No doubt the pandemic has been harsh on all businesses and individuals. While some industries and sectors were almost completely destroyed, others are emerging as the ultimate winners. Recent statistics and reports show that there’s never been a better time to run a cleaning company.
At the start of the pandemic most businesses were in total chaos. There were hardly any commercial places open and professional cleaners were not classified as essential workers, so most had to stop operating for several weeks or months. That changed later in 2020 and 2021 with further lockdowns making provision for cleaners to continue working at their clients’ premises and homes.
However, government instructions and regulations were not the only problem for cleaning companies in the early days of the pandemic. Many residential clients cancelled their regular domestic cleans out of fear for safety or due to financial reasons.
Increase in Demand
The wind of change for the cleaning industry blew at the end of the first quarter of 2021. It is when most companies began to see a massive increase in demand for a variety of services. That applied to both domestic and commercial cleaners. B2B companies were the first to go back in the game as other businesses reopened in early April.
Over the summer of 2021 there was also a boom in domestic cleaning requests as people understood the value of professional cleaning and how it impacts their health. Another drive for the increase in the demand was the end of ‘work from home’ guidelines. Many returned back to the office and working families had less time for household chores.
Shortage of Staff
The industry’s massive problem at hand is currently a shortage of staff. This also came as a direct impact of the pandemic. Almost 25% of the workforce employed in the cleaning industry are foreigners. A large portion of them took the decision to move out of the UK permanently in 2020 and 2021. Brexit didn’t make this easier, as new arrivals from EU countries are now restricted and that leads to less opportunities for quick replacement of staff.
In addition, the provision of furlough and other financial incentives encouraged some workers to put their cleaning career on hold or completely change direction. Cleaners who are willing to apply for jobs in the industry now demand higher pay without consideration of their employer’s running costs.
Most Popular Services
COVID-19 set out some of the cleaning services as absolute best sellers. A lot of people changed their perspective on household hygiene and for businesses, professional cleaning became essential for continuation of operation. Here are the top most booked cleaning services:
● Post-COVID decontamination and disinfection (new service)
● Regular commercial cleans
● Deep cleaning for residential properties
● Housekeeping for short lets and serviced apartments
● End of tenancy cleaning
Although the official figures predicted a 5% fall in revenue for the cleaning industry in 2021 due to the impact of the pandemic, the reality is more and more people and businesses need professional cleaning services. In November 2020, the keyphrase ‘cleaning services’ was searched on Google UK twice as much as it was in 2018. It is expected that by 2026, the cleaning industry will increase its total revenue to 7% and there will be at least 50,000 new jobs created in the UK alone.