Spotless Blog Coronavirus Hero

Why Cleaning Companies must raise their game

All cleaning companies, even the best, will need to raise their game in the post lockdown era.

Suddenly, cleaning is going to be near the top of every Office Manager and Facility Manager’s agenda.

They will want to know with confidence that their cleaning company can respond in a way that will meet the new expectations.

Any cleaning company that fails to address these key points will soon lose out to the ones that have planned ahead and responded best.

Here is the Spotless 10 point plan being cascaded to our 50 Managers from Inverness to Southampton, and then on to our 1,600 staff as they return to work.

Coronavirus Why Post Social Distancing

1. Social distancing for cleaning staff.

We will enable and enforce social distancing among our own cleaning staff (and our 15 head office staff, too). The 2m rule will apply. Staff will minimise sharing of equipment. Hand washing to occur before and after each shift. Start times may be staggered.

Coronavirus Why Post Supply Chain

2. Focus on Supply chain.

We will manage our supply chain to be able to provide items that you might need (eg chemicals, PPE, soaps). We want to avoid the issues we all had in mid-March.

Coronavirus Why Post Presenteeism

3. Managing Presenteeism.

Our staff will be instructed in very clear terms that they must not attend work if they feel at all unwell, at the risk of Disciplinary action. Likewise, please tell us if you have a suspected case at work.

Coronavirus Why Post PPE

4. Review of PPE.

We will follow government advice on suitable PPE for normal daily cleaning, especially the use of face masks for cleaners.

Coronavirus Why Post Colour Coding

5. Colour Coding.

We will re-assert the importance of colour coding, to minimise cross contamination of germs and any trace of virus.

Coronavirus Why Post Adapt

6. Adapt the Specification.

We are not necessarily seeking extra hours – just to re-prioritise the tasks we do. On top of our standard daily anti-bacterial cleaning, we will introduce weekly anti-viral cleaning for touch points at no extra cost, along with the appropriate COSHH. We know too that financial budgets may have changed, or you may have less people at work. Tell us what you want, and we’ll work with you.

Coronavirus Why Post Lockdown Cleans

7. Post Lockdown Cleans.

We recommend letting the cleaning staff come back 2 days (3 if you can afford it) before you re-open your workplace. This will help get surfaces, kitchens and toilets back to a good standard.

Coronavirus Why Post Fogging Cleans

8. Manual Sterilisations and Fogging Cleans.

On request, we can price for an in depth manual sterilisation clean or better still, electrostatic fogging cleans with a virucidal spray. We especially recommend this if you have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID19. We have the appropriate PPE (hazmat suits, goggles etc) and will use disposable cloths and mopheads.

Coronavirus Why Post IT Cleaning

9. Specialist IT Cleaning.

We recommend specialist monthly cleaning of IT equipment and phones. Certainly the cleaning staff can fog them daily with our Innuscience product, and this will keep bacteria at bay, but a thorough monthly clean is also recommended.

Coronavirus Why Post Sanitisation

10. Provision of wall mounted hand sanitisation points.

If you don’t already have them, we can help get these placed around your workplace in strategic places.


10 Changes to Office Life - the new normal after lockdown

Spotless cleans over 1,000 offices throughout the UK. We see the office trends as they happen. We even advise our clients what other offices are doing and the successes they’ve had.

But Coronavirus will spawn a whole set of new trends, and already our customers are making their plans.

Here are 10 things which we will believe will be the new normal.

  1. Less desks. Desks will need to be 6ft apart, which means less work spaces.
  2. Therefore, staggered work shifts. Most likely one week in, one week off, with at least one person from each department present in the office. The weekend break itself will help kill any traces of the virus, plus proper cleaning, of course.
  3. No arbitrary hotdesking for the foreseeable future. We had just started to see more of this recently.
  4. Only one person in the kitchen at once, and more discipline in cleaning and tidying up after themselves.
  5. Can I borrow a pen? No you may not. Keep hold of your own!
  6. No shaking hands as standard.
  7. Meetings always at 6 ft distances, so for most rooms, 3 people max. Therefore Zoom, Teams, etc wherever possible. There will be almost no visitors to the office, unless critical.
  8. Temperature testing daily in some offices, or compulsory tracking of symptoms on track and trace Apps
  9. Increased car use. For a 90 mile business trip would you take a car or train? Most people will want their car, for hygiene safety purposes.
  10. And lastly cleaning … there will need to be increased training for cleaners,  fanatical attention to touch points and more stringent auditing. Even the best cleaning companies will raise their game. See here to read what we’re doing.

