Automated Cleaning Versus Human Touch

Manual vs. Automated Cleaning

Technology is constantly innovating at a record pace. As newer technology gets introduced, it spurs tremendous growth across various industries. Both robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) have made many businesses a lot more efficient, effective, and profitable.

With that being said, there is an equal amount of concern that robots and AI will take over many jobs. There’s a belief that these technological innovations could be more harmful than good as robots and AI take over numerous jobs to bolster sales and reduce expenses.

One of the biggest examples of this would have to be within the cleaning industry. If more and more commercial cleaning companies start to use robots to complete different cleaning tasks normally done by humans, will these companies still require humans? Likewise, if manufacturers continue to come up with newer cleaning machines, many worry that human cleaners won’t have a place within the industry in the future.

The truth is, no matter how much innovation occurs in the cleaning industry, humans will always be needed. While it’s true that robots can certainly be more efficient at some tasks, there are still many tasks they cannot do. Along with this, both robots and AI aren’t entirely autonomous. Instead, they require human intervention for everything from programming to maintenance, and even for control.

Below, you will find some of the differences between automated and human cleaning and how they can work cohesively together.

The Cleaning Customer Experience

As mentioned, using robots to clean is much more efficient than using humans. This is especially true when you go into various specific situations. For instance, using robots to clean an entire airport or large sports arena is certainly more efficient.

The problem is, you cannot interact with robots. You cannot have conversations with them. While this may be acceptable for some customers, the majority of them won’t like this. The majority of customers want to be able to speak with a human being. They want to speak with someone that can hear them and understand their wants and needs. The same way that the majority of people try to opt out of the prompts to speak with a human representative when calling customer service.

After all, they cannot give specific instructions for a robot to follow. They can do this if they are interacting with and speaking with a human cleaner. There’s still a large level of interaction that robots cannot accomplish. They need human intervention because of the nuance involved.

If a commercial cleaning business wants to deliver good customer service and they want to have good customer satisfaction rates, they need to leverage human workers, and robots and AI will not be sufficient. While these tools can make humans’ jobs much easier, there’s always going to be a need for the human touch when it comes to dealing with customers directly.

Avoiding Disease

A major advantage that comes with leveraging robots in the cleaning industry would be their immunity. After all, robots cannot get sick. They are not going to get sick or transmit viruses or diseases. They are also not going to pull a muscle or experience fatigue.

Thus, a cleaning business could theoretically operate day and night and not have to worry about their cleaners burning out. They can even provide cleaning services during periods like the pandemic when human-to-human interaction is dangerous. There’s no worrying about workers transmitting COVID-19 because they are robots.

This doesn’t mean though that humans cannot perform the same job with proper safety measures taken. Utilizing the right safety measures and equipment, humans can effectively clean while limiting the risk of infection or transmission. That being said, there is still a lesser risk when using robots because the risk is essentially nonexistent.

Maintenance of Machines in Cleaning

While machines do not experience fatigue, they do require maintenance. Robots and automated cleaning equipment require a lot of maintenance because they have a lot of moving parts. Any machine that is being used as much as a cleaning machine or robot would need proper maintenance to avoid breaking down. Wear and tear can become a major issue without requisite maintenance.

While some machines will certainly be easier to clean than others, they still need to be maintained, nonetheless. Most machines will require human intervention to be properly maintained. They will need to have the cleaning features and functions activated by humans.

A human would also be required to disinfect the robots once the cleaning session had been completed. After all, robots cannot catch a virus or disease themselves, but they can transmit it. The machines will require thorough cleaning to ensure nothing is spread from client to client.

automated vacuum


The majority of the time, getting an automated clean would be sufficient. There are times when this would not be the case. For instance, there could be areas of the property that robots and machines simply cannot reach. This is when having a human worker present is a must. They are there to inspect and conduct follow-ups on the cleanings. They are there to provide the thoroughness and attention to detail that a robot couldn’t.

After Hours Cleaning

For any place that operates day and night, an automated cleaner could be a great option. After all, they can have it running constantly so their clients can arrive at a properly cleaned location. Various robotic cleaning machines can be pre-programmed to run at certain hours. This can help you avoid disrupting your place of business while still providing a clean place for your customers. It can even reduce needing to pay staff to work overnight.


A good thing about using automated cleaning is the ability to collect more valuable data on your customers. You can find out things like the total time it takes to clean. You can also figure out what the most requested cleaning services are. All of these things can make it easier for you to run your business more effectively.

Along with this, a machine won’t have any bias. They will collect the data without any bias whatsoever. If you program the robot to collect specific data, it will do exactly that. This can help you get a better and more accurate overview of your business.

The problem is, no amount of data is going to come in handy if you don’t have a human there to decipher it and put it into action. This is why you will always need a human there to analyze the data and put it to use. While knowing that customers ask for more comprehensive cleaning during flu season is important, you need to have a human there to leverage that data and put it to use.

In conclusion, robots and AI will never replace the need for humans within the cleaning industry. Humans can effectively fill in the gaps that exist. Leveraging robots and AI in the cleaning industry can complement humans which can lead to better productivity and efficiency.

For all your commercial cleaning needs, contact us at Green Clean Office Maintenance!

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