working. Some have put in one-way systems, so we had to adjust our cleaning schedules to comply with that. Some have changed their timings or implemented staggered starts, so we've had to show a lot more flexibility timewise. That's particularly impacted our operatives, who already had early starts.
A lot of our clients are in the manufacturing and industrial backgrounds, so their numbers haven't altered that much - and some of them even got busier during the pandemic. For example, one of our clients, which manufactures glass for the food industry, has moved to a 24/7 operation in the last year.
But we've seen more mixed results with our office-based clients. One, which previously had three offices in the North of England (one of which was over five floors) has now reduced to just one office over two floors. They're never going to have the same footprint that they used to have."
Lita Group Facilities Management is the new name for Consultant Services Group – an established player in the cleaning & FM market for over 50 years. With over 1000 staff, the company works in sectors including manufacturing, transport, commercial and education.
9th December 2021