Let’s recognise the positives in all of this.

Carbon footprint is down, and with it all the associated costs of fuel and energy.

We’ve re-written how to do meetings online which is so often an improvement on face to face meetings.

And lastly, while some people have struggled to work well during lockdown, even been slightly ‘found out’, many others have flourished working from home, and shown higher levels of productivity.


Why we love Innuscience

Over the last 30 years, we’ve used various generations of cleaning products. In 2017 we moved to the Innuscience range, and it has been the best cleaning product we have ever used.

Please watch our video below to see why we love it.

It comes down to 5 great attributes;

It’s Effective

Innuscience solutions flood an area with a layer of good micro-organisms that invade and displace the bad organisms. And it keeps working after application.

The above video uses Nu Multi Kleen which is for all washable surfaces, but there are various similar products to cover pretty much every imaginable surface. Most offices require no more than 3 products.

It’s Eco friendly

The dosing system means we can re-use the spray bottles around 100 times which of course is the best form of recycling. The bottles are made of 100% recycled plastic, the transportation costs are lower as mixture is made up on site, and the overall carbon footprint is therefore reduced.

It’s safe

The diluted product does not harm clothes. You can even drink it, as shown in the video. (But please don’t. It doesn’t leave a great after-taste!) COSHH sheets and Safety Data Sheets will endorse their safety credentials. If you have any allergy sufferers in your office, this may even help alleviate their symptoms.

It’s simple to use

The dosing system is so simple. And there are lots of instructions on the side of the bottle in case language is a training barrier.

It lasts a long time

Each concentrated bottle holds 260 ml, so at 5ml per week for one spray bottle, it could last 52 weeks – a whole year.


Spotless and COVID19

Please see below some FAQ’s to clarify our standpoint and assistance on COVID19 and how it will affect us all.

Q. Can Spotless provide special cleans in the event of a confirmed case or for preventative cleans?

A. Yes, we have 2 internal teams and we have 2 approved subcontractors, and this gives us UK coverage.

Q. Can you provide Method Statements and Risk Assessments for these cleans?

A. Yes. On request. The preferred method is electrostatic fog that’s 100% environmentally friendly. We apply a non-toxic, non-irritant, environmentally friendly disinfectant barrier using an electrostatic sprayer. The disinfectant is effective against Coronavirus, Norovirus, E.coli, MRSA, Salmonella, HN1 and other harmful bacteria & viruses. It is safe to use on all surfaces including electronics, soft furnishings and paper. All operatives will have correct PPE.

Q. How much does it cost?

A. We estimate £150 per 1000 sq ft., where a minimum charge of £500 applies. Areas can be re-entered 2 hrs after treatment. Travelling time or hotel accommodation charges may apply, but only genuinely necessary.

Q. What is Spotless’ availability and lead-in time?

A. We are presently working on a 3 working day turnaround, but this may change if the outbreak gathers pace. In the event of a confirmed case, a 72 hr minimum lead in applies, to reduce risk of infection to operatives.

Q. Are Spotless monitoring the movement of our own staff incoming from a Category 1 or 2 location, or if they have been in contact with someone who has returned from these areas?

A. Yes, this is in place. Managers are requesting details from any member of staff taking holidays, or any member of staff who is new to us. We are also asking all employees to stay at home if they develop flu-like symptoms.

Q. Will Spotless inform the client of an ‘at risk’ employee, above?

A. Yes. Plus they will be self-isolating for the required period of time.

Q. Will normal charges apply if an employee is self-isolating due to them being at risk?

A. Depending on the circumstances and an internal Risk Assessment, we may require to pay the employee and charge or part-charge accordingly, as per Terms and Conditions.

Q. What happens if a client reports a confirmed case to Spotless from within their own staff?

A. We recommend the following sequence:

  1. The place of work to be closed for 2 weeks
  2. Spotless to carry out an electrostatic fogging clean after the 3rd day of the office being shut
  3. No cleaning to take place for 2 weeks as cleaning staff will require to self-isolate

Q. Why should the place of work be closed for 2 weeks?

A. Because the confirmed patient will have had contact with several other colleagues before diagnosis, and by returning to work after the electrostatic fogging, there is high likelihood of other members of staff being infected but not yet showing symptoms.

