The Cost of Cleanliness
In our everyday lives, we often prioritise apparent necessities and urgent matters, leaving seemingly less significant concerns like cleanliness lower on the priority list. However, what we often overlook is the immense impact cleanliness has on various aspects of our lives, particularly in a professional environment.
Many businesses, especially small to medium enterprises (SMEs), may perceive professional cleaning services as a luxury or unnecessary expense. However, when one truly understands the cost of cleanliness and its long-term implications, it becomes clear that regular professional cleaning is not a cost but a wise investment.
Initial Investment in Professional Cleaning
Investing in professional cleaning services often requires a substantial initial outlay. The cost may seem high as it encompasses a broad range of services – from sanitising workspaces and deep cleaning carpets to window cleaning and maintenance. It includes the cost of professional-grade cleaning equipment and products, trained personnel, and often also insurance coverage.
Beyond the direct costs, there is an element of convenience and assurance of quality. Unlike doing it yourself or delegating cleaning duties to employees, hiring professional cleaners ensures that every nook and corner of your office will be cleaned meticulously. This attention to detail leaves your work environment not just visually clean but also sanitised, creating a healthier space for all.
Return on Investment (ROI) in the Long Run
Despite the initial costs, the return on investment (ROI) from regular professional cleaning can be substantial and multifaceted, much beyond mere monetary gains. Here’s how:
- Health Benefits: Professional cleaning services can drastically reduce the presence of bacteria, viruses, and allergens in the workplace, leading to fewer illnesses and sick days among employees. A study by ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, states that an unclean workspace can cost businesses an average of £1,600 per employee per year due to absenteeism and decreased productivity.
- Increased Productivity: According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, employees’ productivity increases significantly in clean, organised work environments. Therefore, the costs incurred for professional cleaning are easily offset by the value of increased productivity and employee engagement.
- Asset Preservation: Regular professional cleaning helps maintain the condition of your business assets, from office furniture to technology and equipment. In the absence of regular cleaning, dust and grime can cause these assets to deteriorate faster, leading to frequent replacements that can cost significantly. By investing in regular professional cleaning, you are indirectly investing in extending the lifespan of these assets, providing substantial cost savings in the long run.
- Brand Image: Lastly, cleanliness contributes significantly to a company’s image. A clean and well-maintained office leaves a positive impression on visitors, be it clients, investors, or prospective employees. This intangible benefit, while hard to quantify, is vital in a competitive business environment.
Impact on Health and Productivity
The importance of cleanliness for health and productivity cannot be understated, especially in the context of a workplace. It’s not just about creating an aesthetically pleasing environment; cleanliness can significantly affect the health of employees, directly impacting their productivity.
A poorly maintained office or workspace can become a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses, resulting in a high risk of illness among employees. This, in turn, can have a profound effect on productivity and morale.
Reduced Sick Days and Health-Related Absenteeism
Unclean workspaces can be hotspots for the growth and spread of bacteria and viruses. For instance, an average desk is known to harbour 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat! Regular professional cleaning drastically reduces these microorganisms, contributing to a healthier work environment.
The impact of this can be significant. According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics, minor illnesses such as coughs and colds are the most common reason for sickness absence, accounting for approximately 27.2% of all sick leave. A study from the Centre for Economics and Business Research found that sickness absence costs UK businesses an estimated £77 billion in lost productivity each year.
By investing in regular professional cleaning, businesses can significantly reduce the spread of common illnesses, leading to a decrease in health-related absenteeism. This means fewer disruptions in work schedules and projects, leading to improved productivity and reduced costs associated with employee absences.
Boosting Productivity and Morale
A clean and well-maintained workspace does more than just reduce the risk of illness. It also contributes to improving the psychological wellbeing and morale of employees.
A study conducted by Staples discovered that 94% of employees reported feeling more productive in a clean workspace. This is because clutter and dirt can be distracting and lead to feelings of stress and anxiety. By ensuring a clean, clutter-free work environment, businesses can help employees stay focused, motivated, and productive.
Moreover, when employees see that their employers invest in their health and wellbeing, it fosters a sense of being valued and cared for. This feeling can significantly improve morale and job satisfaction, leading to reduced staff turnover and associated recruitment costs.
In summary, a clean workspace promotes not only physical health but also psychological wellbeing, both of which directly influence productivity. Investing in regular professional cleaning services can, therefore, have a profound and multifaceted positive impact on a business’s bottom line.
Preservation of Assets
The conservation and maintenance of physical assets are integral aspects of managing a business. These assets, which can range from office furniture and fixtures to electrical equipment, represent a considerable investment. Maintaining these assets in prime condition not only contributes to an efficient and productive work environment but also reduces unnecessary expenditure on repairs and replacements. Regular professional cleaning plays a pivotal role in this preservation process.
Extending the Lifespan of Fixtures and Furnishings
Office fixtures and furnishings, such as desks, chairs, carpets, and partitions, can accumulate dust and dirt over time. If left unchecked, this can lead to faster degradation and reduced lifespan of these items. For instance, the accumulation of dust and grime can cause damage to upholstery and carpet fibres, while dirt and moisture can lead to corrosion or rusting of metal fixtures.
