As the fight against COVID-19 continues, employers are quickly realizing that crisis recovery—and the task of keeping employees safe and healthy in the meantime—is a marathon, not a sprint. What appeared to be a short-term need for increased cleaning in March has stretched into nearly six months of heightened requirements, with more months ahead.
Business leaders must adapt their approach, weigh their budgets, and consider long-term solutions to workplace cleaning and sanitizing needs. These solutions include autonomous cleaning technologies, which are quickly gaining traction.
What is Autonomous Cleaning Technology?
Autonomous cleaning technologies use robots with artificial intelligence to independently complete rote cleaning tasks that would normally consume hours of manual labor. Offloading monotonous tasks, like vacuuming, to a robot allows businesses to redeploy their cleaning crews to complete thorough sanitization and disinfection tasks.
Autonomous cleaning robots do not replace cleaning staff. Cleaning teams are more critical than ever, but their time is best spent on detailed and deep cleaning tasks that require a human touch.
The question is, do the benefits of autonomous cleaning technology outweigh the costs? Let’s take a closer look.
Benefits of Autonomous Cleaning
The costs of not ramping up your cleaning efforts are high, and risk mitigation is critical to weathering the ongoing crisis. From reducing the risk of absenteeism and lost productivity to ensuring compliance with local and federal regulations, your organization must be proactive to avoid unexpected hits to your budget.
Compared to manual cleaning alone, autonomous cleaning technology offers many advantages that can improve your organization’s bottom line. For example, optimizing your cleaning operations means you can achieve heightened cleanliness requirements without the added costs of paying overtime and/or hiring additional staff in an already tight labor market. Instead, you can reallocate your existing cleaning team’s time to focus on critical tasks, while robots take care of the time-consuming vacuuming, sweeping, and floor scrubbing.
Autonomous cleaning robots can help reduce the risk of illness among employees and cleaning staff. Robots enable more social distancing because they can run at all hours of the day or night with no risk to other employees in the workspace. Cleaning robots do not call in sick, and their performance is consistent day after day to ensure a safe and healthy environment for in-office workers.
Ultimately, investing in the right cleaning technology to protect employee’s health and safety will reduce the risks and costs associated with employee absenteeism and lost productivity due to illness. Deploying cleaning technology in your facilities can be a powerful demonstration of your organization’s commitment to employee safety, building trust that can reduce turnover and rehiring costs in the long term.
Costs of Autonomous Cleaning
Now, the big question: what does autonomous cleaning technology cost? As you can imagine, the costs of purchasing your own equipment can add up quickly. Add in long-term maintenance and upgrade costs, and you could be looking at a major capital investment with unpredictable expenses down the road.
Autonomous cleaning technologies can be accessible--even for the most cost-sensitive organizations—thanks to a subscription-based model that allows users to rent autonomous cleaning technology for a low monthly fee. With this model, there are no upfront capital expenses and no long-term maintenance or upgrade costs. In addition, there are no additional depreciating assets to account for on your books.
With a subscription model, autonomous cleaning technology can be a predictable operating expense that yields high-quality results for a fraction of the cost of additional labor hours. Try our Value calculator to see the cost-savings automation can bring your business..
Overall, autonomous cleaning technology doesn’t have to “break the bank.” Some independent cleaning solutions like Whiz, the autonomous vacuum sweeper from SoftBank Robotics, developed and distributed in partnership with Brain OS and ICE Robotics, are available with a subscription model. This allows companies to pilot the solution in their facilities in a way that adds value without adding costs.