Q. What happens if a Spotless client insists in re-opening within 2 weeks?

A. Of course, this is a call for each place of work, but our Duty of Care towards our own staff requires us to withdraw service while there may be COVID19 carriers in the work space, subject to individual Risk Assessment, given the risk of death.

Q. What will Spotless offices do if they have a confirmed case among their own office workers?

A. We have enabled homeworking in isolation for all 20 Spotless head office workers so we can operate business as usual.

Q. What is the Spotless contingency plans in terms of providing a service should multiple staff fall unwell?

A. In the event of multiple Spotless staff being unavailable for work due to self-isolation or diagnosis, but where the place of work is deemed safe, we would provide an intermittent service on 2-3 days per week using cover staff and Managers where reasonable.

In the event of an ‘Italy-style’ quarantine event, we would anticipate that all cleaning may be suspended and force majeure would apply.

The above may change as new government advice is released.

Please feel free to put forward any other questions and we shall respond accordingly.


Spotless Blog Coronavirus Hero

Coronavirus. 10 Steps to Mitigate the Risk

At the time of writing, no-one knows how the Coronavirus will affect us.

It may be successfully contained out with the UK. Or it may wreak havoc on us.

If we were to assess it in the same way we assess all other risks at work, I think we would class it right now as Medium Risk and High Severity.

In other words, we all need a plan.

As a national cleaning company with almost 2,000 staff in over 1,000 commercial locations, our exposure to it is significant, and there is a lot we can do to help prevent it spreading.

For our own implementation, and as a resource for all our customers and readers, here’s the Spotless 10-point plan to manage the risks associated with Coronavirus 2019 -nCoV.

As you will see the plan is based mostly around prevention.

1.

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Count it out. Do this after going to the bathroom, before eating, after sneezing or coughing, when on public transport.

OR use an alcohol hand-sanitiser only if soap and water are not freely available. (We are noticing several places are now selling out).

2.

Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.

3.

Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick. Person-to-person spreading requires a proximity of 2m. If you want to go a stage further, make a joke out of not shaking hands. They’ll understand.

4.

Encourage your staff to stay at home if they are unwell. Presenteeism is rife and unhelpful.

5.

Do not travel when you sick. You WILL infect others. Don’t be a super-spreader.

6.

Ask your cleaning company to step up their focus on disinfecting touch points around the office. Especially toilet handles, door handles and taps. Ensure they are using a suitable chemical. Spotless uses Innuscience. See below for more details.

7.

Use disposable tissues and dispose of them immediately. Alternatively use the crook of your elbow. But avoid using your bare hands.

8.

Reduce sharing of workstations, stationery and other personal items.

9.

If you have a confirmed case, let visitors (and cleaning contractor!) know. Asap.

10.

Request your cleaning contractor to do a special clean. This will focus mainly around common touch points, eg handles, toilet flush points and other frequently touched points.

Innuscience and The Spotless Approach

In over 90% of all our sites, we use Innuscience. And we love it.

Normal use of a disinfectant will hugely reduce microbial communities, but they soon grow back.

Innuscience is a good-bacteria cleaning agent that floods an area with good micro-organisms that act on the surface days after use, continually killing the re-emerging bad bacteria.

We regard it as the most superior cleaning agent we have ever used, in terms of its effectiveness, economic and eco-credentials.

However, in the event of a confirmed outbreak we would enhance the use of Innuscience with a diluted 10% bleach solution for all touch points, under controlled conditions of usage.

Need help or extra advice? Please contact us [email protected]


Process, Process, Process.

Spotless, the company, boils down to just 160 key processes.

That’s what holds us together. It covers strategy, sales, operations, HR, and finance.

Each of our 10 Spotless divisions are designed to operate the same from Southampton to Aberdeen.

In real life of course it doesn’t always work like that. We’re not as clock-work as we would like to be. But we are getting ever closer.

This week I have held day long sessions with our management teams in Reading, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. We sit round a table and take turns reading out the processes one by one. For each process we stop and discuss. Does that really happen? Could it be improved? What if we did this instead? The chat is lively and positive.

So instead of being boring and repetitive, it’s actually creative and empowering. By the end of the day the managers feel they have been empowered, not lectured.

