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MANAGEMENT

The future of

cleaning Warren Burke* outlines some of the emerging trends set to become more significant in the future for the cleaning and environmental management sector. Predicting the trends and technologies of the future is very difficult. Anyone remember Michael J Fox flying around on the famous hover board in the 1980s ‘Back to the Future’ movie trilogy? In 1907, the US National Association of Teachers believed “students today depend too much upon ink. They don’t know how to use a penknife to sharpen a pencil. Pen and ink will never replace the pencil.” Then in 1950, US Federal Teachers warned that ballpoint pens would be the ruin of education. “Students use these devices and just throw them away. The values of thrift and frugality were being discarded. Businesses and banks will never allow such expensive luxuries.” (Father Stanley Bezuska Windows on the Future, 2001, Jukes and McCain). Over the past three or four decades, few people could have predicted the pace and scope of change across the globe. Could anyone guess we would rely so completely on the internet, email, smartphones, and other wireless devices any better than teachers could have predicted the future of pencils and ballpoint pens? When it comes to imagining the way we might work, move or use technology in the future, anything is possible! Every industry is facing rapid change, and the cleaning and hygiene industry is no different. Embracing change, whether in the form of new technology, changing social expectations or business practices, is a challenge in itself, but a necessary part of the industry’s evolution. While predictions are never precise, there are several emerging trends that will become more significant in the future for the cleaning and environmental management sector. 30 INCLEANNZ February 2019

“Every industry is facing rapid change, and the cleaning and hygiene industry is no different. Embracing change, whether in the form of new technology, changing social expectations or business practices, is a challenge in itself, but a necessary part of the industry’s evolution.” Technology and digitisation For a sector largely reliant on manual labour and physical tasks, automation technology will be a disrupter, paving the way for greater productivity and workforce management. The use of smart tablets (such as iPads) will be a key feature in the future cleaning operations. Housekeeping staff will use devices to track and optimise productivity as they clean. In a hospital or residential aged care facility, environmental service teams will rely on devices that show real-time tracking of patient room cleaning and completion. This will be invaluable in infection control management, staff workflow and resourcing and will give residents and patients more peace-of-mind and confidence during their stay.

Safety and user comfort Cleaning is physically-demanding work and injuries can be severe and costly. Our aging population means workforces are aging too, especially the cleaning and hygiene industry.

Profile for The Intermedia Group

INCLEAN - NZ February 2019  

Published for more than 30 years, INCLEAN has evolved into a communications portfolio that delivers need-to-know information to contracted a...

INCLEAN - NZ February 2019  

Published for more than 30 years, INCLEAN has evolved into a communications portfolio that delivers need-to-know information to contracted a...