The shortage of workers in the U.S. has been impacting many industries, including janitorial services. In this article, we’ll explore how the labor shortage is affecting the cost of commercial cleaning. From the causes of the shortage to the impact on janitorial services, we’ll take a closer look at the situation. We’ll also consider possible solutions and long-term implications for the industry and consumers.
As economies begin to rebound after the global pandemic, businesses in various industries are facing a significant hurdle: labor shortages. In the United States, the lack of skilled and available workers impacts multiple sectors, from recognition programs to construction labor and commercial janitorial services.
This raises the question, “Is the labor shortage driving up the cost of janitorial services?” To understand the potential influence on commercial cleaning costs, we need to examine the causes and industries affected by this issue.
There are multiple factors contributing to the labor shortage in the U.S., such as:
- Aging workforce: Many industries, especially construction labor and janitorial cleaning services, struggle with an aging workforce. As older workers retire, there is a lack of younger, skilled workers to fill the gaps.
- Changing employment landscape: The rise of remote work has resulted in people seeking flexible work arrangements and moving away from physically demanding jobs in industries like construction and cleaning services.
- Lack of training programs: The decline in specific vocational training programs has contributed to a shortage of skilled workers in some industries, affecting the ability of facility service providers to maintain a well-trained staff.
Labor shortages touch a wide range of industries, including:
- Construction: The construction industry has long faced skilled labor shortages and struggles to find new recruits entering the field. This affects project timelines, costs, and the quality of work.
- Professional Janitorial Services: The cleaning industry is experiencing similar issues, with many janitorial service providers unable to meet the growing demand for cleaning services and supplies.
- Retail and Hospitality: Like office janitorial services, these industries rely heavily on a workforce willing to work in largely in-person roles, often with challenging schedules and lower pay.
As labor shortages persist, their effects on the cleaning industry become more apparent, particularly on commercial cleaning costs. We can examine the extent by exploring the demand for janitorial services, challenges in staff hiring and training, and the potential for technology and automation to mitigate the problem.
As the pandemic has heightened the need for clean and sanitized office spaces, the demand for janitorial labor has increased. Facility service providers face additional pressure to maintain a higher standard of cleanliness for the health and safety of building occupants. This has made janitorial service providers who can effectively handle the enhanced cleaning tasks, adhere to guidelines, and provide necessary documentation to support their work more desirable.
The current focus on cleanliness has led to a higher demand for specialized cleaning products and services, further straining the availability of already-stretched janitorial labor resources.
Janitorial labor shortages are prompting cleaning service providers to tackle significant challenges when it comes to hiring and training staff. With fewer candidates available and increased demand, providers are forced to compete for qualified employees and devote more resources to training programs.
Challenges in hiring and training not only lead to higher recruitment and training costs, but can also pose a threat to the quality of service provided. Inadequately trained workers may struggle with cleaning tasks, resulting in dissatisfied clients, errors, and misused cleaning products.
Given the labor shortage driving up costs, janitorial services providers are increasingly seeking innovative solutions to improve efficiency and maintain high-quality service. Technological advances, such as automation and robotics, can help reduce the strain on the industry’s workforce.
From automated floor cleaners to cleaning robots, these machines can perform tasks more quickly, efficiently, and consistently than human workers. This allows cleaning service providers to optimize their workforces and redirect staff to tasks requiring a human touch, such as high-dusting or disinfecting high-touch areas.
While technology and automation offer promising solutions, they also entail additional costs, at least initially. The investment required to implement these technologies can be substantial, particularly for small to medium-sized businesses. However, the long-term benefits of reduced labor needs and improved productivity can make the initial investment worthwhile.
Learn About Facility Management Automation Software
If you’re interested in technology and automation in the commercial cleaning space, learn more about Alder’s facility management software. Through our platform you can automate service acquisition, maintenance scheduling, and active management.
Over the past few years, the janitorial industry has been facing an alarming increase in labor shortages. This dilemma affects the availability and commercial cleaning costs to residential, commercial, and educational facilities. The demand for cleaning products, training programs, and recognition programs is escalating as facility service providers struggle to find essential skilled workers for construction labor and cleaning tasks. Labor shortages not only increase the cost but also affect the quality of cleaning services offered.
One of the consequences of these labor shortages is the wage increase for janitorial staff. As companies compete for workers, they often need to offer higher salaries and additional member benefits to attract and retain workers in the cleaning industry. This improvement is passed on to clients, ultimately causing an increase in the cost of janitorial services.
Companies are also implementing new strategies to retain staff. These may include the introduction of recognition programs, which can provide further incentives for employees to stay. Training programs play a crucial role in improving employees’ skills, ultimately increasing their value to the company. However, these additional programs also lead to a rise in the cost of janitorial services.
Due to the worker shortage, many companies opt to outsource or subcontract their cleaning tasks. While subcontracting may seem cost-effective, in reality, it can lead to hidden costs and negative impacts on service quality. Subcontractors may be less experienced or familiar with the specific needs of a facility.
Additionally, subcontracted janitorial services may not have access to the same range of cleaning products, educational facilities, or training programs offered by larger providers. As a result, the quality of their work might not meet the same standards as in-house cleaning staff.
Janitorial labor shortages can compromise the quality and efficiency of cleaning services. Companies that face worker shortages may resort to using less-skilled workers who may not adhere to cleaning program guidelines and established cleaning tips. Consequently, the cleaning quality might suffer, and the company’s reputation may be jeopardized.
The effects of janitorial labor shortages may have long-lasting consequences on businesses and consumers. As commercial cleaning costs increase, companies could pass these expenses onto consumers. This would lead to higher overall expenses for government affairs, educational facilities, and other clients in need of quality cleaning services. An unreliable or low-quality janitorial service may also have indirect effects on businesses and their customers due to increased risks of poor hygiene and the spread of infections on premises.
Work with the professionals at Alder! We offer an advanced software platform that can help you find the best janitorial cleaning services near you. Our platform even offers management functionality, becoming your one-stop shop for all of your facility management needs.