Robotic Vs. Manual Cleaning: Which Will Ultimately Succeed?

AI in Commercial Cleaning

Technology is constantly changing and evolving, especially when it comes to certain industries. AI (artificial intelligence) and robotics technology have pioneered some amazing pieces of modern equipment used by businesses to help speed up growth, sustainability, and profitability.

Many people, however, are concerned that robots and AI will eventually replace the jobs that currently humans perform. In fact, many people contend that these innovations in technology could potentially cause more harm across different industry sectors.

One of the best examples of this dilemma is the cleaning industry. If commercial cleaning companies are reducing manpower and opting for robots to perform mundane cleaning tasks, is there still room for human employees? Another common worry is that if manufacturers keep bringing new technology to the table, it may displace many humans within the industry as they’re deemed dispensable.

Regardless of how much innovation takes place within the cleaning industry, there’s always a need for humans. Though robots have the ability to perform many mundane tasks fairly well, their use in the field is still fairly limited. Additionally, AI and robots require humans to program their different functions as they aren’t fully autonomous, which significantly impacts their overall usefulness.

There are many differences between the level of cleaning that robots and humans can do, but it is possible for the two to work seamlessly together. Below, we will discuss these nuances in further detail.

AI in cleaning

Interacting With Consumers

Robots offer convenience and efficiency when it comes to large cleaning tasks. In fact, they are ideal for cleaning wide open spaces such as airports or sports stadiums thanks to their efficient speeds.

The problem doesn’t lie in the results of the work, but rather, the customer experience. Consumers expect to interact with cleaning employees and like to have that additional personal touch. Robots may do exactly what they’re told, but they can’t hold conversations or offer advice. People want to have an opportunity to voice their concerns and interact with a cleaning company. Still not convinced that’s true? Consider this: most consumers skip talking to automated voice systems on the phone and demand speaking to a human representative.

Robots are simply unable to follow very specific instructions. The only time consumers can get completely customized cleaning services is when they speak and interact with humans. These high levels of interaction are beyond the scope of what robotic technology is able to handle as it stands today.

Commercial cleaning businesses need to consider the customer side of things if they wish to succeed in a competitive industry. Robots and AI won’t provide a positive consumer experience and cleaning companies still need humans to interact with clients. There’s always room for robotic help in cleaning, but these forms of technology will never truly replace the human touch that all consumers crave.

Robots Are Immune to Disease

One of the top reasons that it makes sense to leverage robots within the cleaning industry is their immunity and ability to avoid diseases. They’re resistant to viruses and diseases, and as an added bonus, they don’t suffer from chronic fatigue or get hurt on the job.

As a result, cleaning companies could, in theory, operate at all hours of the day without worrying about overworking their robots. In fact, their services could extend to times of chaos during pandemics when human-to-human interaction isn’t safe or possible. After all, robots don’t have the ability to transmit COVID-19.

Of course, humans could still perform these tasks well with safety measures taken. Employees could lessen chances of transmitting viruses and illness by using the proper protective equipment and taking safety measures. Of course, regardless of how careful human employees are, robots are the safest option for disease prevention.

Robots Need A Lot Of Maintenance

Machines may never tire, but they do require regular maintenance and upkeep services. Due to the intricate moving parts, they contain, they require constant maintenance and in many cases, repair. Proper maintenance will have to become a regular task in order to ensure that the cleaning robots are able to adequately perform their services. Additionally, wear and tear will become common occurrences as even robots aren’t immune to the ravages of time and hard work!

Some machines may prove easier to maintain than others, but at the end of the day, everyone can agree that human intervention is necessary during times of maintenance. Humans will have to remain responsible for activating the cleaning features the machine is equipped with.

It’s also well worth noting that the cleaning robots would still regularly require disinfection after each cleaning session. Though the robots can’t directly spread viruses, they can store them on their surface and spread them indirectly.

AI vs. manual cleaning

Lack Of Thoroughness with Automated Vacuums

In many instances, automated vacuums have the ability to do a decent cleaning job. However, there are also instances where robots and machines come into contact with spaces, they have no access to. Human workers are necessary in these cases to complete the work the robots were unable to, and they’ll also need to inspect to ensure that the robots did a thorough job in the first place.

Cleaning Businesses After Hours

Automated cleaning is a great option for businesses that operate during odd hours. After all, robots could clean the space at regular intervals and ensure high levels of consumer satisfaction. Additionally, having automated cleaning robots in place can prevent the business from having to disrupt operations and causing downtime. Plus, it’s a great way to eliminate the need for hiring professional cleaning employees to perform the tasks.

Data Gathering

Automated cleaning comes with the ability to collect and analyze data about customers. For example, you can find out the total cleaning time robots require and also keep tabs on which services were requested the most. Knowing these pieces of data could make your business run more efficiently.

What’s more, machines are unbiased and will collect the data without infusing any personal feelings into it. The robot will do exactly what you program it to without fighting back. This allows you to gain a much better understanding about your business.

Having said that, humans are still necessary in order to actually interpret the collected data. Knowing how many consumers requested a certain cleaning service is great, but leveraging that data is only possible when humans are there to act on the information gathered.

As innovative as robots and AI technology are, they will never replace the need for human cleaning employees. Leveraging some form of technology for cleaning can help make the business run smoother and more efficiently, but humans will always remain a necessity. In truth, the two can work together to create a consumer experience that allows a business plenty of growth for the future.

Do you have commercial cleaning needs that require special attention? At Evergreen, we can work with you every step of the way to create a cleaning program that fits your needs and is sure to surpass your expectations. We ensure all of our clients are satisfied, will you join them and discover what it means to have a clean commercial space? Contact us today!

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