A World of Automation

The cleaning industry has forever been about people. Most service industries are about the humans who work in it and it has always been that way.

Times are changing in the World and also in the business we’re in. Automation and technology is being introduced into certain aspects of working life. In May 2018 I attended the Cleaning Show in Amsterdam and there were robots cleaning hard floors and sweeping carpets. Admittedly they were slow and looked unproductive but if you think with modern GPS combine harvesters can farm fields, it may not be too long before the more ‘routine’ jobs may be taken up by robots. I’d question how they’d empty and refill themselves or if electric, move to a different socket, but this may be overcome in the years ahead.

Battery power is probably the way forward in both transport and robotics, I hear they’ve managed to get a battery powered aircraft to fly 900 miles on a single charge so things are changing. Eliminating cables on machinery will increase productivity but this will in the years ahead be at the expense of humans doing the work. Is this a good thing with the Worlds population rising and the need for employment? I think it’ll be a while before robots clean toilets, mop stairs and lock and alarm buildings but one day…

I suppose on day supermarkets will be delivered to and stocked with automation, you’ll send your robot to collect the shopping in a driverless car and it’ll be automatically debited off your credit card without you stepping foot in the shop. The store will be cleaned by robots and become human free. Sounds scary to me.

Certainly, in my life time we’ll be doing most jobs with people in my industry but I do fear that automation may go too far and apart from those actually producing robots and machines that do just about everything, there’ll be little for anyone else to do.

In the meantime, we’ll carry on emptying the bins, cleaning desks, sanitising toilets and mopping the floors. One day R2D2 may come knocking on the door but until then.. I’ll get back to work.