My inspiration for this approach came from Michael Gerber’s E-myth. Probably the best business book I’ve ever consumed (I don’t read. I just listen. Thank you, Audible.)

For those not familiar, Gerber talks of the ‘mature’ business model where you create a central operating system that becomes your bible.

Then you train, repeat and improve.

In this way you receive the same predictable good outcomes throughout your business. If McDonalds can produce an identical cheeseburger in every outlet, should we be able to deliver the same cleaning output and satisfaction in every city in the UK?

More importantly, with an active Operating Manual, you run the business. The business doesn’t run you.

Do we have parts of Spotless that I’m not proud of? Of course. We have our faults. Actually, plenty. But we’re aware of them, and our Operating Manual allows us to address them one by one.

Written by Roger Green, CEO, Spotless Commercial Cleaning.


Cleaning Staff vs. Shop Workers

Cleaning Staff vs. Shop Workers – who gets paid more?

It’s that time of year again when we’ll learn the new National Living Wage rate in the UK.

Cleaning companies, restaurant owners, shopkeepers, coffee shop multiples – we’re all waiting eagerly to know any day now what the rate will be set at for 1 April 2020.

In 1986, as a student at Edinburgh University, I got a job as a cleaner at £2.40 per hr. That £24 weekly wage for 10 hrs work was actually quite useful to me, despite the 4:30am start.

When I set up Spotless in 1988, winning the contract for a large law firm in Edinburgh (we still clean it), I thought our staff wage rate of £3.20 was definitely on the generous side.

How times have changed. And for the better.

The National Minimum Wage was introduced in 1999 at £3.60 for those aged 21, edging up to £5.80 in the next 10 years.

It is now replaced by the National Living Wage, presently set at £8.21.

The Chancellor, Sajid Javid, recently announced that in the next 5 years it will reach £10.55. The hope is that we will eventually reach the levels of the superior Living Wage, or at least close the existing 79p gap.

But for the cleaning industry, the real story of the new market forces lies below the surface.

Instead of being effectively the poorest paid in the UK, market forces are now determining that cleaners are paid more than shop workers, baristas, security guards, kitchen staff, and even some office workers!

Why? Because they are short shifts at mostly unsociable hours.

What’s going to attract more applicants? A 9-to-5 shift in a shop, restaurant or coffee bar in the town centre, or a 6-8am cleaning shift? And assume the bus fare is £1.70 each way.

In reality, what is now happening is that cleaners want to do multiple shifts over a 6-8 hr period, and if there are jobs available at the Real Living Wage (£9 per hr), well they’ll always apply for those first.

More and more cleaning companies are becoming Living Wage accredited, and this is inevitably the way we are headed, too.

Net migration is down sharply since 2016, and we’re expecting a significant ‘Brexodus’ over the next few years. Cleaning standards are more scrutinised than ever before, and cleaning staff are ever more accountable.

There are simply fewer people who are available to clean. There are arguably more jobs than applicants!

Luckily, there are many companies that recognise that they now have to pay more for good quality cleaning. Higher wages for cleaners equals lower staff turnover and higher morale.

It is our task as a sector to drive this agenda.

Written by Roger Green, CEO, Spotless Commercial Cleaning.


Spotless appoints Group Sales Manager to lead business growth

Andy Gook, Group Sales Manager, Spotless Commercial Cleaning Ltd
Andy Gook, Group Sales Manager, Spotless

Andy Gook has been appointed as Group Sales Manager to drive business growth across the UK for Spotless.

Andy previously worked for Spotless’s sister company, Brightwater, as its Partner Channel Manager. Prior to that he held senior sales roles at Clearwater Analytics and at PHS Water Logic for 12 years. He brings a wealth of experience to this newly created role and will work closely with Spotless CEO Roger Green to attract new clients, identify new areas to develop the business and strengthen relationships with existing clients.

Roger explains: “Andy has an enviable track record of building relationships with customers and suppliers and I was keen to bring that expertise into my business. I first approached him in 2016 and asked him to work for Brightwater as its Sales Development Manager. He has done a magnificent job growing new business for Brightwater by developing affiliate relationships and partnerships. In 2017, through Andy’s guidance, our partner channel generated new business worth over £1.25m a year, up 350% on the previous year. I wanted to expand his role so appointing him as our new Group Sales Manager gives him the opportunity to take on the added responsibility of managing sales for Spotless and our office recycling business, ACE Recycling.