Professional cleaners are trained to effectively clean and maintain these assets. They use the appropriate cleaning agents and techniques to remove dirt, stains, and moisture, thereby preventing potential damage. Regular professional cleaning not only keeps these assets looking good but also extends their functional life. This means businesses can avoid the frequent costs associated with replacing worn-out or damaged fixtures and furnishings, leading to significant cost savings in the long run.
Preserving the Value of the Property
Beyond fixtures and furnishings, the physical property itself can greatly benefit from regular professional cleaning. If you operate in a rented space, preserving the condition of the property is essential to avoid disputes and penalties at the end of the lease period. If you own the property, maintaining its condition can contribute to preserving or even enhancing its market value over time.
Regular cleaning can prevent problems such as mould growth, infestations, and degradation of building materials. Professional cleaning services often include tasks like cleaning of window exteriors, pressure washing of building facades, and maintenance of gutters, all of which contribute to maintaining the aesthetic appeal and structural integrity of the property.
By preventing deterioration and highlighting issues for early intervention, professional cleaning services can contribute to substantial cost savings related to property repairs and renovations. It’s a strategic investment that safeguards the business’s tangible assets and preserves their value in the long term.
Professional Cleaning Vs DIY Cleaning
When it comes to maintaining a clean and healthy workspace, businesses often find themselves caught between two choices: managing the cleaning in-house (DIY Cleaning) or hiring professional cleaning services. While DIY cleaning may seem like a cost-saving strategy, there are hidden costs and potential drawbacks to consider.
The Hidden Costs of DIY Cleaning
The idea of DIY cleaning may initially appear attractive, especially to smaller businesses operating on tighter budgets. However, it’s crucial to consider the hidden costs associated with this approach:
- Time and Productivity: The time employees spend cleaning is time away from their core responsibilities, leading to decreased productivity. Also, most employees are not trained cleaners, meaning tasks may take longer to complete or may not be performed as effectively as a professional would.
- Equipment and Supplies: DIY cleaning requires the purchase and maintenance of cleaning equipment and supplies. These costs can add up over time, especially when considering the higher-quality products used by professional cleaners.
- Training and Liability: Ensuring safe and effective cleaning methods requires training, particularly when dealing with potentially hazardous substances or specialised equipment. Furthermore, businesses are liable for any accidents or injuries that occur during cleaning, which could lead to costly claims.
The Efficiency of Professional Cleaning
In contrast, professional cleaning services offer several advantages that can make them a more cost-effective and efficient choice:
- Expertise and Experience: Professional cleaners are trained and experienced in best cleaning practices. They can efficiently clean and sanitise spaces, reducing the risk of cross-contamination and ensuring a thorough job.
- Equipment and Supplies: Professional cleaning services invest in industrial-grade cleaning equipment and products that are more effective and efficient than typical consumer-grade supplies. They also shoulder the cost of maintaining and replacing these items as necessary.
- Consistency and Quality: With professional cleaning, businesses can expect a consistent level of service. Cleaning companies have quality control measures in place to ensure that cleaning is performed to a high standard at each service.
- Convenience and Peace of Mind: Lastly, professional cleaning services offer the convenience of handling all aspects of cleaning, allowing businesses and their employees to focus on their core duties. They also provide peace of mind, knowing that the cleanliness and hygiene of the workspace are in expert hands.
The Sustainability Angle
In today’s world, sustainability is not just an option but a necessity. More than ever before, businesses are expected to operate in ways that minimise their environmental impact. The cleaning industry is no exception, with many professional cleaning companies now offering environmentally friendly solutions. These services not only contribute to a cleaner environment but can also enhance a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) profile.
Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Solutions
Many professional cleaning services now utilise eco-friendly cleaning methods and products. These include biodegradable cleaning agents, microfibre technology to reduce water usage, and energy-efficient cleaning equipment.
Traditional cleaning products often contain harsh chemicals that can harm the environment and potentially affect the health of employees. On the other hand, eco-friendly cleaning products are made from natural ingredients that are biodegradable and less harmful to the environment. They also reduce the risk of allergic reactions and other health issues among employees.
In terms of equipment, professional cleaners often use high-efficiency machines that require less energy and water to operate. They also adopt practices such as recycling and waste reduction, contributing to a smaller environmental footprint.
Investing in regular professional cleaning is cost-effective when considering the multitude of benefits it offers. It impacts employee health, productivity, asset preservation, and environmental sustainability. It’s a long-term investment that pays off exponentially in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How often should professional cleaning be scheduled?
The frequency depends on the size and type of workspace. However, a weekly or bi-weekly cleaning is typically recommended.
What is the difference between professional cleaning and DIY cleaning?
Professional cleaning is thorough, uses specialised equipment and products, and is typically more efficient than DIY cleaning.
What are the health benefits of professional cleaning?
A clean workspace reduces the spread of germs, resulting in fewer sick days and improved productivity.
How does professional cleaning preserve property value?
Regular cleaning helps maintain the building’s condition, preserving its market value in the long run.