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The role of artificial intelligence in the home cleaning industry

(Image credit: Image Credit: Computerizer / Pixabay)

Time is the most valuable commodity for working professionals today. Having everything at our fingertips is becoming an expectation, not a benefit. Starting off one’s day with a clean house or flat can lead to a clean mind, and boost productivity. While many want to have a tidy home or office, they don’t have the time to clean, which is why the commercial cleaning industry has widely rolled out artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT technology.

Metropolitan cities are offering endless opportunities and career paths within the gig economy and as a result, being a first-choice service for flexible workers requires more than just a good pay check. To stay a step ahead in a crowded area, service providers must put their employees at the very heart of the business if they want to attract the talent they require to run a successful business.

Today emerging trends in cleaning - or business in general - barely exist without artificial intelligence playing some kind of role. As the years roll on, manufacturers are developing new technologies and the cost of implementing AI continues to drop. From automated floor scrubbers that can navigate themselves around a building to self-cleaning windows, AI is changing ‘who’ is doing the work, as well as ‘how’.

A common concern with the advancement of AI in the cleaning industry, like with many other industries, is the impact it could have on jobs and the concern that it could be the reason for a high number of job losses. But while robotics and AI powered cleaning equipment work well for commercial sites and mass areas that require cleaning, the home is much more delicate, and while AI could impact home cleaning in the future, there is nothing that can substitute a personal touch, and no replacement for a cleaner in your home where the small tasks are sometimes the most important.

The role of AI

So, if it’s not the cleaning tools - a robot or an automatic window cleaner - what role can AI play a role in home cleaning? Glad you asked. When it comes to home cleaning, home owners are looking for a cleaner they can trust, this is vital as a cleaner is someone who can be trusted with your most valuable possessions and authorised to take care of your precious home.

The gig economy provides consumers the chance to get the exact service they require - at a cost they deem acceptable. Millennials have less quality time than any generation before them - and they work longer hours too. They order in and eat out to avoid cooking, shop online to skip the queues on the high street and order a taxi via their smartphone rather than face public transport. Thanks to the gig economy it’s never been easier for millennials to locate the exact service they need in a timely fashion. Why should cleaning be any different?

Traditionally, home cleaning has relied heavily on word of mouth, but finding a cleaner is not always effective for a number of reasons. Firstly, even if you hear of a good cleaner, the chances that the location matches up and suits both parties is not always guaranteed. As well, finding cleaning hours that suit both of you is not always as easy as it sounds, and when it comes down to it liaising between parties - communication can be inconsistent across different platforms.

Finally, the word ‘cleaning’ is a broad description of multiple chores, and there is no way of knowing (unless it’s through long conversations or written discourse) for sure if the cleaners skills and the household requirements truly match up. That’s where AI comes in… with advanced cleaning apps and smart technology, AI has enabled cleaning companies to gather relevant information about both sides - the customer and the cleaner - in order to match them with the best and most convenient choice for both of them; a win win situation.

The industry is evolving

Having a cleaner isn’t a new concept, but having a cleaner specifically aligned to your needs and matched to you through AI technology is. Innovative technology now means a cleaning professional can be perfectly paired to the consumer’s needs. For cleaners, smart technology will not only save them time but also result in a job they are likely to get more enjoyment from as their skills will be matched with the type of job at hand. 

Why else is AI in the cleaning service making such fundamental changes for cleaners? Just think about this, in the UK today there are an estimated 1.1 million people working in the gig-economy and workers are leaning towards a flexible lifestyle with the freedom of choosing how much work they take on, and when.  The snowballing gig economy means workers looking for flexibility in their jobs, have more options than ever and there is no need for anyone to settle for a service less than they deem acceptable. The more consumers use flexible services, the more the market continues to grow and can offer workers correct support. Ensuring the wellbeing of people in the gig economy and using AI to ensure their needs are met will in turn result in a better service to customers. 

Companies employing talent need to meet the individuals and learn about their background, personal stories, life commitments and approach to their careers. Sometimes AI can cause alienation; however, there is no technology that can take away from the benefits of face-to-face meetings, bespoke training and building relationships with the clients. Putting an emphasis on the cleaning business’ ‘personal touch’ is an important part of a larger commitment to be a strong, supporting and benevolent business partner. At Cleanzy, we will always continue to invest more on the face-to-face side as much as we do on tech.

As the cleaning industry continues to evolve, we will see AI continue to play a fundamental role in the process of booking a cleaner and ensuring that the right person is matched with the right job. Already the benefits of technology used in this way are evident, forward where technology drives efficiency and positive social impact.

Tayga Baltacioglu, Founder & CEO, Cleanzy