Andy said: “Roger is a great believer in developing his staff and encouraging them to reach their full potential. My new role allows me to draw on my previous experience as a Regional Sales Manager for PHS as I have taken on responsibility for UK wide sales on behalf of Spotless. Commercial cleaning is a highly competitive market and the focus on staff engagement, quality and professionalism at Spotless is valued by our clients. The fact that Spotless is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year shows it is a business model that not only has staying power, but works, which is a powerful message to give to prospective clients.”


Spotless awarded Feefo trusted service award 2018

Spotless awarded Feefo trusted service award 2018

Spotless has won the Feefo Trusted Service award, an independent seal of excellence that recognises outstanding customer service.

Spotless met the criteria of collecting at least 50 independent customer reviews between January 1st 2017 and December 31st 2017, with a Feefo service rating of between 4.0 and 4.4.

Spotless CEO, Roger Green, commented: “It’s a real honour to receive this award from Feefo. To be recognised for delivering exceptional experiences to our customers is a great achievement. We’ve been working hard to ensure our customers receive the best service possible, and being able to listen, understand and respond to their needs has enabled us to improve our offering in 2017. We’re looking forward to another successful year ahead in our 30th anniversary year.”

Speaking on this year’s award, Andrew Mabbutt, CEO at Feefo, commented: ‘The Trusted Service award has always been about recognising those companies that go the extra mile. Once again, we have seen many incredible businesses using Feefo to its full potential, to provide truly memorable experiences for their customers – and rightly being awarded with our most prestigious accreditation. I look forward to the continual success of the businesses that work in partnership with Feefo throughout 2018.’

Created by Feefo, the Trusted Service award is awarded only to businesses like Spotless who use Feefo to collect genuine ratings and reviews from its customers and is fast becoming the industry standard.

Feefo is a ratings and reviews, and customer analytics platform that provides the tools to collect genuine, purchase-verified reviews on behalf of over 4,000 businesses. Feefo ensures that all feedback is authentic, by matching it to a legitimate transaction; this is in order to increase consumer confidence, and combat the rising issue of fake reviews. To learn more visit the company’s website.


Sanitize your office to stop the spread of germs

Sanitize your office to stop the spread of germs

Sanitize your office to stop the spread of germs

You’ve got to act fast to fight off colds, flu and other germs. Sanitize and clean surfaces and regular hand washing are important to create a healthy environment but promoting good nutrition and boosting your immune system is also the most effective way to stay healthy at work.

Researchers in the USA have found that when someone is sick in an office, it takes only four hours for surfaces like coffeepot handles, copy-machine buttons and the fridge door to show traces of infectious viruses. Considering that this winter there has been something of a flu outbreak, the worst since 2010-11, sniffles, coughs and sneezes are common sounds at the office at this time of year. While you can’t keep your office completely germ-free, you can take a few simple preventive measures to keep your office clean and your employees as happy and healthy as possible.

Sanitize your office space

Clean everything that gets touched by lots of people; kettles, microwaves, fax-machine keys, doorknobs, lift buttons, the armrests on your chair etc. with a good disinfectant at least once a week, even if it looks clean.

Encourage employees to work at home

Giving employees the option to work at home keeps germs away from the workplace and reduces the risk of other co-workers becoming sick.

Practice and promote good hygiene

Promote regular hand washing in the office and provide employees with their own box of tissues and a waste basket to dispose of germ-filled tissues. Cleaning stations posted near office entrances and antibacterial wipes in common areas such as meeting rooms, reception areas and the kitchen can also help to reduce the spread of viruses.

Encourage employees to speak up

Encourage co-workers to let each other know that they aren’t feeling well so others can take proper precautions. Let your employees know that it’s OK to go home when they are feeling sick. While shaking hands may be a common courtesy in the meeting room, announcing that you’re suffering from a cold and simply saying hello rather than shaking hands won’t be considered poor etiquette.

Promote good nutrition

The best way to prevent the cold and flu is improving your body’s resistance to the virus. Dietary changes can boost the body’s immunity. Help protect employee health by ditching the morning muffins and pizza parties and stock the office kitchen with healthy and nutritious alternatives such as nuts, fruit and green veg.

And finally to stop flu spreading

  • Always carry tissues
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Throw used tissues in the bin
  • Always clean your hands