Automation, cleaning automation, COVID-19 Tue, Sep 15, '20
Creating a Safe and Healthy Environment for Employees with Automation

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to massive changes in the way people work that will have long-lasting implications for company operations. According to Gartner’s Distinguished Vice President Brian Kropp, “HR leaders who respond effectively can ensure their organizations stand out from competitors.” According to the Gartner report, employees and potential hires alike will look closely at how organizations handled the pandemic and treated employees during this time. Furthermore, the report guides HR leaders to carefully consider immediate decisions against the long-term impact on their company brand.

Putting Health and Safety First

From employee engagement programs to return-to-work plans, the steps taken as an HR leader now matter. According to Avalara’s Chief Human Resources Officer Kathleen Weslock, “The priorities really need to focus on employee safety…[and] taking care of employees” (Human Resource Executive).   Research from Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that 1 in 4 workers are at risk for serious COVID-19 illness as employers reopen (Human Resource Executive). As a result, HR leaders cannot overemphasize the importance of putting employee health and safety first. 

How Cleaning Automation Enables a Safe, Healthy Environment for Employees

Implementing cleaning best practices and technologies in your workplace is one key way to protect employees--and by extension your company brand. Amid the pandemic, cleaning automation has emerged as a powerful resource to create a healthier, safer environment for on-site employees. Commercial real estate experts agree that, “Cleaning automation, particularly in large commercial spaces, will now be a priority...as workers, patrons, managers, tenants, or owners...will be much more inquisitive about how the spaces they occupy are cleaned” (Promodo). 

The push for automation also comes at a time when cleaning demand is sky-high and budgets are strapped. HR leaders face a challenge of creating a protected environment for employees with limited resources to execute. That’s where cleaning automation comes in. Collaborative cleaning robots (or cobots) work alongside your existing office cleaning team to achieve consistent, higher quality cleaning--without adding exorbitant costs. 

A Practical Example of Automation in Action

One critical area of focus for cleaning automation is carpets. Over 50% of commercial spaces are carpeted, requiring significant time and effort to maintain a continuous clean. With the increased need for sanitization and disinfection, it’s easy to overlook vacuuming or resort to spot cleaning. However, in both the current crisis and in a post-pandemic world, air quality is critical to employee health, and clean carpets are critical to maintaining air quality.

An autonomous vacuum sweeper like Whiz from SoftBank Robotics, developed and distributed in partnership with Brain OS and ICE Robotics, can handle the enormous task of keeping your office carpets pristine, while freeing up your cleaning team’s time for other tasks. In addition, Whiz kicks up 8x less dust than manual vacuuming because it doesn’t agitate the carpet the way stepping does. 

Conclusion

Your employees are the lifeblood of your company. HR leaders now have a new challenge in protecting employee’s health and safety. Cleaning automation can help and doesn’t have to be an enormous upfront investment. Some autonomous cleaning solutions like Whiz, are available with a subscription model, allowing you to cost-effectively pilot the solution in your facilities. 

Contact SoftBank Robotics today to learn more about how to make Whiz your newest brand ambassador. 

Where Commercial Cleaning Meets Automation