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News 2 Min Read 2 November 2020
2 November 2020 2 Min Read
News

Has Covid19 finally created value for cleaning?

A regular blog from the MF in FM – Martyn Freeman

 

I was strolling through an eerily quiet Canary Wharf this week and was struck by just how different London is right now – even before the next lockdown. I met an old friend from the FM sector, and we chatted over a socially distanced coffee about all the changes the Covid19 pandemic had enforced on his facility’s operation.

He’s now working at a senior level for a major international bank which like so many businesses based in the capital, has been wrestling with the problem of ensuring business continuity whilst protecting the wellbeing of employees and customers attending the offices.

With occupancy at record low levels (around 10% of staff are in the office on a typical day), I’d have expected the whole FM operation to be wound back to save cost. However, the reality here has been quite different. In particular, the cleaning team is fully operational, focusing even more intensely on cleanliness and housekeeping. The name of the game is about cleaners being highly visible, providing confidence for everyone in the building and reinforcing the perception that the company is doing the right thing for everyone.

I am really encouraged by the way that cleaning companies haves stepped up in this way, in response to the global pandemic but find it ironic that it’s taken something like Covid19 to bring about such a long-overdue change in the industry. For the first time in my memory, cleaning and hygiene services are being driven up the value chain. Who could have imagined a year ago that cost and price would no longer be the one and only deciding factor in client discussions?

At last, suppliers can demonstrate innovation and real differentiation in their service offering and can shift the discussion away from cost towards quality, effectiveness and value. As we finished our coffee, I reminded my old friend that this was the driving motivation forces behind the creation of Q3 two years ago – Quality Service, Quality People, Quality Clients. We were being pioneers had we only known, what was to follow!

I wonder when we’ll enjoy our next coffee together?

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